Children's Health Council

Round
Fall-Winter 2016
Project Location
Palo Alto, CA
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type
Children, Youth & Families,
Education

Organization

The Children’s Health Council (CHC) was founded in 1953 by Dr. Esther B. Clark, one of the first female pediatricians to practice on the Peninsula, with a mission to remove social and emotional learning barriers for children and families regardless of language, location, or ability to pay. Over the years, CHC has adapted its services to respond to the needs of the community and is currently composed of two schools, two clinics, and a robust community education offering. The Esther B. Clark School is a therapeutic day school, supported by school districts, working with students Grades 2-10 with severe emotional dysfunction. The Sand Hill School, a private school, opened in 2011 and works with K-8 students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences. The Center and Community Clinic offer multiple programs: The Glen Elliott ADHD Program, The Teen Mental Health Initiative, The Ravenswood Initiative, The Early Support Program for Autism (ESPA, in partnership with Stanford), and The Executive Functions Coaching Program. CHC serves approximately 1800 kids and families annually in its schools and clinics, as well as another 3000 through community education.

Situation

CHC is a complex organization that continues to grow and evolve. In 2013, CHC completed a rebranding including a new logo, external signage, website, collateral, messaging, and physical plant remodel. But people don’t know about CHC – it only serves 5,000 families from the large population base on the Peninsula and South Bay. How can CHC become more visible? What is the community’s impression of CHC?

Project Objectives

CHC felt it could benefit from the view of experienced “outsiders” to examine the organization’s culture and practices. They also wanted to better understand what the community thinks of their schools, clinics and community education programs. Ultimately, in order for CHC to find more effective and creative ways to reach its objectives, the goal was to shed light on the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the community’s impression of CHC?
  • How can CHC become more visible?
  • How can CHC establish themselves as thought leaders in the community?

Project Overview

The ACT team interviewed sixteen stakeholders and community members, including board members, CHC division heads, Sand Hill School parents, and parents in the local community. Based on the interview findings, ACT developed surveys for professionals (those who might refer families to CHC) and community members. ACT then implemented and analyzed the surveys in order to better understand the community’s impression of CHC and identify ways for CHC to become more visible to the target market.

Key Recommendations

  • Focus efforts on mothers and referring professionals in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties
  • Galvanize supporters to spread the word about CHC
  • Increase knowledge of CHC to drive referrals
  • Counter outdated impressions that CHC is more expensive than other alternatives
  • Increase social media efforts and website educational content to increase engagement
  • Strengthen community education program to bring in more referring professionals and community members
  • Build more strategic partnerships 

Key Conclusions

  • Interviews and surveys show that word of mouth is the key factor driving awareness.
  • Many community members have referred others to CHC.
  • Surveys show that professionals have a favorable opinion of CHC and most have attended a talk or seminar at CHC.

Final Report Outline

  • Review of project objectives
  • Key interview findings
  • Key survey findings
  • Recommendations