Newswise — APRIL 30, 2021 - EDISON, N.J. – Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health will host the 38th annual Advances in Developmental Pediatrics Conference on May 24 to 26, 2021. The virtual conference will be led by a distinguished national faculty who will provide continuing education to address advances in diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of pediatric developmental and behavioral health conditions.

“This conference provides a professional forum for healthcare providers to learn about advancements in the care of autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, COVID-19, ADHD, and other behavioral and developmental conditions,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., Physician-in-Chief, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Aschner will be serving as one of the conference’s moderators. “We are proud to once again sponsor this event.”

Randye Huron, M.D., director of the Institute of Child Development (ICD) and section chief of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital will also be serving as a conference moderator. 

In addition to a robust educational program featuring nationally recognized guest speakers such as autism spectrum disorder expert Gagan Joshi, M.D., the event will feature three keynote speakers:

  • Benard Dreyer, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine and Director of Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, New York. Dr. Dreyer will deliver presentations on the impact of poverty and toxic stress on children’s development and new threats to the health of immigrant children.
  • Angela Kade Goepferd, M.D., Chief Education Officer, Senior Director of Interprofessional Education, Chief of Staff, and Medical Director of Children’s Gender Health Program and PRIDE ERG Executive Sponsor, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Goepferd will deliver a presentation on how to talk to kids and families about gender identity.
  • Donald Meyer, M.Ed., Director Emeritus of the Sibling Support Project, Bellevue, Washington. Meyer will deliver presentations on unique concerns and opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special needs and moderate a panel of brothers and sisters.

“Hackensack University Medical Center’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is proud to host an event that features renowned healthcare providers from across the country,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Our goal is to provide high-quality continuing education that helps to enhance developmental-behavioral pediatric care in our region and beyond.”


For more information or to register, visit


About Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health

Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and highest level of quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network is comprised of two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health hospitals are the only two in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital also ranks among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. Visit for more information about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.