Connector of Dots

Pediatrician, educator, health communicator and award-winning author, Dr. Laura Jana finds connections across disciplines and crystallizes big ideas into far-reaching, real world applications, with a focus on social impact.

Currently an Associate Research Professor at Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Dr. Jana was most recently Director of Innovation in Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Particularly interested in improving life outcomes for all children, she  continues to serve as a strategic consultant to numerous government, nonprofit, and corporate clients and has become adept at navigating the traditionally siloed worlds of academia, medicine, education, publishing, and commerce.

Broadly focused on applying innovative and strategies to parenting, pediatrics, public health, education, health system transformation, community and workforce development, Dr. Jana is an internationally acclaimed speaker invited to present at venues spanning from local, state and national pediatrics, education and early education conferences to the US Chamber of Commerce, the TED stage, and the annual meeting of The World Bank.  What she sees is a bevy of great minds circling the same topics from different angles. As a translator of ideas and facilitator of dialogue, Dr. Jana is on a mission to unite these worlds in order to change public conversation and understanding about the skills and support needed for our children to succeed and thrive in the 21st Century.

Her most recent books, The Toddler Brain: Nurture the Skills Today That Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow and Jumping Into Kindergarten, introduce the fundamentally important concept of QI Skills and convey the powerful role parents ,educators, and other caring responsive adults play in children’s healthy development during their foundational first 5 years.

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Educational and Professional Background

Having first received a BS Degree in Cellular-Molecular Biology, Dr. Jana earned her MD from Case Western Reserve University and completed her pediatric residency at UCSF and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. After several years in private pediatric practice, she co-founded The Dr. Spock Company – one of the first online health sites – in the late 1990’s, and subsequently her own company – Practical Parenting Consulting. Dr. Jana is nationally recognized for her more than two decades worth of ongoing efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for children and practical parenting advice to new and expectant parents. She serves as a consultant to a wide range of academic and government organizations, non-profits and corporations. She has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, ABC News, NBC News and Fox News and has been quoted extensively  in outlets such as Time, People, WebMD, Parents magazine, The New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Jana serves as a media spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has served on the national Executive Committee for Early Education and Child Care. Increasingly, Dr. Jana has been dedicated to innovatively addressing the earliest and most urgent needs of children locally, nationally, and globally – especially those living in poverty. Dr. Jana is particularly focused on collective impact, technology-driven innovations in health and education, social impact finance, and fostering cross-collaborations to improve the well-being of children, families and communities. Dr. Jana served as founder and 9-year owner/operator of Primrose School of Legacy – a premier 200-student educational child care center in Omaha. She is also well recognized for her many years as parenting expert for Omaha’s NBC affiliate, WOWT-6, the Omaha World Herald, and Omaha’s top-rated drive-time morning talk radio program, as well as her involvement in the community. She is also the recipient of a 40 Under 40 Business Award.