At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, we are well known for the state of the art medical and surgical care we provide for the young patients who enter our doors. However, we also have a strong commitment beyond our hospital walls to strengthen families in the community we serve, and to strengthen the community as a whole.
Two of our newest publications highlight our commitment to our community: the Connecticut Children’s Community Health Needs Assessment and the Connecticut Children’s Community Benefit Report. Both are available for review on the Connecticut Children’s website.
Our Community Health Needs Assessment provides a comprehensive look at gaps in the system of care, including programs and services, which limit the ability of Hartford’s residents to support families in raising children. Our hospital leadership, community stakeholders, and residents identified and articulated gaps through data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Assessment also provides recommendations that will inform our future work to address community child health with a focus on developing and implementing innovative solutions for achieving healthier outcomes for the populations we serve and also for all children in our community.
Several examples of needs identified through our Assessment include:
- Improving the early identification of children with mild to moderate developmental or behavioral concerns in order to facilitate intervention through existing community-based programs and services before such problems escalate. The Assessment recommends expanding existing programs and services for children for whom there are concerns that are not severe enough to qualify them for publicly funded early intervention programs.
- Bringing to scale existing nutrition and physical activity programs in preschools, childcare centers, and in the primary care sites to address an escalating childhood obesity problem that disproportionately affects children of color and those in low-income families.
- Expanding existing home visiting programs in Hartford that have proven successful in improving birth outcomes, increasing use of prenatal care by pregnant women, and addressing developmental and behavioral health needs of children.
Our Community Benefit Report provides a glimpse into the care and services Connecticut Children’s already provides to children and families in the Greater Hartford area. The report places Connecticut Children’s total contribution to the community in 2015 at $34.6 million, which includes subsidized health services; education; research; physical improvements and housing; cash and in-kind contributions to the community; and additional areas of community support. In addition to these services, the Report shows that the amount of uncompensated care provided by the Medical Center to children in 2015 totaled $55 million.
In addition to highlighting our hospital-wide community benefit, the Report describes efforts by the Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health to address critical issues in children’s lives that adversely impact their health and development. Those efforts include increasing early detection and intervention for at-risk children, improving care coordination for children who need services from different sectors, educating parents and children about asthma management in order to reduce hospitalizations and school absences, and remediating health and safety hazards in homes. The report recognized these efforts as improving the health of children in the Greater Hartford area and beyond.
Both documents highlight our commitment to not only serving children and families, but to also taking measurable steps to improve our community.