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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Health Equity Receives $1M Grant from Bank of America

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Center for Health Equity received a $1 million grant from Bank of America to launch the Block Builds Program and improve children’s overall health in West Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia residential segregation and economic inequality have created neighborhoods of concentrated poverty with immense inequities. For example, in West and Southwest Philadelphia more than one-third of children live below the poverty line.

Bank of America’s investment will provide critical start-up funding for CHOP’s Center for Health Equity and enable a targeted health housing invention, Block Builds, which will extend the hospital’s evidence-based Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus (CAPP+) to make over 100 homes in West Philadelphia healthier, directly impacting more than 400 individuals. Through collaborations with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia and Habitat for Humanity, as well as minority- and women-owned contractors identified through The Enterprise Center, homes are repaired and asthma triggers are removed at no cost to families. Block Builds will now expand our reach to doing exterior repairs for the entire neighborhood.

“CHOP has long understood that a child’s health is greatly influenced by factors that go beyond medical care,” said Ron Keren, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.” As much as 80 percent of a child’s health and well-being is linked to the conditions in their environment, like access to high quality education, healthy food, green spaces, clean air and water, and safe housing and neighborhoods. Building upon CHOP’s 5-year, $25 million Healthier Together initiative, the Center for Health Equity continues CHOP’s commitment to addressing those factors as a path to improving children’s overall health and well-being.“

“Health starts at home, and our research shows that improving housing can improve health,” said Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, Chief Health Equity Officer of the Center for Health Equity and Medical Director of the Community Asthma Prevention Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The tremendous funding for Block Builds will give us the opportunity to help more families achieve optimal health outcomes, as we know that access to housing, food security, and safety are necessary for everyone to live a healthy life.”  

This partnership in Greater Philadelphia with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is part of Bank of America’s commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity by supporting innovative initiatives to improve health outcomes in communities of color.

“Lack of access to health care for communities of color has only been exacerbated by the pandemic in Philadelphia,” said Jim Dever, president, Bank of America Greater Philadelphia. “Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s work to address barriers to health care and address the socioeconomic and environmental factors in West Philadelphia through the Block Builds program will ultimately drive greater economic mobility and build stronger communities in Philadelphia.”

Since 2021, Bank of America has invested more than $66 million nationally to address needs related to health in the communities it serves. This includes local philanthropic support, an expanded partnership with CVS Health to deliver free flu vaccine vouchers to underserved communities, continuing work with Feeding America nationally and locally to address barriers to healthy eating and supporting mental health initiatives for young people of color.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

A non-profit, charitable organization, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, the 595-bed hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. The institution has a well-established history of providing advanced pediatric care close to home through its CHOP Care Network, which includes more than 50 primary care practices, specialty care and surgical centers, urgent care centers, and community hospital alliances throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as a new inpatient hospital with a dedicated pediatric emergency department in King of Prussia. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.