What's in a Name

Posted April 14, 2014 by Charlie Homer

What drives you? Where do you get your passion?

For us at NICHQ it is the smile of a child. The promise of a brighter future. For all children. For all parents. That is what drives us. That is why we get up in the morning and do our work. We strive every day to help you make the systems that produce children’s health become better and better.

And that is why we are changing our name.

When we started NICHQ our focus was exclusively on improving the delivery of healthcare as the vehicle to better child health. We knew that the healthcare children needed and deserved wasn’t the healthcare they were receiving, and we wanted to make it better. We are gratified that we now share this cause with many, many partners. This work is still far from done and remains an essential part of who we are and what we do.

But “fixing healthcare” alone, daunting a task as it is, isn’t enough. It won’t get us to the goal we seek—for all children to achieve their optimal health. We learned this when we started to focus our energies on preventing childhood obesity. We encounter this when we seek to eliminate disparities in breastfeeding. And we are learning it again as we help tackle infant mortality. Healthcare is important—children need access to high quality care. But children also need safe neighborhoods, parents who are healthy themselves, food that is nourishing, and more. Healthcare can’t stand apart from these challenges either, so quality in health care also needs to include links to community to create the conditions that support and produce child health.

To more accurately reflect our purpose, we are making a change in our name, from “healthcare” to “health.” NICHQ’s purpose has always been to improve children’s health. That is our passion and now our name is aligned.

We’re also making one other change: because we’ve been around for 15 years, and there’s still so much work to do, we are also changing from an “initiative” to an “institute.”

You can still call us “NICHQ,” and find us at www.nichq.org, but now NICHQ means the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality.

Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

For NICHQ, these changes may be small in terms of words, but they are large in terms of meaning. Our passion hasn’t changed. We look forward to getting up tomorrow morning and helping you help more children smile.

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