Community Health Needs Assessment & Implementation Plan

Every three years not-for-profit hospitals are required to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of the local populations they serve. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital completed our CHNA in partnership with Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC): interviewing families, surveying key informants, reviewing public source information, and based on the needs identified in the research, prioritizing areas of focus. Our goal in conducting the assessment was to better understand the health status, behaviors, and needs of children and adolescents in South Florida so that we as a community – patients, families, Nicklaus Children’s, and partner organizations – can optimally support their health and wellbeing. Based on the findings of the 2015 report, the hospital created an Implementation Plan outlining new programs and services targeting the needs identified in the CHNA. Information on both the CHNA and Implementation Plan can be found below.

You can also explore the findings using our interactive® webpage.

You can also explore the findings using our interactive® webpage.

Pediatric & Adolescent Health in South Florida

Implementation Plan

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital services and community initiatives have been rolled out or are currently underway in the following priority areas identified in the CHNA, click each heading to read more:
You can also download the Implementation Plan (PDF).

Nutrition, Physical Activity & Weight

  • Nicklaus Children’s Hospital expanded outpatient nutrition throughout our ambulatory network and migrated from an out-of-pocket payment model to be a covered service by most insurance plans.
  • The hospital supports the education and training of school nurses providing nutrition services via the virtual school nurse pilot (full explanation in ‘Access to Healthcare Services’).
  • Nicklaus Children’s Hospital enhanced our Sports Health program with services covering the full spectrum of screening, injury prevention, treatment, recovery and wellness.
  • GiveMe5: A multidisciplinary, training, educational and marketing tool to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables among children of all ethnicities in South Florida – developed by Nicklaus Children's Hospital and being rolled out in conjunction with additional partner organizations.

Mental Health

  • Nicklaus Children’s is collaborating with local universities and community partners to offer a more coordinated and robust delivery model for psychological screening and consultation.

Access to Healthcare Services

  • Nicklaus Children's Health System formalized its multispecialty group practice, Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), in January 2015. The PSA was established to facilitate operational efficiency and growth of our pediatric sub-specialist services. Since its founding the PSA has recruited physicians in: Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine, Dental, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, and Hospitalist Medicine; as well as added two new specialties to the membership, Infectious Disease and Nephrology.
  • Process underway to extend central scheduling system-wide to streamline and coordinate access to our pediatric sub-specialists.
  • Nicklaus Children’s school health program in partnership with The Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County Department of Health, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools serves children enrolled in the public school system. The program staffs school health offices with a multidisciplinary team of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and social workers who work collaboratively to identify, prevent, or remedy student’s physical and behavioral health needs and provide a linkage to appropriate community care. The program goal is to promote a healthy school environment that is conducive to student wellbeing, fosters positive behavior, and supports higher academic achievement. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital operates 12 sites in Southern Miami Dade.
  • Care coordinators have been and continue to be integrated in the delivery model for specific sub-specialty clinics and services.


  • Nicklaus Children’s Endocrinology now offers a Certified Diabetes Educator and dietician on premises and available at all times - it is the only children’s program in Miami-Dade County to offer this service. Additionally, we’ve hired a Certified Diabetes Educator in Palm Beach, and are now, through the Heart Program, offering obesity clinics in Martin County.

Injury & Violence

  • As part of Nicklaus Children’s School Health Program, we are collaborating with local school districts to ascertain their needs and identify areas where we can support in addressing issues of injury and violence.

Asthma & Other Respiratory Conditions

  • Nicklaus Children’s Hospital launched a pilot with the Department of Health (DOH) targeting children with asthma who are frequent utilizers of healthcare services. The study aims to demonstrate improvement in reduced missed school days and reduced total costs of care.
  • The hospital is exploring outreach and education to promote compliance with asthma treatment plans, as well as preventative measures to address environmental triggers of asthma.

Oral Health

  • Nicklaus Children’s acquired a state of the art dentistry van which will be providing care to underserved communities. Onsite dentists will be able to access oral surgeons and collaborate with other specialists via telehealth.

Potentially Disabling Conditions

  • Nicklaus Children’s Hospital on campus Primary Care Center is building the infrastructure and working through the process of applying for NCQA designation as a Patient Centered Medical Home – with unique competencies in managing care for families with a higher degree of complexity.
  • Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy continue to be staples of our ambulatory network, and with the further growth of our outpatient presence, the health system is extending those services to new markets and working to support patients with activity limitations.
  • The hospital is preparing for the launch of our labor and delivery unit for high risk newborns requiring immediate intervention. The unit will provide the highest quality care, avoid the need for separation of mother and newborn, and give families access to the full team of sub-specialists to ensure safe delivery and treatment for the baby.
  • Nicklaus Children’s is in ongoing discussion with government, private, and community agencies to further support patients with complex, chronic, potentially disabling conditions.

Previous Reports