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Center for the Child & Community

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has a mission to improve the life of every child. To support that mission across the state, we’ve founded Children’s Center for the Child & Community. The goal of the center is to help communities support children in the ways they need it most—through their health, safety and well-being.

Children’s Center for the Child & Community focuses on the three things it takes for a child to thrive—a safe environment, sound nutrition and healthy relationships. While what children need to succeed is clear, the how is more of a challenge. Half of Nebraska children live in or near poverty. Nearly half qualify for free or reduced meals at school. At least one in three kids are overweight ore obese, and injuries continue to be the leading cause of death for children.   These foundational health issues cannot be tackled alone.  Successful prevention is a result of collaborative, working partnerships.

The mission of the Center for the Child & Community is to empower communities to value and support the health, safety and well-being of every child.  Working to enhance partnerships and implement evidence-based strategies through training and model programs, research and evaluation and policy and advocacy, the Center has a vision that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

2017 - 2018 Priorities

• Engage in and lead community prevention and clinic/community integration efforts in Lincoln and Omaha, with plans to expand to other communities.

• Develop infrastructure for data-integration systems and explore community data surveillance opportunities.

• Advance community supports for childhood obesity prevention and treatment within a family-center framework and coordinated systems approach.

• Support Prosper Lincoln’s early childhood goal by facilitating a community engagement process to assess, plan and implement strategies to improve child health outcomes related to kindergarten readiness. 

• Expand the Nebraska Go NAP SACC initiative by assisting with the development of a leadership structure and sustainable implementation model so that more child care providers are trained and can reach best-practices for nutrition and physical activity. 

• Design and initiate an injury prevention data demonstration project in the Metro area in partnership with Children’s Trauma and Injury Prevention Program.

Contact Us
• Led by Dr. Karla Lester, a pediatrician and community advocate, the Center brings Children’s vision and resources to address the foundational health issues facing children today. For more information, contact Holly Dingman, the Center manager, at 402-955-6871