3 women in black CHLA T-shirts and a child in a blue shirt, all wearing surgical masks, smile at the camera. The medium-light skin-toned woman wears a colorful head scarf and the medium-dark skin-toned woman makes a piece sign with her fingers.
Mental health, food insecurity and economic concerns identified in the 2022 assessment survey, with COVID-19 having significant impact.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Completes 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment to Help Understand and Strengthen Its Neighborhood

Mental health, food insecurity and economic concerns identified in the 2022 assessment survey, with COVID-19 having significant impact.

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 1, 2022) – Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) completed the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), part of the hospital’s continual commitment to better understand the health of its primary “neighborhood” – Los Angeles County – and the people who live there. The CHNA takes a deep dive into the community’s health and social needs enabling the hospital to implement strategies to address the key areas of the report’s findings.

“Embedded within the DNA of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a longstanding tradition of responding to the health and social needs of our community,” says CHLA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul S. Viviano. “We know all too well that our mission – creating hope and building healthier futures for children – is inextricably tied to the health of our greater community. The Community Health Needs Assessment allows us to identify areas of need, and we look at where CHLA has strengths that may be able to address those needs and where we can influence change or identify the best partners to take the lead.”

The 2022 CHNA tells a story of a population further stressed by an unprecedented virus. In 2016 and 2019, CHNA survey participants identified mental health as the top community priority. That need became even more urgent in the tumultuous COVID-19 years. In 2021, 46.1% of adult Californians reported experiencing anxiety or depression, the 2022 survey revealed. Over a quarter of teens (27.5%) in L.A. County reported needing help with mental and emotional health.

“CHLA’s 2022 CHNA revealed that mental health is a significant concern for many community stakeholders, especially for children, adolescents and young adults,” says Lara Khouri, CHLA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “At CHLA, delivery of mental health services for patients by behavioral health specialists embedded in multiple CHLA specialty divisions has been a longstanding hospital commitment.”

Recently, CHLA has built on this foundation by launching new initiatives tied to the behavioral and developmental health of children, including the formation of the Behavioral Health Institute, the Department of Psychology, the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, the Developmental and Behavioral Outpatient Center. “These programs were inspired by the growing need for these types of services in the community and we shifted our priorities accordingly to help meet those needs,” Khouri says.

To assemble the 2022 Community Needs Health Assessment report, which is required of all nonprofit hospitals every three years by state and federal law, CHLA’s Office of Community Affairs joined with the Center for Nonprofit Management to conduct extensive data research about communities across L.A. County, home to 85% of its patient population. The team engaged a range of stakeholders, including nonprofit organizations, government and social service agencies, local neighborhood groups, schools and colleges. Also surveyed were 350 community members of all ages—from middle-school students and teenagers to adults and seniors, as well as more than 260 CHLA team members.

Other community priorities noted in the 2022 report include homelessness/housing, economic security/poverty, patient/family-centered health care, obesity, food security and the impact of communicable/infectious disease. At least 1 in 5 households reported experiencing food insecurity—a top concern in previous years’ CHNA’s as well.

The findings also help guide development of CHLA’s Community Benefit Implementation Strategies—just as CHNAs in the past have resulted in successful community-centric programs.

The hospital has supported a series of ongoing community impact initiatives:

  • To address food security concerns in 2021, CHLA collaborated with Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office, Rick’s Produce, Manos Que Sobreviven and the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council to distribute 13,200 fresh produce boxes to residents. CHLA also expanded its food reclamation programs and its involvement in The City’s Garden, a community garden at Los Angeles City College that provides education about healthy foods and a supply of fresh vegetables and fruit to neighborhoods often considered “food deserts.”
  • The hospital continued its pipeline workforce development programs for young people, such as LA-HIP, known as the Samuels Family Latino and African American High School Internship Program, offering biomedical science internships to 14 students in 2020-2021.
  • In the past year, CHLA team members have been on the frontlines combating COVID-19, distributing more than 36,000 vaccine doses—nearly 10,000 of which went to school-aged children and teens.

The 2022 CHNA report can be found in its entirety here.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is at the forefront of pediatric medicine, offering acclaimed care to children from across the world, the country and the greater Southern California region. Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the largest provider of care for children in Los Angeles County, the No. 1 pediatric hospital in California and the Pacific region, and is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals. Clinical expertise spans the pediatric care continuum for newborns to young adults, from everyday preventive medicine to the most medically complex cases. Inclusive, compassionate, child- and family-friendly clinical care is led by physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Physicians translate the new discoveries, treatments and cures proven through the work of scientists in The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—among the top 10 children’s hospitals for National Institutes of Health funding—to bring answers to families faster. The hospital also is home to one of the largest training programs for pediatricians in the United States. To learn more, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, and visit our blog at CHLA.org/blog.