Community Health Initiative (CHI)

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Why is Boston Children’s Hospital investing funds back into 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 million in this case) on community health initiatives. Boston Children’s will use the funds to improve the health and well-being of children and families.

How did Boston Children’s get community input?

Boston Children’s held six facilitated open community meetings, a city-wide meeting and focus groups from July through September 2016. For more details, see our summary.

What are the priority areas for funding?

After gathering feedback and talking with parents, youth, residents, partners and experts about the most important community health and social needs, Boston Children’s Hospital is now ready to share the priority areas that will be funded through its CHI.

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

We are now talking with content experts—external partners, organizations and other leaders working on the above issues. We want to make sure that we understand current resources and support as well as any gaps in services for children and families in these areas.

How much funding is available?

Boston Children’s will invest more than $50 million over the next 7 to 10 years to improve the health and well-being of children and families. 

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 gaps and needs in Boston and beyond. The organizations, agencies and coalitions that receive funds will demonstrate that their approaches promote health equity and support the most vulnerable children and families in areas of greatest need. Technical assistance will be provided to organizations applying for funds.

How will Boston Children’s decide who will get funds?

We plan to convene a Strategic Funding Committee, starting in May 2017. Members will include representatives from Boston Children’s, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Boston Public Health Commission, organizations that serve families locally and state-wide as well as individuals knowledgeable about the above priority areas. We also will include parents and residents from the Greater Boston area to make sure the community voice continues to be represented throughout our process. This Committee will help develop more specific funding criteria and guidelines. More details about the guidelines and application process will be available in September 2017.

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

Boston Children’s will use an external consultant to partner with us and evaluate the impact of this investment. This partner will identify the best evaluation approaches, help track and monitor progress made and assess the funded programs. Boston Children’s is 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.

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

Contact us at TalkToUs@childrens.harvard.eduCheck 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
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