Poverty. Hunger. A parent with depression or an addiction. Social and economic factors like these can profoundly affect a child’s development in the first five years of life—which in turn can alter the entire trajectory of that child’s life, including physical and mental health, cognitive development, and educational and economic prospects. 

The Children’s Health Initiative at United Hospital Fund is working to build a strengthened primary care system for children that recognizes the impact of these non-clinical determinants of health—and promotes optimal physical health, social and emotional well-being, and cognitive growth during the first five years of life.

Our work falls into three areas:

Building Effective Clinical-Community Partnerships
Our major grant initiative, Partnerships for Early Childhood Development, links pediatric practices at hospitals across the City to community organizations—with the goal of screening young patients and their families for one or more psychosocial risks to healthy development and then connecting families to social service organizations that can help. We have also commissioned research to examine parent perspectives on these efforts.

Shaping a Value-Based Payment Model for Children Enrolled in Medicaid
In collaboration with other stakeholders from across the state, we are working to develop an alternative payment policy for the Medicaid program to improve the health of children and promote optimal development and lifetime success. We are also sharing our experience with other states and national organizations interested in similar reform efforts.

Working with New York State to Develop Child-Focused Policies
We are a lead partner in implementing New York State’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid initiative, a set of ten proposals designed to harness Medicaid’s purchasing power to improve health outcomes for children from infancy to age three. We also served as the key partner to the state in developing the First 1,000 Days on Medicaid initiative through an unprecedented stakeholder process.

Introducing the PEDS Learning Network
Promoting child health equity

The PEDS Learning Network aims to reduce inequities in childhood by increasing the number of young children receiving primary care-based interventions that promote healthy development, address unmet social and developmental needs, and strengthen families. 

Learn more about the growing set of resources on child health equity, the urgency of change in this area, and our work nurturing the next generation of clinical leaders committed to improving early childhood development.

PEDS Learning Network
The Children's Health Initiative Team