Community Health Improvement Plan for Children (CHIP)

What if every child could grow to their full potential?

Girl in a tree house

In early 2017 we brought Dr. GiaQuinta on to get our team started in the right direction. GiaQuinta’s experience as a doctor and a researcher align beautifully with the changes CHIP desires making. In an interview with the Journal Gazette Dr. GiaQuinta expressed her eagerness to work with the local physicians in Allen County to help our community’s youth be happy and healthy.

Being healthy does not mean being perfect. Many children face obstacles beyond their control. But all children should have a shot at being physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and educationally healthy enough to deal with the challenges and opportunities they will face.

In a world where cynicism seems to get stronger every day, the volunteers who came together to develop the Community Health Improvement Plan for Children brought with them optimism and the firm belief that the future can be better than the present. Inside CHIP’s strategic plan, you will see the product of what the best and brightest minds of our County have to offer in order to develop a system to improve the health of all children.

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne was proud to play a role in assisting the dedicated experts who created this Plan and we’d like to thank Allen County Health Commissioner and Foundation Board Member Dr. Deborah McMahan for her leadership and belief that all children matter.


The vision of CHIP is that all children in Allen County are physically, mentally, spiritually healthy and educated to their highest potential. The mission of CHIP is to foster and facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary infrastructure that collaborates in community problem solving and designs integrated solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of our children.

More background

The County Health Rankings show improvement is needed in a variety of factors that negatively impact the health and wellbeing of children in Allen County. These indicators include high rates of low birth weight deliveries, a large proportion of children living in poverty, high rates of tobacco and other substance use, high rates of sexually transmitted infections, high teen pregnancy rates, and significant challenges accessing quality medical and mental health care. Providers and educators also recognized a distinct lack of early childhood developmental and mental health screening among children in Allen County.

The purpose of the Community Health Improvement Plan for Children (CHIP) was to identify those underlying factors that, if addressed, would have the greatest potential for improving the health and wellbeing of children in a relatively short period of time using the resources readily available or that can be garnered within a reasonable period of time.

In addition, the Plan included evidenced-based strategies, activities, and interventions that address these factors to ensure that implementing them will effectively achieve the outcomes desired. It is expected that the teams of professionals will use this plan to help them focus their efforts on those strategies that are most important to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Allen County.

Children with Food Insecurity

1 in every 5 (19.5%) children in Allen County are living with food insecurity

Children Living in Poverty

20% of children in Allen County are living below the poverty line.

Next Steps

The Community Health Improvement Plan for Children (CHIP) includes strategies that are evidenced­based solutions, activities, and interventions that address these factors that will ultimately result in improved outcomes. However, we currently lack the infrastructure that would facilitate the steps necessary to convene stakeholders, review and identify effective models in the literature, develop comprehensive integrated educational strategies, develop advocacy materials for the public and public officials that reflect current topic information, develop short and long term evaluation strategies, and identify funding opportunities and complete grant applications.

The overall goal is to have a small team of smart people together who, every day, think about one and only one thing: How can we improve the health outcomes of children?

Answer: Create the Institute for Children’s Health and Wellness” (ICHW) – designed to develop an infrastructure that provides a sustainable vehicle for the collaboration, advocacy, research and funding, and education necessary for implementation of the current and future strategies developed by the CHIP. The ICHW will also become a repository of evidence-based programs and best-practices for community providers and their initiatives. The ICHW is based on the premise that the good things being done currently can be strengthen and augmented through an interdisciplinary process that facilitates advocacy, education and research. It is also based on the premise that we have the talent and the passion but need an infrastructure and teams that do the day to day work and communication necessary in the 21st century to solve and overcome 21st century problems.

Community Leadership in Action

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is a funder and collaborative partner for CHIP

CHIP Resources

Recent News

On May 31, County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan release the Community Health Improvement Plan for Children (CHIP). You can get a copy of the report here.  CHIP Strategic Plan – May 2016


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