and now. 

Lisa Bernstein was an Innovation Fellow at Bank Street College of Education, where she launched Simply Put 


In 2000 Lisa was the founding Executive Director of The What To Expect Foundation, which was formed with a limited license to build upon the goodwill and value of the bestselling What To Expect™ pregnancy and parenting brand to benefit families in-need.  Lisa created award-winning cause marketing campaigns in partnership with Nissan, Clorox and GlaxoSmithKline that disseminated important messages to the What To Expect audience (car seat safety, healthy home, importance of immunization); engaged healthcare providers and government agencies; and raised over $7 million for the Foundation’s mission. 


She used those funds to create the Baby Basics prenatal health and literacy book (in English, Spanish and Mandarin) and program that has reached close to 750,000 at risk families across the US.  


The evidence based Baby Basics program builds a new paradigm of health education that encourages a woman’s personal and intellectual growth during the teachable moment of pregnancy.   With extensive training in strength based educational strategies and the Baby Basics curriculum, thousands of medical professionals and health educators now help women use and read written health information, build critical thinking skills and social networks, and actively engage in pregnancy decisions. Evaluation shows that the Baby Basics program increased women’s satisfaction and adherence to prenatal care, post-partum follow-up care, and on-going well-baby appointments.   Baby Basic programs have been embedded into existing pregnancy programs in communities across the country. Major initiatives in cities such as Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Appalachia, VA and Rochester, NY reach every Medicaid eligible expecting woman with coordinated Baby Basics materials, and strength-based group or individual education.  All Baby Basics Programs are self-sustaining, supported by health departments, foundations and partner agencies.  Lisa has published and widely presented at public health, health communications, and adult education conferences in the US and around the world.


Since 2014, Lisa has led a partnership with the US Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues to create the $4.8 million Women’s Health Innovation Program (WHIP) to bring prenatal health, literacy and empowerment support to women in Liberia and Bangladesh. Working with in-country teams, she created Big Belly Business Liberia and Babu Barta Bangladesh - books, curriculum and training that help 15 partner health and literacy NGOs in each country run Moms Club groups to help women learn to read about pregnancy and meet and help one another.  She continues to advise and build this project in partnership with the State Department, WTEF, D.Net and the Open Society in West Africa (OSIWA). By 2017 the program will reach over 100,000 families.

Lisa’s work draws upon her years of experience in commercial publishing as a publicist at Henry Holt and Little Brown, Marketing Director at The New Press, and Associate Publisher at Workman (where she ran  the campaigns for the bestselling What To Expect series and  the Brain Quest educational program.)