• Article
  • April 28, 2021

Looking Back on 10 Years of CHA

As we build foundations for our future, we look back on what we’ve built and learned together.

By Amy Wimpey Knight

Amy Knight, President, Children's Hospital Association
Amy Knight, President, Children's Hospital Association

In 2010, children’s hospitals envisioned a single organization as the catalyst for improving children’s health and health care through advocacy, improvement and shared learning to accelerate change. After forming in 2011, we celebrate Children’s Hospital Association’s (CHA) 10th anniversary this year.

The vision was aspirational, and the foresight of the members and founding Board of Trustees set a framework to strengthen “one voice” on behalf of the nation’s children’s hospitals and health systems. Looking back at the last decade, we realize how much was accomplished and what we learned together.

One voice has power. Steadfast focus on policy issues resulted in two reauthorizations of CHIP and CHGME, increasing CHGME funding by more than $100 million and extending CHIP for 10 years; the successful defense of Medicaid for children from detrimental legislative efforts in 2017; the passage of the ACE Kids Act; and COVID-19 relief funding of more than $3 billion.

Comparative data and information are compelling. Effective use of data has accelerated and advanced clinical and operating improvements, advocacy efforts and research to inform priorities and progress. Growth in and redevelopment of CHA’s proprietary data sources, notably PHIS and PROSPECT, have resulted in timely, actionable comparative data to drive results institutionally, across organizations and nationally.

Quality and patient safety is a journey. We built strong foundations through the Child Health Patient Safety Organization (PSO), our pioneering work through the original CLABSI collaboratives and our sponsorship and investments in the spread of the Solutions for Patient Safety. Transformative quality improvement work in the CARE Award showed the promise of the ACE Kids Act, and the Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) collaborative developed strategies that will forever change patient outcomes. Yet, we have only just begun.

Partnership is essential. Changing the priority and outcomes of children’s health is a collaborative effort. Learning from and sharing with each other, partnering with children and families, engaging community stakeholders and building coalitions to amplify our voice is bold and humbling work.

Undeniably, 2020 was a pivotal year for our nation, our hospitals, our teams and, most importantly, our children. The pandemic, the reality of racial injustice and the disparities in children’s health these revealed will inform how we must leverage our voice in the future. As we look toward the next 10 years, we must build on these foundations to enable all children to thrive.

On behalf of all of us at CHA, we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Amy Wimpey Knight is president of Children’s Hospital Association. Send questions or comments.