November 15, 2018 (Boston, MA). Health Care For All (HCFA) is excited to announce it has received $300,000 over three years from Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health. This funding will enable HCFA to build a stronger consumer voice that focuses on promoting proactive child health policies, expanding the Children’s Health Access Coalition, defending children’s health care coverage on the state and federal level, and ensuring the MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations meet the medical and health-related social needs of children. As part of this project, HCFA will also coach other Boston Children’s Funded Partners to strengthen their own skills in advocating for systemic policy changes that benefit children and families.
“Too often, children are overlooked in the development of health care policies. This grant will enable us to represent the needs of children at discussions where health care decisions are being made,” said Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. “This grant will allow us to work closely with many on-the-ground organizations to bolster their voices. It is critical that policymakers hear from direct service providers and understand what they need to most effectively support children and families.”
The grant to HCFA is part of Boston Children’s Hospital’s total commitment of $53.4 million to support community organizations and agencies in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of children and families in Boston and across Massachusetts. Over the next 10 years, Boston Children’s will distribute these funds as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need Program. This is in addition to the hospital’s ongoing support for programs and partnerships.
“For more than 25 years, Boston Children’s has dedicated resources and used its expertise to improve child health outcomes beyond the walls of our hospital,” says Sandra L. Fenwick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. “Through the Collaboration for Community Health, we’re able to further extend by helping more community partners to implement programs and strategies that are vital to a child’s overall health.” Adds Fenwick,
“This means we’re also looking at the social determinants that affect a child’s health such as the environment that surrounds them, their housing conditions and any consequences from experiencing violence or growing up in poverty.”
Funded partners in the initial round of grants announced by Boston Children’s will focus on implementing strategies and projects in three key areas: Zero to Five Child Health and Development, Family Housing Stability and Economic Opportunity and Community Physical Activity, Recreation and Food Access. These efforts will help ensure that Boston children will enter kindergarten ready to succeed, children will be food secure and have access to physical activities and that families have opportunities to thrive and live in stable housing.
The strategy to distribute funds followed a two-year community engagement process to inform how Boston Children’s could make a long-lasting impact. That process resulted in identifying several strategic funding areas to address the health and social needs of children and families.
“This is a long-term plan to help children, families and communities become stronger and healthier,” says Shari Nethersole, MD, Executive Director for Community Health. “Our goal is to help the Collaboration’s partners not only grow and lead, but to share the successes and lessons learned when implementing programs and policies that tackle complex health and social problems.”
Health Care For All is a nonprofit organization that promotes health justice in Massachusetts by working to promote health equity and ensure coverage and access for all. We achieve this as leaders in public policy, advocacy, education and service to consumers. Our free HelpLine (800) 272-4232 helps Massachusetts residents apply for health insurance. Follow us on Twitter @HCFA and Facebook.
Boston Children’s Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, more than 3,000 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 11 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. For more, visit our Vector and Thriving blogs and follow us on social media @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook and YouTube.