Connecticut Children’s Medical Center launched Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health (the Office) in 2012 to optimize the health of children by engaging all sectors that are critical to child and family well-being, rather than focusing solely on treating diseases and disorders.
In the years since, our work has enhanced the ability of underserved, at-risk children and their families to access our own community-oriented programs, as well as access community-based programs and services. We are now known as a national leader in the field of community child health and are excited to launch a new learning collaborative to foster shared learning among peer institutions on how children’s hospitals can enhance their status as critical community resources. We will share our experiences and lessons learned in forming the Office and invite participants to share their experiences and best practices in community child health.
We are fortunate that the Hearst Foundations provided us with a generous grant for the project. We plan to lead the collaborative in conjunction with Boston-based consultant Root Cause. We are thrilled that the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) will be an active participant and is interested in spreading lessons from the collaborative to its broader membership. We are also excited by the impressive list of institutions that are participating:
- Children’s Health System of Texas/Children’s Medical Center Dallas
- Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
- Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
- Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital
- HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) Healthcare
- Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital
- UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
- Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital
Participants will learn to develop or refine their community child health vision and mission; develop an action plan for engaging community programs and partners; adopt tools and strategies to build and sustain hospital-based community child health infrastructure; design an approach to identify and support promising innovations; and develop a measurement framework to demonstrate the impact of their community child health efforts.
The collaborative provides a unique opportunity for participating institutions to showcase their work in the field of community child health. We are excited to see other institutions embrace a path towards strengthening families and promoting the optimal healthy development of all children.
Eminet Gurganus, MPH, is the program development and implementation manager for Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.