Mission & History


Founded in 2016 with a generous donation from the family of Alan Hassenfeld, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute (HCHII) aims to make a transformative impact on the lives of children and their families in Rhode Island, as well as around the world.

Made stronger by its deep and far reaching collaborations, the Hassenfeld Institute is led by and partners with key organizations throughout Rhode Island. Its 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 the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute will contribute to our understanding of the genetic, prenatal, and early life factors associated with health problems of children, and will develop effective new strategies for prevention and treatment. These strategies will involve careful coordination of medical care, social services, and public health interventions. The research findings and lessons learned in Rhode Island will have broad applicability to other settings in the United States and internationally, amplifying the Institute's ability to improve population health, enhance family life, and help children thrive in school and in their future lives.


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