MARQUETTE — You’ve probably heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child,” and now pediatricians are saying that’s not a far stretch.

Last night the Director of the Residency Program of Flints Hurley Children’s Hospital, Mona Hanna-Attisha spoke to students, professors and health care providers at NMU.

The topic was Healthy Communities Start With Healthy Kids. The talk was sponsored by Michigan State University where Hanna-Attisha is an assistant professor.

She discussed a new way to look at the health of kids called the ecobiodevelopmental model. Which basically states that ecology becomes biology, and that there’s more to childhood health and development than medicine.

Hanna-Attisha says, “Increasingly, there is a lot of evidence that shows those first five years of life are critical to your lifelong health. So the more that we protect our kids, and buffer them from adversity – if it’s poverty, abuse, neglect, stress, all these different things – if we can protect them from all those early traumas, they will go on to lead healthy lives.”

She says that doctors and the community have a part in raising healthy kids. Ways to get involved include advocating for children’s health and wellness, good parenting and acts of love and compassion.