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Brenda T. Hussey-Gardner, PhD, MPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Associate Professor of Pediatrics


110 South Paca Street, 8-S-140

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-6003


(410) 328-1076

Education and Training

1981-1985       BS       Special Education from University of Maryland. College Park, Maryland

1985-1987       MA      Special Education from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1985-1987       MPH    Maternal & Child Health from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1991-1995       PhD     Early Childhood Special Education from University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland


Dr. Hussey-Gardner is a clinician, univeristy instructor, author, presenter and advocate.


Dr. Hussey-Gardner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she is a developmental specialist. She has more than 30 years of clinical experience with infants, toddlers, and their families. Dr. Hussey-Gardner evaluates the development of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NCIU) and she sees patients in the NICU Follow-Up Program. In both settings she provides parents with strategies for fostering development through play and during daily routines. If needed, Dr. Hussey-Gardner links families with early intervention services in their community.

University Instructor

In addition to teaching pediatric residents and neonatology fellows about development, Dr. Hussey-Gardner holds an adjunct faculty II position with the Psychology Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on developmental psychology, parenting, children with disabilities, infant assessment, early intervention, and infants born prematurely. Anonymous student reviews consistently rank her as one of the top instructors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Author & Presenter

Dr. Hussey-Gardner has been the author or co-author of 19 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and she has co-authored 3 textbook chapters. In addition, she has given 146 invited speeches at national, regional, and local conferences; 93 peer-reviewed, national and regional presentations; and has participated in 32 television, radio, magazine or internet interviews regarding child development. In addition, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has developed and published a number of resources that are used by professionals serving infants and toddlers, and by the families themselves. These publications include: Understanding My Signals: Help for Parents of Premature Infants (currently in its third edition), Taking Care of Me: Help for Parents of New Babies, Parenting to Make a Difference: Your One to Four Year Old Child, Best Beginnings: Helping Parents Make a Difference, and PPOD: Parents & Pediatricians Optimizing Development. She is also the creator of the Best Beginnings Developmental Screen, a tool for screening developmental milestone attainment and quality of performance in adaptive, social-emotional, fine motor, cognitive, language, and gross motor domains of children from birth to 39 months of age.


Dr. Hussey-Gardner has a history of advocating for children with developmental delays in Maryland. She has been a member of the Maryland State Interagency Coordinating Council since 2006, an Executive Board member since 2007, and in 2011 she became the Chair of this council whose job is to advise and assist the early childhood intervention and education system of services in Maryland. At the state level, she has conducted research to substantiate and change high probability conditions for early intervention eligibility in Maryland. Her research led to inclusion of infants with chronic lung disease and surgical necrotizing entereocolitis. In addition, Dr. Hussey-Gardner led the effort to create the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program Physician's Guide, released in 2009. Her advocacy work related to the use of adjusted age for infants and toddlers born prematurely resulted in a Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) change in 2013. Beginning in 2012, Dr. Hussey-Gardner also began advocating for all of Maryland's young children when she became a member of the State Early Childhood Advisory Council (formerly known as the Governor's State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care) and a member of the Executive Leadership Committee for Ready at Five. Locally, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has been a member of the Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council since 1996 and was the Chairperson from 1997-2001.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Developmental evaluations of infants and toddlers, developmental outcomes of infants born prematurely, early intervention, fostering development of infants and toddlers, parenting

Highlighted Publications


Hussey-Gardner BBest Beginnings Developmental Screen. Baltimore, MD: 2005, 2006.

Hussey-Gardner B. Understanding my signals: Help for parents of premature infants. 3rd ed. Palo Alto, CA: VORT; 2008.

Hussey-Gardner B. Best Beginnings for Parents. Palo Alto, CA: VORT, 2016.

Additional Publication Citations

Peer Reviewed Journals (since 2013):

Hussey-Gardner B, Fleury M. Maryland’s PRIDE: A state-of-the-art early intervention program for preterm and medically fragile infants. The Forum: National Association of Perinatal Social Workers. Fall, 2013.

Rose L, Herzig L, Hussey-Gardner B. Analysis of current trends and changes over time early intervention programs across the nation. Peds Review. January, 2014.

Hobbs J, Hussey-Gardner B, Donohue PK. Pediatric perspectives: Caring for NICU graduates in the community. Contemporary Pediatrics. December, 2015.

Hobbs J, Jennings J, Tschudy M, Hussey-Gardner B, Boss R. Baby Steps: A Post Discharge Home Visiting Program by Neonatology Fellows. Pediatrics Supplement, Feb 2016; 137 (Supplement 3); 489A.

Falck AJ, Moorthy S, Hussey-Gardner B. Perceptions of Palliative Care in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care. June 2016; 16(3): 191-200.

Hobbs JE, Tschudy MM, Hussey-Gardner B, Jennings J, Boss R. “I Don’t Know What I was Expecting:” Home Visits by Neonatology Fellows for Infants Discharged from the NICU. Birth, accepted for publication on June 26, 2017; DOI:10.1111/birt.12301.

Diamant-Cohen B, Sonnenschein S, Sacks D, Rosswog S, Hussey-Gardner B. Mother Goose in the NICU: Support for the neediest infants and their families. Children and Libraries. Spring 2018.

LoVerde B, Falck A, Donohue P, Hussey-Gardner B.Supports and Barriers to the Provision of Human Milk by Mothers of African American Preterm Infants. Advances in Neonatal Care. June 2018; 18(3):179-188.

Research Interests

Dr. Hussey-Gardner's developed the Best Beginnings Developmental Screen, Family Questionnaires and Parent Handouts used in the University of Maryland’s NICU, NICU Follow-Up Program, and Maryland’s PRIDE. In addition Best Beginnings was used in the Maryland's Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grant. Dr. Hussey-Gardner also developed PPOD (Parents & Pediatricians Optimizing Development), a personalized online tool for parents to help them monitor and foster their child's development. 

Clinical Specialty Details

Dr. Hussey-Gardner is the developmental specialist in the NICU and NICU Follow-Up Program where she evaluates the development of infants and toddlers who were born prematurely or were born at full-term with medical conditions necessitating a NICU hospitalization.

Grants and Contracts

Since 2000, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has received over $2.5 million dollars in grants to operate and study The Maryland's PRemature Infant Developmental Enrichment (PRIDE) Program. This program provides early intervention services in collaboration with the Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and NICU Follow-Up Program at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital.

In the News

Television, Radio Magazine & Internet Interviews (since 2013):

2014, January            PPOD, Baltimore’s Child Magazine

2016, June                 New Program Designed for Tiniest, Sickest Babies: Goslings, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

2018, January            University of Maryland Children’s Hospital give parents tools to interact, bond with babies in intensive care, Baltimore Sun

2018, January            Baby Talk: Goslings program teaches how to communicate with your baby in the NICU and at home, Cool Progeny.

2018, June                 What's Good for the Gosling: The goslings program teaches parents how to engage their medically fragile babies in early language development, Children's Hospitals Today

Professional Activity

State (since 2011)

Chair, Maryland Early Intervention State Interagency Coordinating Council (2011-present)

Member, Maryland Premature Infant Health Network (2011-2016)

Member, Maryland Early Childhood Developmental Screening Task Force (2011-2012)

Member, Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program, Regulations Workgroup (2012)

Member, State Early Childhood Advisory Committee, gormerly entitled Governor's State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care (2012-present)

Executive Leadership Committee, Ready at Five (2012-present)

Member, Maryland Early Childhood Screening Consortium (2012-2014)

Member, Maryland Task Force on Teacher Education in Early Childhood Education (2013-2015)

Member, Professional Development Master Plan Workgroup for Teachers and Providers of Early Childhood Education in Maryland (2015)

Member, State Systemic Improvement Plan Team for Maryland’s Early Intervention System (2016-present)


Links of Interest

University of Maryland Children's Hospital NICU Follow-Up Program:

Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program: