UVM Medical Center - Facility Exterior

Community Health Improvement

 (802) 847-6545

111 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

Monday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

About Us

The Community Health Improvement (CHI) Department is a UVM Health Network shared service that works to strengthen the health and wellbeing of our communities. We are a key part of the UVMHN’s commitment to and leadership of DEI efforts by including the voice of the community to address barriers and increase equitable care. 

CHI partners with other non-profits, businesses, community leaders, and governmental agencies to offer programs, educational offerings, and support to other organizations to address things like mental health, social determinants of health and increased access to care.  By joining together, we work to improve health equity and the overall health of the community. This includes: 

Community Benefits are programs and activities designed to improve health and wellbeing in our communities and increase access to healthcare. Employees and departments in the UVMHN do this in a variety of ways. Healthcare Partners invest in other organizations or community groups when that work is aligned with our health priorities. CHI tracks and reports this information as part of IRS requirements, but also to capture and increase the ways we support the health of the community outside our hospital’s walls.  By investing time and resources in our partners and those who serve marginalized groups, we can work toward addressing the unfair systems that create inequities.

Please reach out to Marcela Bradova at CommunityBenefit [at] uvmhealth.org (CommunityBenefit[at]uvmhealth[dot]org) or (802) 798-9029, to learn more about Community Benefit Programs.

Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

Every three years, all hospitals within UVM Health Network conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in collaboration with key partners. CHNAs help us to better understand the challenges and opportunities involved in creating a healthier community. Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) or Community Support Plans (CSP) document the progress made to address these community health priorities.  

Healthcare Partners across UVMHN are working together to share and adopt best practices for conducting health assessments and creating CHIP/CSPs, including equitable community engagement approaches, robust data collection methods, and strategic investment in health priorities. Visit our website at https://www.uvmhealth.org/health-wellness/uvm-health-network-community-benefit or reach out to Molly Lawrence at molly.lawrence [at] uvmhealth.org (molly[dot]lawrence[at]uvmhealth[dot]org) to learn more.

The Accountable Community for Health (ACH) model was created to form alliances that address the overall population health of those communities by improving quality of care, increasing health equity, and reducing costs. The Vermont Blueprint for Health, a state healthcare reform program, requires that each health service area have an ACH. 

CHI is the backbone for the Chittenden Accountable Community for Health (CACH).  Multisector, community-based partnerships represent health care, public health, social services, and community members to address the unmet health and social needs of individuals and communities within Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. CACH works to address the top 3 community health priority areas that were identified in the 2022 CHNA. The foundation of this work includes creating a Health Priority Team (I.e., Action Team) for each of the top 3 health priorities areas.  For 2022 the teams are: (1) Cultural Humility and Inclusive Healthcare (2) Housing (3) Mental Health and Well-being.   

CACH Health Priority Teams are working to design, implement and monitor strategies that address the top community health priorities as part of the 2023-2025 CHIP for Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties.  Go to CACH VT to learn more about CACH, and opportunities to get involved.  

Resources on the ACH model in Vermont:  

The University of Vermont Medical Center's Community Health Investment Fund (CHIF) currently invests around $1 million annually in programs and initiatives through a competitive grant process.  Investments help support the priority areas identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

Website: Community Health Needs Assessment (uvmhealth.org)

The Fund is overseen by the UVM Medical Center's Community Health Investment Committee (CHIC). The Committee includes seven UVM Medical Center employees, seven community members.

Resources: Grants (uvmhealth.org) 

The Pediatric Outreach program works to create connections between UVM Medical Center, UVM Children’s Hospital and community organizations in order to best meet the needs of children and families living in our community. Areas of work include addressing unmet health-related social needs such as food insecurity, mental health, safety, and wellbeing and for target populations such as New Americans. 


Reach out to Kristin Fontaine at Kristin.fontaine [at] uvmhealth.org (kristin[dot]fontaine[at]uvmhealth[dot]org) for more information.

In 2023, the Immigrant  Health Initiative was created at the request of community partners in alignment with the 2022 UVMMC CHNA, specifically to address cultural humility and inclusive healthcare needs. Due to societal inequities, these populations often feel they are not seen, heard or valued by healthcare systems. The initiative will address healthcare provider education, improve community health literacy, increase resources and access and coordination of high-quality healthcare delivery to Vermont's immigrant population at UVMMC. 

Reach out to Kristin Fontaine at Kristin.fontaine [at] uvmhealth.org (kristin[dot]fontaine[at]uvmhealth[dot]org) for more information 

Health Literacy is defined as the ability to find, understand, and act on health-related information.  We are committed to becoming a more health literate organization by helping patients and community members navigate the health care system, engage in the health care process, and manage their health. 

Our work includes: 

  • Raising awareness of health literacy strategies
  • Communicating in a way that is more accessible, inclusive, and understandable  
  • Offering trainings and resources on health literacy topics like plain language and teach-back

Reach out to Christina Keating at Christina.Keating [at] uvmhealth.org (Christina[dot]Keating[at]uvmhealth[dot]org) for more information. 

Community Initiatives

CHI team members work alongside our partners on various community collaboratives, boards and working groups for addressing health priorities and related social needs. Additionally, team members play the role of facilitator and backbone staff for several committees and working groups across UVMHN.

These include:  

  • 802 Smiles
  • 9-26 Coalition
  • Building Bright Futures – Chittenden Regional Council
  • Chittenden Accountable Community for Health (CACH)
    • Social Connectedness Action Team (Focus: Suicide Prevention)
    • Screening and Intervention Action Team (Focus: Suicide Prevention)
    • Reducing Suicide-related Stigma Action Team (Focus: Suicide Prevention)
    • Mental Health and Well-being Health Priority Team
    • Housing Health Priority Team
    • Cultural Humility and Inclusive Healthcare Health Priority Team
  • Chittenden County Network for Children, Youth and Families (KidsNet)
  • Community Health Investment Committee (CHIC)
  • Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Deafblind Health Access
  • Health Anchor Network
  • Homeless Alliance Strategic Planning Subcommittee
  • Hunger Council of Chittenden
  • Mental Health and Housing Investment Committee
  • Military Kids Vermont
  • Northwest Regional Prevention Network
  • RISPNet
  • Safe Kids Vermont
  • United Way Program Funding Team
  • UVMMC Child Protection Team
  • Vermont Language Justice Project
  • Vermont Oral Health Coalition
  • Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Refugee Health Committee
  • United Way Mental Health Initiative
    • Co-Chair Workforce Development Action Team
    • Suicide Prevention Action Team
    • Youth Action Team
  • Chittenden County Homeless Alliance - Steering Committee
  • Vermont Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee
  • VT Suicide Prevention Data and Surveillance Work Group
  • UVM Medical Center Philanthropy Advisory Committee
  • Larner College of Medicine Admissions Committee
  • UVM Medical Center Sponsorship Committee

The UVMHN is a member of the national association for healthcare organizations that is committed to leveraging their hiring, purchasing, investing and sustainable (climate) business practices. Recognizing the power of large institutions and the collective social impact that our actions can have on the long-term health of our communities, we are working toward creating strategies that align with the HAN mission and create equitable health outcomes for everyone.

To learn more about HAN click here: Healthcare Anchor Network – a growing national collaboration of 65 leading healthcare systems building more inclusive and sustainable local economies  

Poison Education and Prevention

The Northern New England Poison Center (NNEPC) is a certified regional center serving Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The Center provides fast, accurate information and expert advice to address common poison-related questions and concerns to both health care providers and the public. 

The Vermont poison prevention education program provides education around general poison prevention tips, medication safety, drug abuse/misuse, suicide prevention, cannabis, e-cigarettes and vaping, and environmental exposures. For information and resources see: Poison Prevention at the Northern New England Poison Center (uvmhealth.org)

For non-emergencies, contact: Gayle Finkelstein at gayle.finkelstein [at] uvmhealth.org (gayle[dot]finkelstein[at]uvmhealth[dot]org)

To reach the NNEPC 

Call 1-800-222-1222, toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for confidential help. TTY and interpreter service available. 

Chat Online at: Northern New England Poison Center - Serving Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont (nnepc.org)

Text Poison to 85511