History

In 1953 Esther B. Clark, MD, Palo Alto pediatrician, founded Children’s Health Council (CHC) to provide families access to multi-discipline, integrated care for their children.

Dr. Clark realized that the needs of disabled Peninsula children were being grossly neglected. To remedy the situation, she started Children’s Health Council with a $10,000 annual budget, a largely volunteer staff and most importantly, her spirited will.

At a time when many disabled children were stigmatized by society and taken away from their families to be treated in institutions, Dr. Clark insisted on keeping the child as a part of the family and treating the family as a unit.  She believed in a family’s ability to provide a nurturing and safe environment for their child. As the community’s needs have evolved, CHC has changed its focus from serving mentally retarded and physically handicapped children to serving children and teens with behavioral, emotional, developmental and learning challenges while continuing to preserve the original spirit of Dr. Clark’s visionary concept of integrated interdisciplinary care.