Community Health Initiative

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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 most negatively impacted by racial, ethnic and health disparities.

What is the process for determining how the funds get spent?

Working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston Children’s Office of Community Health completed a planning process. This included engaging with community residents and leaders to help identify key priority areas for funding. This phase has been guided by a Community Advisory Committee with external members. Boston Children’s also contracted with external facilitators to lead the meetings and an evaluation team to assess the community engagement effort.

What was the role of the Advisory Group?

The Advisory Committee met six times between April and November 2016 to:

  1. advise Boston Children’s on the use of the funds based on their first-hand experience working with children and families
  2. assist with outreach to their members or clients to engage them directly in the process
  3. review secondary data on health issues impacting children and families
  4. synthesize the information gathered from the community meetings to prioritize issues that affect the health and well-being of children and families
  5. provide guidance around the creation of a Strategic Funding Committee, comprised of experts in the priority funding areas, which will help Boston Children’s allocate the funds.

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. See our summary of a community meeting for more details.

Who will make the funding decisions?

A Strategic Funding Committee will include representatives from Boston Children’s, MDPH, the Boston Public Health Commission, local and state-wide constituencies, community residents as well as experts in the priority funding areas. The Funding Committee’s membership has not been finalized at this time.

More details on this process will be provided in early 2017.

Advisory Committee Members

Alexandra Oliver-Davila - Sociedad Latina
Barry Keppard - Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Ben Wood - Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brenda Daley - Smart from The Start
David Aronstein - Boston Alliance for Community Health
Elizabeth Maffei - Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Elmer Freeman - Center for Community Health Education Research and Services
Gerry Thomas - Boston Public Health Commission
Giles Li - Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Halley Reeves - Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Jeri Robinson - Boston Children’s Museum
Kris Anderson - Fenway Community Development Corporation
Lynne Karsten - Brookline Health Department
Marisol Amaya - La Alianza Hispana, Inc.
Michael Curry - Boston NAACP
Monique Dottson - Resident
Myechia Minter - Jordan The Dimock Center
Norma Colon - Resident
Rachel Goodman - Boston Housing Authority
Rahn Dorsey - Boston Mayor’s Office
Sharon Scott Chandler - Action for Boston Community Development
Shay Simmons - Resident
Vivian Pera - La Alianza Hispana, Inc.
Zoe Perez - Resident

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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