Ann Mastergeorge Selected as Arizona’s 2014–2016 Act Early Ambassador

Sonoran UCEDD
DDNN Summer 2014

I know the signs of healthy child developmentThe Act Early Ambassador project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification practices. It is a collaborative effort on behalf of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Act Early Ambassadors serve as state liaisons to the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." initiative and work as community champions with programs that serve young children and their parents, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, WIC, home visiting, and others, and health care and child care professionals to improve early identification of developmental delay and collaborate with state agencies and campaign partners to improve policy and programs for early identification.

Learn the Signs Act Early AmbassadorsThe current cohort of Ambassadors represents 25 states - pictured right: 2014-2016 Act Early Ambassador cohort at the two-day Ambassador training at CDC in Atlanta on June 3 and 4, 2014. Dr. Ann Mastergeorge, Sonoran UCEDD faculty, was selected for an additional term as the Arizona Ambassador.  Each state puts together a plan that is approved by the CDC and AUCD.  In the state of Arizona, this plan includes providing trainings on the Learn the Signs/Act Early (LTSAE) campaign in rural and urban communities, work closely with AZLEND to promote training of physicians and other health care professions on Learn the Signs and track early detection referrals and subsequent intervention as well as to reinstate and reinvigorate the Act Early Arizona State team.  In addition, Dr. Mastergeorge has also proposed to work closely with the CDC and some selected LTSAE states across the US to track the fidelity and utility of the LTSAE in detection and referral rates.

Ann MastergeorgeDr. Mastergeorge is an Associate Professor in the division of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in Communicative Disorders, and a PhD from UCLA in developmental psychology. Before becoming a faculty member at the University of Arizona, Dr. Mastergeorge worked for eight years as a faculty member at the M.I.N.D. Institute at University of California Davis Medical Center in the areas of early detection and early intervention for young children with autism and autism risk. In addition, she was a P.I. and co-P.I. on NIH funded grants studying early interventions for young children with autism and was also a collaborator on the National Professional Development Center on Autism. She has authored several publications and recently co-edited a book on educational interventions for children with autism (the first in a five-part autism series for Jossey-Bass). She is currently a member of the Sonoran UCEDD faculty and has implemented early intervention programs working with First Things First funded programs for young children 'at risk'. In addition, she is on the faculty of the LEND program in Arizona and through AZLEND, works closely with stakeholders throughout the state to improve the services for young children with autism and their families in Arizona.  For more information, contact Dr. Mastergeorge at