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Brenda T. Hussey-Gardner, PhD, MPH

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Developmental Specialist, Director Maryland's PRIDE, Co-Director NICU Follow-Up Program, SICC Chair


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


Statement of Expertise

Dr. Hussey-Gardner has 30+ years of research and clinical experience with infants, toddlers, and their families. Currently, Dr. Hussey-Gardner is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she is the Director of Maryland’s PRIDE. Since 2000, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has received over $4.5 million dollars in grants to operate and study this program. She is also the Co-Director of the NICU Follow-Up Program and the developmental specialist for this program and the NICU. Dr. Hussey-Gardner is a clinician, univeristy instructor, author, presenter and advocate.


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 authored or co-authored 82 written products including 20 copyrights, 28 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 2 invited journal articles, 3 textbook chapters and 29 printed abstracts; 153 invited presentations including 123 local, 14 regional, 10 national, and 6 international; and 80 proffered communications including 33 regional, 45 national, and 2 international. She is the creator of the Best Beginnings Developmental Screen and co-creator of Mother Goose on the Loose: Goslings.


Dr. Hussey-Gardner chairs the Maryland State Interagency Coordinating Council whose job is to advise and assist the early childhood intervention and education system of services in Maryland. She also serves on the State Systemic Improvement Plan Team for Maryland’s Early Intervention System.

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

Copyrights (Since 2015)

Hussey-Gardner B. Best Beginnings: User’s Guide. Baltimore, MD, 2015.

Hussey-Gardner B. Best Beginnings Parent Handouts. Palo Alto, CA: VORT, 2015.

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

Mendres-Smith A, Falck A, Kadakia S, Hussey-Gardner B. I Remember When…A Safe Sleep and Tummy Time Book for Parents of Preemies. Baltimore, MD, 2019.

Diamant-Cohen B, Hussey-Gardner B. Instructional Guide for Mother Goose on the Loose: Goslings. Baltimore, MD, 2020.

Additional Publication Citations

Peer Reviewed Journals (since 2015)

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. 2016;137 (Supplement 3): 489A.

Falck AJ, Moorthy S, Hussey-Gardner B. Perceptions of palliative care in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care. 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. 2017;44:331-336.

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 Librarie 2018;16(1):3-7

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. 2018;18(3):179-188.

Hussey-Gardner B, McNinch A, Falck A, Bearer C. Validity of the BBDS in former preterm infants. Pediatric Research and Child Health. 2018;1(2):1-8.

Shanty L, Dowling R, Sonnenschein S, Hussey-Gardner B. Evaluation of an early language and literacy program for parents of infants in the NICU. Neonatal Network. 2019;38(4):206-216.

Falck A, Hussey-Gardner B, Purdy P, Prey N. Honoring Gus: Lessons learned about creating memories in the NICU. Pediatric Research. 2019;9:1-2.

Mendres-Smith AE, Borrero JC, Castillo MI, Davis, BJ, Hussey-Gardner B. Tummy time without tears: The impact of parent positioning and play. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 2020;53,2090-2107.

Aghion A, Davis NL, Hussey-Gardner B, Falck AJ. Patient and provider factors impacting referral for neonatal organ donation. Pediatric Transplantation, Published on June 1, 2020 before inclusion in an issue.

Dowling R, Shanty L, Sonnenschein S, Hussey-Gardner B. Talking, reading, singing, and rhyming: tips for fostering early literacy at home. Young Children. 2020;75(3):80-83.

Diamant-Cohen B, Sonnenschein S, Dowling R, Shanty L, Hoge P, Henschel B, Hussey-Gardner B. Make way for Goslings: The importance of collaboration. Children’s VOICE. 2020;29(2):24-26.

Xue X, Zong X, Valentine G, & Hussey-Gardner B. (2023). Maryland’s PRIDE: Evaluation of an Early Intervention Program Embedded Within a NICU and NICU Follow-Up Program. Journal of Early Intervention, First published online June 23, 2023.

Research Interests

Dr. Hussey-Gardner's research interests include developmental outcomes of infants born prematurely, early identification of developmental delays, early intervention, and parenting.

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 $4.5 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 2015)

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

University of Maryland Children’s Hospital give parents tools to interact, bond with babies in intensive care, Baltimore Sun, 2016

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

Evaluation of year 2 of the Mother Goose on the Loose—Goslings Program. Sponsored by PNC, 2018 

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

Professional Activity

State (since 2015)

Member, Maryland Early Intervention SICC; Executive Board: 2007-present; Co-Chair: 2010-2011; Chair 2011-present. Led effort to create MITP Physician’s Guide, released March 2009. Led effort to institute COMAR legislation regarding use of age adjustment for infants born prematurely, legislation implemented July 2013

Member, Maryland Premature Infant Health Network, 2008-2016

Member, State Early Childhood Advisory Committee---formerly entitled Governor's State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care, 2012-2019

Executive Committee, Ready at Five, 2012-2023

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

Chair, Very Low Birth Weight Task Force of the Maryland SICC. Resulted in recommendation for and establishment of a MITP tracking system for infants born 1200-1500 grams who are not otherwise eligible for early intervention service, 2019-present

Chair, CRISP Early Intervention Alert Committee. Resulted in creation of CRISP alert to notify pediatricians when a patient has a diagnosed medical condition warranting referral to the MITP. Alert went into effect fall 2020, 2020

Chair, PIE Task Force to enhance collaboration between pediatricians, interventionists and educators, 2020-present


Links of Interest

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

Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program: