Community Health Initiative

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Why is Boston Children’s Hospital investing funds in the community?

Boston Children’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 partners to address health disparities, improve child health outcomes and enhance the quality of life for children and families. We have a unique opportunity to build on our longstanding history of partnering with the community. Boston Children’s received approval for its building project through a state program called Determination of Need (DoN). This program is administered through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). Approval is required for all health care facilities that make a substantial capital expenditure. One condition is that the applicant creates a plan to spend 5 percent of the maximum capital expenditure ($53.4 million in this case) on a Community Health Initiative (CHI). Given our role as a leading advocate for children, Boston Children’s will use these funds to improve the health and well-being of children and families, both locally and statewide.

How much funding is available?

Boston Children’s will invest $53.4 million over 10 years to improve the health and well-being of children and families. 

What was the process to identify funding areas?

In 2016, Boston Children’s assembled a Community Advisory Committee to secure input from a wide-range of parents, youth, other community residents, as well as organizations, agencies and leaders who work closely with children and families and who could help us to better understand how these funds could be used to impact racial, ethnic, health and health care disparities. Making use of this feedback, the Community Advisory Committee identified four priority areas for funding.

  • Children’s behavioral/mental health
  • Stable and affordable housing
  • Systems of support for infants, children, youth and families
  • Healthy and safe communities

Because some members of the Community Advisory Committee are likely to apply for the Community Health Initiatives funds, the Committee agreed to disband once the priority funding areas were identified. In the summer of 2017, Boston Children’s convened a Strategic Funding Committee to make decisions about how funds will be distributed. Members include parents and other community members and representatives of community organizations and agencies that are not seeking CHI funds. The Committee also includes individuals knowledgeable about the four priority areas and representatives from Boston Children’s, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission. Parents and community residents have been active members of both the Community Advisory Committee and the Strategic Funding Committee to ensure that the community voice continues to be represented throughout the planning and funding processes. For a list of members of the Strategic Funding Committee, click here.

What types of programs and projects will be eligible for the funds?

The funds will support evidence-based and promising strategies that address community-identified needs in Greater Boston and statewide. The organizations, agencies and coalitions that receive funds will demonstrate that their approaches promote equity and support the most vulnerable children and families.

How will Boston Children’s assess the impact of this investment?

Boston Children’s has hired Mathematica Policy Research to evaluate the impact of Boston Children’s CHI. We are committed to sharing lessons learned and the results about how these investments have made a difference in the lives of children and families in the years ahead. We will update this page on our website as details and information becomes available.

How can I get more information and find out how to apply for funds?

This extensive community process identified strategic areas for funding. Boston Children’s encourages organizations and agencies that meet the funding criteria to apply and partner with us. 

For more details on the DoN/CHI goals, expected impacts and estimated allocations, please see the Funding Strategy Report.

Request for proposals (RFPs) will be released in the spring of 2018 in the following areas:

  • Zero to Five Child Health and Development
  • Family Housing Stability and Economic Opportunity
  • CommunityPhysical Activity, Recreation and Food Access

 A second round of RFPs will be released in the fall of 2018 in the following areas:

  • Health Equity Community Collaborative Planning Grants
  • Community Trauma Response
  • Mental Health and Youth Support Systems

Contact us at Check back here for updates, or sign up below:

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337