Cincinnati Children’s Launches Community Health Improvement Initiative

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is launching a long-term community initiative targeted at improving children’s health in five specific areas: asthma, early childhood development, infant mortality, injury prevention and childhood obesity.

“I applaud Cincinnati Children’s for moving out beyond the hospital walls and even more directly into our neighborhoods to help solve difficult and growing health concerns facing families and children,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. “This is a big commitment, but Cincinnati Children’s has the expertise, the know-how and an incredible passion for kids that will lead to better health outcomes in our communities over the long term.”

This initiative is part of the medical center’s 2015 strategic plan, which calls for the hospital “to lead, advocate and collaborate to measurably improve the health of local children and reduce health disparities in targeted populations,” said Uma Kotagal, M.D., from the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s.

“We want to start small and learn how to improve in collaboration with local communities and agencies,” said Dr. Kotagal. The three communities where Cincinnati Children’s will initially direct its focus are: Avondale (asthma and obesity), Price Hill (infant mortality and early childhood development) and Norwood (injury prevention in young children). These specific projects are in addition to a larger effort to partner with public health, social service and healthcare providers in Hamilton County.

“While Cincinnati Children’s has long been committed to improving the health of children in our local communities, we’re now hitting the streets in partnership with specific communities we serve to infuse a more focused effort to tackle the biggest health problems facing families,” said Dr. Robert Kahn, M.D., Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s. “We are hoping to map how common these health issues are across neighborhoods, to better understand the causes, and draw on the most effective and innovative ideas within the community to improve health.”

Cincinnati Children’s teams already are in place in partnership with various local community organizations. Some of the partner organizations include: United Way, Every Child Succeeds, Hamilton County Public Health, the City of Cincinnati, the City of Norwood, Santa Maria Community Services, Cincinnati Public Schools, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and local community councils, families and youth.

Dr. Kahn stressed that Cincinnati Children’s doesn’t have all the answers to improving the health status of children where they live and go to school, so it is taking a collaborative approach using the knowledge of the people in the neighborhoods along with the expertise of partners in social service organizations, government, churches and schools.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for gastroenterology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties – a distinction shared by only two other pediatric hospitals in the United States. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at

Contact Information

Danielle Jones, 513-636-9473,