With the encouragement of our board member Diana Goldberg and her generous offer to provide matching funds of $500,000, the Advocacy Committee recommended that Child Health Center Board commit a total of $1,000,000 over five years as a founding sponsor of CHAI and the CHAI Data Lab. The Board unanimously approved this pledge at the September 2006 board meeting. CHAI evolved out of Children’s National’s establishment of the nation’s first hospital-based Office of Child Health Advocacy in 1973, one year after the hospital board designated the Child Health Center Board as the Advocacy and Outreach board of the institution. CHAI was created as one of the hospital’s “Centers of Excellence” to proactively address health threats impacting children and to serve as an influential voice in the development of child health policy. The Child Health Data Lab serves as the engine driving CHAI’s advocacy policies by collecting data from the hospital and the community pediatric health centers. The Data Lab positions CHAI to analyze health indicators, conduct research, publish reports, make policy recommendations and develop program interventions that not only benefit children locally, but nationally as well. CHCB’s investment of $1 million supported the establishment of an operational infrastructure that included: executive leadership, professional personnel, administrative support staff, office space and state-of-the-art technological and connectivity resources specifically for the Child Health Data Lab.
CHAI was created as one of the hospital’s “Centers of Excellence” to proactively address health threats impacting children and to serve as an influential voice in the development of child health policy.