Children's Hospital Colorado

Transforming Community Health

A girl in a yellow dress hula hoops with her family in a community park.

Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI)

Advocating for kids – in and out of the hospital ™

Children’s Hospital Colorado has partnered with the community to advocate for the health and safety of kids. Our work goes beyond the hospital walls and into the communities we support. Children’s Colorado is proud to lead the effort to bring solutions to some of our community’s most pressing issues.

To reinforce our hospital’s ongoing commitment to health improvement, Children's Colorado established the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI). CHAI’s mission is to positively impact the health and safety of children by working collaboratively with the public and our community partners. By bringing people together and leading the way in child health and safety, CHAI builds and operates evidence based programs aimed at creating a thriving community for children.

Population health

The future of health care depends on how we support the whole picture of a person’s health and wellbeing. We must implement creative methods to ensure access to care for the entire population while we also empower communities to focus on prevention. We call this population health.

Community benefit activities

As a nonprofit pediatric hospital, our bottom line is kids – this means that positive hospital margins are reinvested into the health and wellbeing of children. Putting that work into numbers isn’t easy. However, in 2016, Children's Colorado reported more than $190 million in “community benefit” activities – that is, activities we conducted as a hospital that went beyond caring for patients and made an impact on our community at large. This includes everything from dental screening and immunization clinics for kids, to financial counseling and car seat education for parents.

Community health needs

Children’s Colorado conducted Community Health Needs Assessments to better understand the current state of children's health in Colorado communities.

Children’s Colorado conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment in 2015 to better understand the current state of children's health in Colorado, as well as the interests and concerns of Colorado parents. Through our examination of both the demographic data and the community's input, we were able to better understand the best way we could fulfill the hospital's mission of improving the health of children. We have spent the last year listening to the concerns and interests of our community, and are pleased to share the results of those conversations.

The information gathered as a result of the assessment led to identifying the top six priority health needs:  

Community Health Needs

In response to these findings, Children's Hospital Colorado developed a Community Health Action Plan defining how CHCO will address these six main child health challenges, in targeted zip codes, over the next three years. The strategies and programs outlined in the action plan demonstrate our ongoing commitment to children, families, partnerships with local businesses, health organizations and our community.

The Community Health Action Plan serves as the hospital's fulfillment of the requirement under the Affordable Care Act to develop a plan outlining the strategies it will implement to meet the identified needs in the hospital's Community Health Needs Assessment.

If you are having difficulty downloading a copy of the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment or would like a copy of the report, please contact Julie Gibbs, Community Health Manager by email at or by phone at 720-777-8780.

Children’s Colorado is also proud to present the 2016 El Paso County Community Health Needs Assessment. Through this health needs assessment, we have come to better understand the health needs facing diverse populations in our community and specifically in El Paso County. This report will inform our future endeavors as we prepare for the launch of our new campus in Colorado Springs. Opening in 2018, this new state-of-the-art facility will include up to 100 inpatient pediatric beds, a neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric intensive care unit and operating rooms. More importantly, it will be the anchor for our expanded efforts to contribute to the health and wellbeing of El Paso County children.

Next we will develop an implementation plan to address the priority needs that have been identified. The implementation plan will be the roadmap for our public health, philanthropic and advocacy work for the next three years.

This Implementation Strategy summarizes the plans for CHCO to sustain and develop new community benefit programs that address the prioritized needs that emerged from the 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and respond to other identified community health needs.