Mission & History


Founded in 2016 with a generous donation from the family of Alan Hassenfeld, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute aims to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families in Rhode Island and beyond.

Made stronger by its deep and far reaching collaborations, the Hassenfeld Institute is led by and partners with key organizations throughout Rhode Island. Our core leadership resides under the following four institutions: Brown University’s School of Public HealthHasbro Children’s Hospital, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. Researchers and child health professionals from other institutions, such as Bradley HospitalThe Miriam Hospital, and our community partners are also intricately involved.   

The work of our faculty and staff will enhance the understanding of the genetic, prenatal and early-life factors associated with children's health problems and will lead to novel strategies for prevention and treatment. Throughout, these strategies will involve careful coordination of medical care, social services and public health interventions. The discoveries in child health that are made here in Rhode Island will have broad applicability to other settings across the globe, thereby amplifying the Hassenfeld Institute's ability to improve population health and help children thrive.


The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute seeks to integrate research, clinical practice, public health efforts and educational programs to achieve the following four goals:

  • Improve the health of children, making the communities we serve among the world’s healthiest places for children and their families
  • Address the issue of poverty and how it impacts child health
  • Serve as a national and international model for what can be achieved in child health
  • Train the next generation of child health leaders