The Children’s Health Initiative originated at the grassroots level by Working Partnerships USA and People Acting in Community Together (PACT). They approached the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in May 2000 with a proposal to use tobacco settlement funds to help create a health insurance program for children in San Jose. The Board of Supervisors accepted the challenge and directed the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System (SCVHHS) to develop the plan to accomplish their goal of making health insurance available to 100% of the children residing in Santa Clara County with family income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
SCVHHS began planning with PACT and Working Partnerships USA to develop what became known as CHI, and later involved the Social Services Agency and Santa Clara Family Health Plan. Together they created the Healthy Kids insurance product and the outreach effort encompassing Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and Healthy Kids – which is known as the Children’s Health Initiative, approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2000.