From the start, the Children’s Fund of Connecticut and our nonprofit subsidiary the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) have been working to improve the quality of children’s lives by building stronger health systems.

The Children’s Fund, a public charitable foundation and supporting organization of Connecticut Children’s, was founded in 1992 with funding from a broad coalition that included hospitals and the business community.

CHDI was created and funded by the Children’s Fund of Connecticut in 1997. Initially established as an independent not-for-profit organization that began operating in 1999, CHDI became a subsidiary of the Children’s Fund in 2004. However, CHDI has retained independent nonprofit status.

The Children’s Fund serves as a financial catalyst. CHDI translates the Fund’s mission into action.


1989: Newington Children’s Hospital and Hartford Hospital filed a Certificate of Need (CON) with the State to consolidate pediatric health services and build a new children’s hospital in Hartford.

1990: A study of the CON application validated the need for an acute care children’s hospital in Hartford and proposed the establishment of the Children’s Fund in order to evaluate and improve health systems for children in Connecticut.

1992: The Children’s Fund of Connecticut was founded. The initial endowment of $21 million included $15 million from Newington Children’s Hospital, endowed when the hospital dissolved and the assets were transferred to build Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

1997: The Children’s Fund incorporated the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut in December to serve as its operating arm and began the process of establishing the institute.

1999: CHDI moved into full operation with an independent Board, an Executive Director (Judith Meyers) and a commitment of five years of funding from the Children’s Fund of Connecticut. CHDI was established as a partnership with Connecticut’s two major universities with medical schools: the University of Connecticut and Yale University. The aim was to bring the resources of these institutions to bear on improving health outcomes for children in Connecticut.

2017:  President and CEO Judith Meyers, who led the organizations for 19 years, announced plans to step down and transition leadership to Jeffrey Vanderploeg. Jeff was appointed President and CEO of CHDI on October 1, 2017. 

2018:  Jeffrey Vanderploeg was appointed President and CEO of the Children's Fund of Connecticut on October 1, 2018. 

Read CHDI: Celebrating Twenty Years or contact us to learn more.