Boston Children’s and Franciscan Children’s Announce Signing of Affiliation Agreement

Hospitals to combine experience and expertise to create a unique system of pediatric behavioral health and rehabilitative care

(Boston, MA) October 12, 2021 - Boston Children’s Hospital and Franciscan Children’s announced today that they have signed an affiliation agreement under which Franciscan Children’s will become part of the Boston Children’s corporate family. Under the agreement, the two hospitals will combine their collective experience and expertise to create a unique system of pediatric behavioral health and rehabilitative care, research and teaching that will improve the lives of children and families in Massachusetts, New England and throughout the country.

The affiliation has been approved by both boards and will require government and religious approvals.

The agreement expands a longstanding collaboration between Boston Children’s and Franciscan Children’s that has included clinical coordination, preferred provider arrangements, staffing/coverage arrangements and advocacy for children’s issues.

If approved, the affiliation will promote more efficient behavioral health and rehabilitation care delivery, with a focus on research and education. It will strengthen the organizations’ ability to jointly recruit and retain the next generation of pediatric behavioral health and rehabilitation clinicians.

The agreement also calls for investing in modernizing the Franciscan Children’s campus under a 10-year plan to renovate or replace the existing buildings and improve the infrastructure. Newly designed and built space will be required to support both new and expanded programs in order to create the full continuum of behavioral health care, as well as rehabilitation and post-acute care. This additional space will be developed on the Franciscan Children’s campus, with some programs relocating from Boston Children’s campuses. v

Assuming approval, Franciscan Children’s will become a sister corporation to Boston Children’s Hospital. Franciscan Children’s is sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, a Catholic religious order dedicated to helping people in need around the world.

“We are joining forces to lead transformative change that will address the pediatric behavioral health care crisis through expanding and enhancing the services we provide consistent with our respective missions,” said Kevin B. Churchwell, President and CEO of Boston Children’s. “We will fundamentally transform our understanding of behavioral health conditions through research and create new therapies and standards of care that will benefit all children with behavioral health needs. In addition, we will collaborate with state leadership in the development and implementation of the recent Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform, which calls for expanded access to treatment, more effective treatment and improved health equity.”

“The healthcare needs of children have significantly changed over the past decade. The global mental health crisis affecting our children and adolescents has been greatly magnified by the pandemic” said John Nash, President and CEO of Franciscan Children’s. “We also have advances in technology that have allowed more premature infants to survive, many with complex medical needs. To meet these new challenges and continue to provide optimal patient care, we will join together to bring the best expertise in science and technology to our patients.”

“The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, founders and sponsor of the Franciscan Children’s, recognize that the agreement signed by Franciscan Children’s and Boston Children’s Hospital provides time for the sisters to review the agreement and exercise their rights of approval before any affiliation takes place,” said Sister Noreen Murray, Provincial.