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Board of Visitor's Cerebral Palsy Prevention Program

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The Board of Visitors' Cerebral Palsy Prevention Program is a multidisciplinary program that involves specialists from the Center for Neuroscience Research, Fetal and Transitional Medicine, and the Divisions of Neonatology and Neurology.

Headed up by Anna Penn, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Center for Neuroscience Research, and Vittorio Gallo, PhD, Director of the Center for Neuroscience Research, the program will accelerate the testing of new treatments, forge new collaborations between clinicians and researchers, and raise awareness of cerebral palsy among policy-makers and future philanthropic supporters. The goal is to find new solutions to protect the brain development of the most fragile newborns and mitigate the effects in children living with cerebral palsy

Approximately 100 newborns at less than 28 weeks gestation are admitted to Children’s National each year. Of these, 50 percent are at an extremely low birth weight, resulting in an estimated eight new cases of cerebral palsy annually. 

The Preterm NeuroNICU (PNN) will be the first of its kind in the nation to focus specifically on detecting, understanding, and preventing brain development injuries and CP in this patient population. 

For more information, call 202-476-4448 or email the Program Administrator Eresha Bluth at


Megan Bellagamba's Story

Megan Bellagamba

Megan Bellagamba was inspired to become a nurse after her twin nieces were born prematurely and she saw the great care they received during their early days in the NICU. She saves lives at the hospital and during her personal time as fellow patron at a restaurant in Virginia, Pam Weil, recounts.

Read More of Megan Bellagamba's Story

Children's National in Your Neighborhood

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Did you know Children’s National has more than 50 locations throughout the region? Find one that’s convenient for your family.

Find a Children's Location Near You