Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota receives $500,000 Kohl’s Cares grant to bolster program addressing community health needs for kids

MINNEAPOLIS – (September 11, 2019): Children’s Minnesota announced today that it received a $500,000 two-year grant from Kohl’s Cares to support the health system’s Community Connect program, an innovative initiative that goes beyond basic medical care to support the social determinants of health impacting kids.

Community Connect is transforming Children’s approach to health care by connecting families to existing community resources, including housing, food and other needs. Beginning with the proactive social determinants of health screening, clinicians at Children’s make real-time referrals to onsite Resource Navigators who can design a responsive plan of action to help families on an on-going basis.  Available resources include food access, transportation services, legal assistance, housing support, early childhood education programs, employment search assistance and more.

“This generous grant from Kohl’s will impact the lives of countless children in our community,” said Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota. “As a pediatric health care system, it’s important that we support kids beyond the care we provide in our hospitals and clinics, and recognize the multitude of factors that contribute to their health. Improving a child’s overall circumstances can make all the difference when it comes to outcomes.”

A plethora of evidence supports the need for such a program in a pediatric health system. Research shows that:

  • Eighty percent of kids’ health happens outside clinic walls – where they live, learn and play.
  • Early childhood development dramatically impacts a child’s future, as the brain grows most rapidly from ages 0-3.
  • Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 12 well-child visits before age 3, giving health care providers regular and frequent opportunities to support children and families. These visits are particularly critical for very young children before they are connected to other supportive systems, such as schools.

Community Connect is currently available at Children’s St. Paul and Minneapolis Primary Care clinics as well as the Adolescent Health, Asthma and Endocrine Diabetes specialty clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The grant from Kohl’s Cares substantially funds Community Connect at Children’s hospital-based Primary Care clinic in Minneapolis. This allows Children’s to focus on engaging other funders and philanthropic donors to potentially expand the program to additional clinical locations where Community Connect programming is needed.

Since 2001, Kohl’s has donated more than $7.4 million to Children’s Minnesota. Kohl’s commitment to Children’s Minnesota is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and soft toys, where 100 percent of net profit benefits families health and well-being initiatives nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised nearly $360 million through this merchandise program. For more information, visit

About Children’s Minnesota

Children’s Minnesota is the seventh largest pediatric health system in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Additionally, Children’s is Minnesota’s only Level I pediatric trauma center inside a hospital dedicated solely to children. Children’s maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children’s health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. This work is made possible in large part by generous philanthropic and volunteer support from individuals and organizations throughout the state and region. An award-winning health system, Children’s received Magnet® recognition from The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and was verified as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons in 2018. Additionally, Children’s is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital. Please visit

Kaitlyn Kamleiter