Children’s Health Board History

Board Origins

Founded in 1866 in response to concern over the level of starvation among Civil War orphans, Children’s Health Board began the Washington Diet Kitchen to feed sick and hungry children. Later, our Board members manned milk stations, giving free milk to needy children in five different neighborhoods in Washington, DC. As concern for the health of these children grew, the milk stations became Child Welfare Stations, known as Child Health Centers. By 1913, these centers provided medical supervision and parent education, and their mission was to “keep the well child well.” Today, the Goldberg Pediatric Centers are the direct descendant of these Child Welfare Stations.

In 1925, the Child Health Centers affiliated with Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). Over the years, we have targeted a number of issues as part of our commitment to advocate for the most vulnerable children. These initiatives including increasing immunizations, preventing lead poisoning, and combating child abuse and neglect. In 1972, the CNMC Board directed that the Child Health Center Board (CHCB) assume responsibility for child advocacy. In 1974, we played an instrumental role in founding the first-in-the-nation Office of Child Health Advocacy at CNMC. In 2013, CHCB changed its name to Children’s Health Board (CHB).
The Children's Health Board can trace its history to 1866 when it was formed to fight starvation among Civil War orphans

The Board Today

Over the years, we have evolved into a visionary partner, affiliate, and service board of Children’s National with a history of championing innovation and best practices in pediatric community health. Through our annual grants program, CHCB supports promising health and well being-oriented initiatives at Children’s National—from concussion prevention, immunizations, and congenital heart defect screening in infants– as well as numerous health initiatives through the pediatric community clinics of Children’s National serving those most in need.

The long-standing role that the Child Health Center Board has played in children’s health advocacy is a major part of the history of advocacy at Children’s National. We are proud to be founding sponsors (2006) of the new Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), a major commitment for our Board that was made possible by matching funds provided by Diana Goldberg. We are also proud founding sponsors (2009) of the new Obesity Institute, which was another major commitment for our Board regarding children’s health and advocacy.