Lisa Stanley has worked in the maternal and child health arena for the past 25 years. Before coming to UCLA, Dr. Stanley worked within the MCH field at the federal and county levels, as well as overseas in West Africa. She has led a variety of community-wide and program-level evaluations, strategic planning initiatives, policy analysis, program management and coalition development with a focus on evidence-based strategies that support children’s overall developmental health and school readiness. Dr. Stanley is currently the Project Director for a national effort in the United States called Data Informed Futures which aims to spread and support the use of population level outcome measures focused on child wellbeing. Dr. Stanley led the pilot of the project’s anchor measure, the Early Development Instrument (EDI), in 2008 in Orange County CA, adapting the instrument and protocols for a US educational system in collaboration with the EDI Publishers at McMaster University in Canada. Since that time, the EDI, which is filled out by teachers for children 4-6 years of age, has spread to over 90 communities from 18 states and the project has expanded to include an innovative suite of linked population measures that track child wellbeing through 14 years of age. Dr. Stanley manages the Data Informed Futures team which supports local communities with data collection but also provides data reports and GIS mapping products and one-on-one coaching and shared learning opportunities to local leaders to ensure that data is transformed to information and insights that can be effectively used for place-based planning and monitoring. Drawing on her doctoral studies and deep knowledge of population-based metrics, Dr. Stanley has served as a lead partner in three publications using the EDI including the first major predictive validity study of the EDI in the US which found, like in Canada and Australia, that the EDI administered in Kindergarten predicts later standardized test scores for children in math and English language arts in 3rd Grade.

DrPH, University of California Los Angeles


Halfon, N., Aguilar, E., Stanley, L., Hotez, E., Block, E., & Janus, M. (2020). Measuring Equity From The Start: Disparities In The Health Development Of US Kindergartners: Study examines disparities in the health development of US kindergartners. Health Affairs, 39(10), 1702–1709.

Duncan, R. J., Duncan, G. J., Stanley, L., Aguilar, E., & Halfon, N. (2020). The kindergarten Early Development Instrument predicts third grade academic proficiency. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 287–300.

Halfon, N., Thompson-Stanley, L.. (2006) A Strategic Audit: The Brighter Futures Initiative of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, UCLA CHCFC.

Thompson-Stanley, L., Tullis, E., Halfon, N. (2005) Critical Pathways to School Readiness: Implications for First 5 Ventura County Strategic Planning, Funding and Evaluation. UCLA CHCFC.

Thompson-Stanley, L., Uyeda, K., Wright, J., Halfon, N. (2005). Family Support: Fostering Leadership and Partnerships to Improve Access. UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Thompson-Stanley, L., Franke, T., Halfon, N. (2004) An Action Plan: Assessing School Readiness in Ventura County. UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Ashkar, S., Dales, L., Averhoff, F., Shefer, A., Higa, J., Thompson-Stanley, L. (2003) The Effectiveness of Assessment and Referral on Immunization Coverage in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. May: 157(5): 456-62.

Thompson-Stanley, L., Kropenske, V., Heinecke, C., Gomby, D., Halfon, N. (2001) Home Visiting: A Strategy to Deliver First 5 Results. UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Dissertation Grant: American Educational Research Association funded through the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Education Statistics of the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Training Grant: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Child and Family Health Training Program