CHOP Cares Grant Program Celebrates Five Years, Announces Expansion

CHOP employees use grants to fund innovative programs in their communities

Published on in CHOP News

Group of people Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) today marked the five year anniversary of its CHOP Cares Grant Program with an event featuring community leaders and innovative presentations from grant recipients.

Extending beyond their commitment to caring for children at CHOP and in the CHOP Care Network, many hospital employees have a strong connection to and are deeply involved in their surrounding communities, volunteering time outside of work hours to promote health and wellness.

“At CHOP, our employees work incredibly hard, every day, to care for children in our hospital and in the community, and many have very creative ideas on how to improve children’s health,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We started the CHOP Cares Community Grants Program five years ago to help turn our employees’ innovative ideas into reality.”

CHOP Cares grants fill a specific health or wellness-related need in one of the many Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities that CHOP serves, as well as programs within CHOP’s clinics. Most grants are designed to serve children in the communities where they live, and all projects are required to make a demonstrable community impact.

“Today, we announced CHOP Cares Excel, a new initiative that awards up to $35,000 to past CHOP Cares Grant recipients whose projects have made a meaningful impact on the community so they can grow them and serve even more children,” Bell added.

To date, CHOP has awarded 155 grants and close to $500,000 for employees’ projects.

“CHOP employees want to improve the health of children in our community and that’s why we offer them a chance to complete for these grants — and encourage ongoing volunteer efforts,” said Peter Grollman, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at CHOP. “These grants, which provide up to $5,000 in seed funding, come from the CHOP Cares Community Fund, which is funded from the sale of CHOP specialty license plates, as well as individual donations and hospital contributions.”

Today’s featured grant recipients included: Melissa Argraves, MD, and George Dalembert, MD, who utilized the grant to offer free tax preparation services in a pediatric primary care clinic; Linda Hawkins, PhD, MSEd, LPC, who implemented the grant by creating four support groups for CHOP’s Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic; and Meg Kawan, MD, MPH, IBCLC, who used the funding to form a breastfeeding support group at CHOP’s Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center. Additionally, Vi Nguyen, RN, purchased materials for a healthy story time program and Zumba class for the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center, which houses a Free Library branch, the Philadelphia Health Center 2, CHOP Primary Care in South Philadelphia and the DiSilvestro playground.

As part of its ongoing commitment to give back to the communities it serves, Citizens Bank has made generous contributions over the years to support the community programs at the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center, building on a CHOP Cares Grant. Citizens Bank donated $50,000 for this project last year and today announced funding of an additional $50,000 for next year.

The CHOP Cares Grant program has also provided seed money for treasured CHOP programs, including the Health and Wellness Garden at the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center; the Healthy Weight Program Food Pharmacy, which provides healthy food to families experiencing food insecurity; and the Keto Kitchen, where families learn to prepare food for children who are on the ketogenic diet to treat neurological conditions.

Learn more about CHOP Cares Community Fund and Grants Program.

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, (267) 258-6735 or

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