Community Health Initiative

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

Boston Children’s Hospital’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 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 approximately $53 million over the next 7 to 10 years to improve the health and well-being of children and families. 

What are the priority areas for funding?

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

How will funding decisions get made?

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. Details about the funding strategy will be made available in December 2017.

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 in areas of greatest need. We will share guidelines about how to apply for funds in January 2018.

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?

  • Funding Strategy Report released – December 2017
  • RFP/Guidelines released – January 2018
  • Proposal review period – February through March 2018

Contact us at TalkToUs@childrens.harvard.eduCheck back here for updates, or sign up below: