Connector of Dots

Pediatrician, educator, author, and health communicator, Dr. Laura Jana finds connections across disciplines and crystallizes big ideas into far-reaching, real world applications.

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, and continues to serve as a strategic consultant to numerous government, nonprofit, and corporate clients, she has navigated the traditionally siloed worlds of academia, medicine, publishing, and commerce. Currently focused on innovation in parenting, pediatrics, public health, health system transformation and community development, 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, she’s on a mission to unite these worlds in order to change the public conversation about the skills needed for success in the Digital Age.

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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.