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Children’s Advocacy Network | Overview

Women hold sign reading: "I will advocate and impact until every child is well."


The Children’s Advocacy Network (“CAN”) is a group of advocates interested in the health and well-being of children and families. CAN members contribute to the advocacy efforts of Boston Children’s Hospital by communicating with their state and federal lawmakers about child health issues. The CAN is based at Boston Children’s, but all who care about kids are welcome and encouraged to join. CAN members include Boston Children’s employees, volunteers, patients, families, and community members who care about children’s health and want to make a difference. More than 1,700 people participate in the CAN by writing letters and emails, making calls, and sharing information with a variety of audiences as needed to influence policy.

As the only independent pediatric hospital in Massachusetts and a critical safety net for children in New England, Boston Children’s Hospital has a responsibility and an opportunity to speak out about the unique needs of children, adolescents, and families. While the hospital’s advocacy successes benefit patient families served by the hospital, they've also improved access to care and the quality of care for children throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Boston Children’s works with community leaders, organizations, and policymakers at the city, state, and national levels to bring attention and response to children’s health issues. We advocate for policies that keep children healthy and safe, ensure their access to high quality health care, maintain a strong pediatric workforce, and foster innovation in pediatric research and clinical care. Additionally, the hospital has developed comprehensive policy initiatives in its core community health program areas: asthma, mental health, child development, and obesity prevention.

The hospital also provides policy expertise grounded in scientific and clinical knowledge, and brings leadership to drive change that will improve health outcomes for children and families. We believe in an interdisciplinary approach to advocacy that utilizes the support and expertise of hospital staff and senior leadership, patient families, and community partners. Our strategies include public education, legislative advocacy, and grassroots mobilization. Boston Children’s experts are available to meet with government officials, testify before committees, and help analyze the impact of policies on children.