Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)
Understanding community health needs
Boston Children’s conducts a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment every three years as required by the Internal Revenue Service.
In 2022, Boston Children’s conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify the health-related needs, strengths, and resources available to children, youth, families, and residents in Boston — specifically the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Fenway, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and Roxbury. The assessment also looked at those living in the communities served by Boston Children’s locations outside of Boston, which include Brookline, Lexington, North Dartmouth, Peabody, Waltham, and Weymouth.
Key themes include how poverty impacts child and community health, access to stable and affordable housing, concerns about food access and insecurity, and the importance of prevention and focus on early childhood. Health issues of concern for families continue to be around mental/behavioral health, asthma, and obesity. The findings inform the direction of Boston Children's Community Health Improvement Plan, which outlines how the hospital works and partners with others to address those themes and improve community health.
Boston Children’s 2022 assessment also included data from the Boston Collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment, also known as the Boston CHNA-CHIP Collaborative. This assessment included a wide range of Boston stakeholders — community organizations, community development corporations, health centers, hospitals, and the Boston Public Health Commission. While community health assessment and planning work are often conducted by individual organizations, the Boston CHNA-CHIP Collaborative aligns and coordinates resources between multi-sector stakeholders across the city. Boston Children’s was a founding member, and staff participated in the steering committee and work groups.
Details about this process and the findings can be found in the full report. The Boston Children's Board of Trustees approved the assessment and improvement plan in the fall of 2022.
Listening and learning
A comprehensive assessment is only one way that Boston Children’s works to understand health needs. The staff from the Office of Community Health are always listening and learning from others about how the hospital can use its expertise to support community health. Boston Children’s welcomes comments on its most recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment and implementation strategy. Comments may be submitted by email to TalkToUs@childrens.harvard.edu or by mail to Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., BCH 3173, Boston, MA 02115. Attention: Shari Nethersole, MD, Vice President, Community Health and Engagement.
Past Community Health Needs Assessment materials