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About our community mission

Boston Children’s community mission is to improve the health and well-being of children and families in our local community. The Office of Community Health brings together hospital and community resources to address health disparities, improve health outcomes, and promote health equity.

It was one of the first academic medical centers in the country to expand the traditional missions of patient care, teaching, and research to embrace a fourth mission — community. These efforts have evolved from targeted services that reached smaller numbers of children and families to innovative models that have been proven to improve health outcomes and address health disparities.

Our community efforts are focused on offering programs and partnering with others that offer support and services that benefit children and families in Boston, specifically those which are the most affected by the social determinants of health (issues that impact someone’s overall health such as the consequences of poverty, living in unstable or unsuitable housing, being unemployed or underemployed, and being exposed to violence). While these initiatives primarily benefit Boston area families, Boston Children’s is proud that these programs have informed other efforts, policies and changes in care that improve the lives of children and families across Massachusetts and the U.S.

Understanding community health needs

Mental and behavioral health, obesity and asthma are top health concerns that Boston Children’s consistently hears about directly from families, community organizations and other providers. Families also struggle in getting access to healthy food and identifying free, low-cost physical activities, finding and maintaining stable and affordable housing, and express wanting to feel safe in their neighborhoods. To better understand these health and social issues and identify the best ways for Boston Children’s to address them, the hospital completes an assessment of child and community concerns every three years. The findings inform our plans for how to best use hospital resources, leverage partnerships and implement successful approaches which are detailed in our Community Health Improvement Plan.

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group at community event

Rethinking a hospital’s role in community health

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Making a difference in our community

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Partnering with community organizations to improve child and community health

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