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The CHAI school health team led by Community Affairs envisions Children’s National Hospital to be a school-friendly healthcare system that is designed to help all children reach optimal health and achieve their full academic potential. Education is a critical social determinant of health for children and impacts long-term health and economic outcomes. 

We support student and school wellness through coordination and partnerships between the health and education sectors. Coordination and partnerships are at the system or organizational level between the hospital, local school districts and relevant groups that support schools (government, community-based organizations and advocacy organizations).


  • Communication: We strive for communication and data-sharing between schools and the health system in order to improve individual and population health in schools.
  • Coordination: We align our school-based work with community needs and educational system goals in order to improve population health in schools through policy, advocacy and evidence-based frameworks.
  • Education: We educate our healthcare system on academic issues and we educate the school system on child health issues.
  • Data-Driven: We use program evaluation and community-wide data to guide all aspects of our work and to identify gaps and needs.

Core Functions

  • Conduct school health policy and program research. 
  • Convene and facilitate dialogue between the health and education sectors to strengthen partnerships and identify meaningful policy and system change opportunities. For example, in 2018 we hosted a School Health Symposium that convened more than 160 health and education partners focused on improving outcomes for children. Read the report.
  • Provide/facilitate multidisciplinary education to providers, trainees and school staff and students on critical education and health issues. 
  • Document and share Children's National stories of success and impact.
  • Create opportunities for staff to engage with schools and school-aged children through community benefit activities.


The Collaborative for Attendance Resources in Education and Health (CARE-H) combines the efforts of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Children’s National, and parents/caregivers to support school attendance, encourage positive health/social outcomes and support academic success.

School Health Connections Newsletter

The School Health Connections Newsletter is a monthly digest of current events, trainings, resources and more to connect partners, and those interested in school health working and living in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

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School Health Programs and Initiatives

Children's National leads a number of programs that range from clinical care to educational interventions. To learn more about our current school health programs, download our brochure (PDF). 

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School-Friendly Health System FAQs

Take a look at our frequently asked questions about the School-Friendly Health System framework that we developed to help hospitals and health systems deliver better care and patient experience.

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School Health Webinar and Event Recordings

Take a look at our webinar and event recordings on keeping kids healthy through their attendance and how healthcare organizations are impacting communities through coordinated care, technology, mental health and more.

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