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Boston Children’s Hospital’s community mission is to improve the health and well-being of children and families in our local community. The hospital leverages its resources with community partnerships to address health disparities, improve child health outcomes and enhance the quality of life for children and families.
In the early 1990s, Boston Children’s set out to expand its commitment to community health. The Massachusetts Attorney General had released new voluntary community benefit guidelines that called for hospitals to rethink their roles in addressing public health. While already a leader in three areas—research, patient care and teaching—Boston Children’s explored what it would take to become an innovator and a trusted resource for the community. Conversations between hospital staff and community partners led Boston Children’s to become one of the first academic health centers in the country to make community a fourth part of its mission. Click here to see a list of milestones in our community mission.
Today, Boston Children’s community mission is about taking our expertise outside of the hospital walls and into our community. It means embracing and proactively engaging with our community partners to develop and implement programs that will improve health outcomes and also improve the everyday lives of children and families. This commitment also includes ensuring patient families can access needed care, services and support at the hospital or in community locations such as Boston health centers and our own Boston Children’s at Martha Eliot.
The Office of Community Health (OCH) oversees the community mission and coordinates community benefit efforts throughout the institution.
Boston Children’s Hospital demonstrates its commitment to improving the health of the community by investing in and supporting a wide range of programs and services. Annually, the hospital reports these activities as the total community benefits expense to the City of Boston, Massachusetts’ State Attorney General and to the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Using the newest (national) benchmark, the IRS guidelines, Boston Children’s has calculated that in FY13 it invested over $141 million in efforts to improve the health of the community. This investment included $79.2 million to increase Access to Care (charity care and unreimbursed Medicaid) and $25 million (1) to support life-changing Research. It contributed $5.3 million to develop and implement Community Health Programs (in the areas of asthma, child development, mental health and obesity), $26.1 million in Health Professions Education (programs to train the next generation of pediatric providers) and $3.5 million in Subsidized Health Services (the unreimbursed cost of providing services that are in-demand or in limited supply such as primary and mental health care). The hospital also invested $2 million in Partnerships (efforts to support local nonprofits and organizations that contribute to creating a healthier community).
Commitment to Boston
Boston Children’s continues to invest in the local community and the health of Boston children. In FY13, the hospital invested over 32 percent of its total community benefits (2) in Boston, including $5.3 million in Community Health Programs, which includes support for the Boston Public Schools and community health centers. This support also includes a number of programs to address health disparities and meet some of the most pressing health needs for Boston children—asthma, mental health, obesity and child development. Additionally, more than $23.5 million helped Boston families access care for their children. Boston Children’s provides care to all children regardless of their family’s ability to pay (by providing unreimbursed care and free care as well as support to subsidize key health services).
Boston Children’s Hospital reported a total of $302,206,711 on its Schedule H of the Form 990 Report to the IRS in total community benefits with a significant portion coming from research grants.
1For the purposes of this graph and principles of transparency, research grants are excluded from the amount that is reported as hospital contributions to community benefit, reducing the total amount to $141,197,747.
2 When calculating the percentage of Boston Children’s investment in community benefits, the categories of “Health Professions Education” and “Education” are excluded as the financial value to Boston children and families cannot be accurately separated.
Click here for the Office of Community Health's Annual Report on the Community Mission.
Encouraging Active Families
The program promotes fun, low-cost activities and neighborhood resources to make it easier for families to be active. Kohl's has generously supported Boston Children's in implementing the program which includes a public awareness campaign and an initiative in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools. To learn more visit KohlsHealthyFamilyFun.org
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”