Children's HealthWatch 1998-2023


Founding members Drs. Deborah A. Frank, Diana Cutts, Patrick H. Casey, Alan Meyers, Maureen Black, Carol Berkowitz and Luz Neira convene with Share our Strength (Billy Shore, Executive Director) to establish what will become Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program or C-SNAP


With a multi-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, C-SNAP launches data collection in Boston, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

All sites collecting data

All sites collecting data

Dr. Deborah A. Frank testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on expanding the Food Stamps program

Paper on food insecurity in infants and toddlers by John Cook, PhD, Boston PI, published in Nutrition in Clinical Care

JAMA Network Logo Vector - (.SVG + .PNG) - Tukuz.Com

C-SNAP releases its first peer-reviewed and policy publications: “Welfare reform and the health of young children: a sentinel survey in six United States cities” in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the report “The Impact of Welfare Sanctions on the Health of Infants and Toddlers


Dr. John Cook, Boston site PI, testifies before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on C-SNAP’s research demonstrating the harm to mothers and children of U.S. changes to the welfare system

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Increases in Food Insecurity and Hospitalizations from 1999-2002 among Families with Children <3 years old


“Food Insecurity is Associated with Adverse Health Outcomes among Human Infants and Toddlers” paper published in American Society for Nutritional Sciences; this continues to be one our most cited papers

Dr. Deborah A. Frank testifies before the Subcommittee on Human Resources on Welfare Reform Reauthorization

Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH | Maternal and Child Health Bureau Grand  Challenges (MCHB - GC)

Philadelphia site opens with Dr. Mariana Chilton as Principal Investigator

The Impact of Food Insecurity on the Development of Young Low-Income Black and Latino Children & Protecting the Health and Nutrition of Young Children of Color: The Impact of Nutrition Assistance and Income Support Programs

“Heat or Eat” paper published

Dr. Deborah A. Frank testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Budget during the Farm Bill Reauthorization Hearing

“Fuel for Our Future” report published in collaboration with former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy II & Congressman Michael Capuano


C-SNAP changes its name to Children’s HealthWatch

Launch of Witnesses to Hunger, founded by Dr. Mariana Chilton, in Philadelphia

Dr. Frank named “the woman who saved SNAP” due to her key testimony before the House on the Farm Bill

Child Food Security: The Economic Impact on our Nation


Rx for Hunger: Affordable Housing


Reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Programs testimony


Arkansas Children’s Hospital established a food insecurity committee chaired by the Hospital COO and Dr. Pat Casey, ultimately establishing a year round free lunch program and a screening program for food insecurity in its primary care clinic


Boston Witnesses to Hunger is launched

Baltimore Witnesses to Hunger launched, along with Camden, NJ; Hartford, CT & Providence, RI

Publication of 2 item food insecurity screener paper by Erin R. Hager, PhD, in Pediatrics

Hunger Vital Sign™ tool created, leading to innovation & development of implementation of best practices nationally

Housing insecurity paper by Dr. Diana Cutts, Minneapolis PI, published in American Journal of Public Health


Justin Pasquariello becomes the new Executive Director 


“U.S. Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children” was published in American Journal of Public Health, broadening understanding of housing insecurity being bigger than homelessness and just as harmful to young children

Stable, Affordable Housing Supports Young Children’s Health in Philadelphia

A Safe, Stable Place to Call Home Supports Young Children’s Health in Arkansas

Safe, Stable Homes Lead to Healthier Children and Families for Baltimore


Testimony Of Dr. Megan Sandel On The Child Health Impact Of New EA Regulations


Congressional Hearing on Child Hunger


Dr. Eduardo Ochoa becomes Co-Principal Investigator of the Little Rock site


Arkansas General Assembly allocates $500K to Housing Trust Fund while advocates build Permanent Source campaign


Children’s HealthWatch research informs the creation and funding of the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund in 2013. Arkansas General Assembly allocates $500,000 to Housing Trust Fund while advocates built the ‘Permanent Source’ campaign


Due to Children’s HealthWatch research and efforts by Drs. Pat Casey & Eduardo Ochoa, Little Rock site PIs, and AR partners, Arkansas General Assembly allocated $500,000 to the Housing Trust Fund

Children’s HealthWatch research helps to preserve “heat or eat” provision in Farm Bill, which helped to boost benefit amounts for SNAP participants 


Children’s HealthWatch Signs WIC FY2015 Appropriations Letter


Congress appoints Drs. Deborah Frank and Mariana Chilton to the National Commission on Hunger. Dr. Chilton was appointed Co-Chair, and Dr. John Cook was appointed to the Evaluation Committee


Dr. Diana Cutts, Co-Lead PI and Minneapolis site PI, establishes a summer feeding program at Hennepin County Medical Cente

Dr. Megan Sandel testifies before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue in support of increasing the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit

MA EITC increases from 15% to 23% through efforts by CHW led Healthy Families EITC Coalition

Arkansas PI, Eduardo Ochoa, Jr., MD, FAAP, testifies before the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Committee on Agriculture, US House of Representatives

Housing Rx as Health Care project, funded by The Boston Foundation, begins


Drs. Ochoa and Chilton are invited to submit feedback on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry’s Past, Present, and Future of SNAP Hearing Series


Children’s HealthWatch releases “The $1.2 Billion Child Health Dividend”, calculating direct costs of health-related diseases and conditions to food insecurity in early childhood at $1.2 billion annually


Drs. John Cook and Ana Poblacion develop innovative methodology for calculating health-related costs of food insecurity and published a study, “The Cost of Food Insecurity and Hunger in the US”, showing hunger and food insecurity was associated with $178 billion in health and education related costs in 2014 alone


 Housing Prescriptions as Health Care pilot program established at Boston Medical Center led by Children’s HealthWatch

Allison Bovell-Ammon testifies before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue on bills that would fund Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites and expand access to the state Earned Income Tax Credit

Healthy Families EITC Coalition successfully advocates for an expansion of EITC eligibility in the state budget enabling Massachusetts to became first state in the nation to ensure survivors of domestic violence are able to access EITC benefits


Housing instability paper by Dr. Megan Sandel, Boston site PI, published in Pediatrics

Congressman James P. McGovern is named as the first recipient of the annual Children’s HealthWatch Champion award

Dr. Eddie Ochoa testifies before the Committee on Education and Labor, US House of Representatives on the health benefits of federal child nutrition programs

Release of Pathways to Stable Homes report and event amplifying key findings for reducing promoting housing stability through refundable tax credits, child care investment, and eviction prevention

Publication of key research documenting the health effects of losing SNAP or having SNAP benefits reduced as a result of increasing income in the journal Health Affairs

Dr. Ana Poblacion testifies before the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care on the importance of high-quality affordable child care for young children and families

Significant investment of state funding for free tax preparation sites in Massachusetts following successful advocacy by the Healthy Families EITC Coalition

Children’s HealthWatch launches the “Let’s Make Change Happen” video series

Publication of research on the health benefits of SNAP participation for families with young children in the Journal of Preventive Medicine

Dr. Megan Sandel invited to testify before the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives on proposed changes to fair housing

Launch of the Equity Town Hall series

Housing Prescriptions as Health Care study findings published in Health Affairs

Release of evidence-based policy proposals for an equitable response to the needs of families with young children during the pandemic and ongoing advocacy to amplify key policy changes

Allison Bovell-Ammon invited to testify before the Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Representatives on tax relief to support workers and families during the COVID-19 pandemic

Launch of the Children’s HealthWatch COVID-19 Follow-up Study, longitudinal study documenting impact of COVID-19 and pandemic relief benefits on families with young children

Launch of Children’s HealthWatch 2.0 survey in REDCap consisting of a core survey and randomized modules designed to collect robust data on the experiences of families with young children

Children’s HealthWatch successfully advocates for key investments and policy changes in the American Rescue Plan Act

Children’s HealthWatch and Boston Medical Center co-host press event with Senator Ed Markey calling for an expansion of the Child Tax Credit

Dr. Maureen Black testifies before Committee on the Budget, US House of Representatives on the benefits of WIC

Publication of research on the impact of evictions on health and well-being in the journal Pediatrics

Drs. Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba and Megan Sandel invited to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and Children’s HealthWatch commitment for the Conference featured in a White House fact sheet

President Biden cites research co-authored by Children’s HealthWatch on the benefits of the Child Tax Credit in reducing food insufficiency during a speech at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition launches