Community Benefit

The health of a child is impacted by more than just the medical care they receive: it’s impacted by the community they live, learn, and play in. Our goal is to create communities that are safe and healthy, and empower families to thrive.

What is Community Benefit?

  • Community Benefit is the term used to describe the programs, services and investments made by tax-exempt hospitals that impact overall health of people living in their communities.
  • Hospitals annually file a Schedule H form as part of their 990 tax return that discloses all Community Benefit expenditures and activities.
  • At Children’s Nebraska, Community Benefit investment totaled more than $169 million in 2021.

Children’s Nebraska is committed to improving the health of children in our community, especially those from underrepresented populations, by investing in programs and resources that drive Health Equity. Community Benefit programs and services are key to this commitment.

Community Health Needs Assessment & Implementation

A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a key component of Community Benefit because it guides and informs the work of positively impacting communities where children live, learn and play. Since 2012, Children’s has conducted a Pediatric Health Needs Assessment (P-CHNA) with key stakeholders to determine our community’s child health priorities. The assessment is completed every three years. It surveys and involves local public health departments, other health systems and hospitals, youth-focused community organizations and parents/caregivers.

Based on the 2021 assessment, Children’s was guided by data experts and community health leaders to identify four child health priority areas:

  • Food Security
  • Financial Stability
  • Healthy Housing
  • Pediatric Mental Wellness

Implementation Strategy Plan

The goals and strategies improve the four child health priority areas has been defined in the 2022-2024 Implementation Strategy Plan (ISP).

For more information on Children’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) or Implementation Strategy Plan (ISP), contact us at [email protected].

Programs & Initiatives

Children’s supports and implements several programs and initiatives to meet our goal of creating communities that are safe and healthy, and empower families to thrive.

  • Breastfeeding Promotion and Support

    Children’s Community Health and Advocacy department partners with the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition to strengthen community breastfeeding support networks by engaging stakeholders, providing training and connecting local and state breastfeeding advocates.

    >–Read the Greater Omaha Community Breastfeeding Resources
    >–Read the Breastfeeding Storage Handout

    For more information, contact Holly Dingman at [email protected].

  • Children’s COVID Response and Back to School Efforts

    As the pandemic continues to unfold, juggling childcare with working from home and managing your child’s chronic condition can feel overwhelming. At Children’s, we’re here to help you adapt to this new normal and protect your family from COVID-19, because we continue to care. Children’s is also reaching school nurses and administrators with COVID-19 Resources for School Nurses and Administrators and the COVID Response for School Health Learning Collaborative.
  • Double Up Food Bucks

    To address healthy food access issues Nebraska communities are facing, Children’s Community Health and Advocacy department is partnering with UNL Extension to support the Nebraska Double Up Food Bucks Program. SNAP recipients earn Double Up Food Bucks, in the form of $2 coupons up to $20/day, when they purchase fresh produce at participating grocery stores and farmers markets.

    Learn more

    For more information, contact Holly Dingman at [email protected].

  • ENERGY Nutrition Videos & Workbook

    Children’s teamed up with Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition and Edison Creative to create 7 short nutrition videos and a companion workbook to help parents/caregivers set and meet nutrition goals with their children. Families can go at their own pace and learn good nutrition together.

    View Videos and Download Workbook

    For more information, contact Holly Dingman at [email protected].

  • GoNoodle+®

    GoNoodle+® engages students with movement and mindfulness videos that provide much needed brain breaks to engage and energize kids throughout the school day. This premium service is sponsored by Children’s Nebraska in both Omaha and Lincoln schools.
  • Injury Prevention

    Injury prevention is an initiative of the Emergency Medicine team at Children’s. The program helps inform parents, educators, and child safety advocates about injury prevention.

    We provide many services, including:

    • Teaching families about child safety, injury risks, and prevention.
    • Evaluating solutions for injury risks.
    • Developing effective means to increase safety practices in our community.
    • Providing child safety seats, helmets, and injury prevention education.
    • Providing safety information about various childhood activities, such as biking, swimming, and playing on a playground.

    For more information, visit our Injury Prevention page or contact Travis Hedlund at [email protected].

  • Just Kids Podcast

    With the Just Kids Health podcast, Children’s pediatric experts are here to answer your questions and weigh in on hot topics-to help you keep your child healthy, safe & strong. We’re here for you.


  • The Nebraska Asthma Coalition

    Children’s is serving as the backbone organization for the Nebraska Asthma Coalition (NAC). Learn more about the NAC Strategic Plan & priorities.

    Learn more

  • Nebraska Healthy Schools Program

    Children’s Community Health and Advocacy department is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Education to implement a five year School Health & Wellness Grant from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The goal of the grant is to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity and the management of chronic conditions in schools.

    >–Read the School Health & Wellness Grant News Release

  • PATCH (Patient Assistance Team at Children's)

    PATCH is a family-centered, team-based program to support patients with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental, neurological, or behavioral challenges. It includes the creation and implementation of individualized adaptive care plans largely based on insights provided by parents about their child, such as past health care experiences, negative triggers, calming measures, and effective way to communicate.
    Learn More
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity (PCO) Community Grants & Learning Collaborative

    Childhood obesity is a national health crisis and the main chronic disease children in our community face. We use a community approach to help prevent and treat obesity in children. Children’s Community Health and Advocacy department manages the grants with community organizations and partners with Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition to facilitate the Learning Collaborative.

    Since 2013, Children’s has awarded more than $1 million in grants to non-profit organizations in the area to implement programs that support nutrition and physical activity. The grants have reached more than 52,000 children and adolescents, and provided support to 30 community organizations.

    >–Preventing Childhood Obesity 2021-2022 Grant Recipients

    Lincoln Public Schools Preventing Childhood Obesity Success Story 2021-22

    PCO Community Grant Program 2018-19 Video
    2018 CHNA Report

  • Project Austin

    The overall goal of Project Austin is to provide continuity of care to children with special healthcare needs as they transition from the hospital to home by creating community awareness and providing education to local EMS and emergency departments regarding your child. Currently, this service is available for children with special healthcare needs utilizing Children’s Nebraska as their health home.

    Learn More

  • Project Adam

    Project ADAM, a program focused on making sure schools are prepared for sudden cardiac arrest – can assist schools in becoming more heart safe environments.

    Learn More

  • Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)

    Children’s Community Health and Advocacy department, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics- Nebraska Chapter (AAP-NE), was designated as a Project ECHO replication site in 2017. Project ECHO is a tele-mentoring model that improves capacity and access to specialty care by linking expert specialist teams with primary care providers through teleECHO™ clinics.

    Using teleECHO™ clinics, Children’s convenes experts to review cases in real-time, online learning sessions with regional primary care clinics to help community providers manage difficult patient cases and share their expertise via guidance, feedback, and education on a variety of child health topics. For more information, visit

  • Safe Kids Douglas County

    Safe Kids Douglas County is an initiative of the Emergency Medicine team at Children’s. This initiative is a collaboration of community organizations whose goal is to keep children safe from preventable injuries.

    In addition to Children’s, members of the collaboration include:

    • The Child Passenger Safety Task Force, which conducts car seat checkup events and provides education on car seat safety.
    • The Water Safety Task Force, which provides drowning prevention education to children and parents in the community.
    • The Pedestrian/Bike Safety Task Force, which conducts bike helmet fittings and provides free bike helmets to children. They also provide education about pedestrian and bike safety.
    • The Home Safety Task Force, which provides education on home safety issues such as poisoning, burns, falls, fires, and choking.

    For more information, visit our Injury Prevention page or contact Travis Hedlund at [email protected].

  • Unite Nebraska

    Children’s Nebraska recognizes that caring for children goes beyond the walls of the clinic and hospital. Nearly 80% of health outcomes are driven by factors outside of traditional health care and there is a recognized need to work with community partners to address social needs to better support the health of children. No system currently is in place to help facilitate bi-directional referrals and the advent of the Unite Nebraska partnership offers a unique opportunity to advance our resource and referral practices across Children’s enterprise.

    In 2020, the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII) identified Unite Us as a lead technology partner to launch Unite Nebraska, Nebraska’s first statewide coordinated care network. Unite Nebraska is a robust web-based network designed to seamlessly connect health care providers and social service agencies to better meet the needs of the child and family.

    Learn More

  • Vision Initiative

    Children’s Vision Initiative has 3 components: 1) School Vision Screening 2) the Visionmobile and 3) Child Vision Collaborative

    1. Children’s Visionmobile is the first community mobile unit designed to overcome barriers to pediatric eye care, such as transportation and ease of appointment. With parental consent, children who have failed the school vision screening can obtain a comprehensive eye exam at the school. If the doctor prescribes eyeglasses, eyeglasses will be ordered and fitted at school. This project is a collaboration with Omaha Public Schools (OPS). The Visionmobile team targets schools with greater than 75% free and reduced lunch rates.

    2. School Vision Screening program provides targeted OPS schools mass vision screening of children. This collaborative effort involves the OPS student health division coordinating with Vision Screening coordinator and five local colleges of nursing who carry out the screening.

    3. Child Vision Collaboration involves nearly 2 dozen multidisciplinary community eye care advocates who provide input and guidance concerning gaps and opportunities in improving child vision health.


What Can You Do?

Learn about Children’s Community Health & Advocacy. The mission of the Center is to empower and support the health, safety, and wellbeing of every child.

About Children’s Community Health & Advocacy

Join the Child Health Champion Network


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