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Global Handwashing Day

Hand Washing Mural

► Washing your hands keeps germs away and helps keep you healthy.  Last year, Childrens' Health Fund & GlaxoSmithKline taught kids in Harlem why it is so important to keep our hands clean. Pictured here is the "healthy hand" mural created by the kids!

Photo Friday: New CHF Crisis Unit Launches in Louisiana Community Impacted by Oil Spill

  From left to right:  CHF Co-Founder and President Irwin Redlener, MD, CHF Board Member and Chair of CHF's Advisory Council Jane Pauley, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Disaster Medical System Andy Garrett, MD, New Orleans Children's Health Project Medical Director Alina Olteanu,MD, Plaquemines Parish Parent Kindra Arnesen, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, and the Honorable Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano celebrate the launch of a new mobile health clinic that will bring a pediatrician to lower Plaquemines Parish, where doctors have been scarce for years and the community has been significantly impacted by the BP oil spill.

Photo Friday: Caring for Teens in San Francisco

At Children's Health Fund's San Francisco Peninsula Children’s Health Project, Dr. Seth Ammerman (pictured here) and team provide comprehensive medical care to homeless and uninsured adolescents aged 12 - 25.

Congratulations, Dr. Alina Olteanu!

by Arturo Brito, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President,
Children's Health Fund

One of the unique aspects of Children's Health Fund (CHF) programs is the doctor/patient relationships that develop.  Because many of our patients don’t have access to a plethora of health care services, our doctors go above and beyond enhancing the health of their patients and often become mentors, friends, and advocates for families within the communities they serve. Alina Olteanu, MD, PhD, FAAP, Medical Director of CHF’s New Orleans Children’s Health Project and head of the section of Community Pediatrics and Global Health in the Tulane School of Medicine, is no exception.  Since 2009 Alina has run NOCHP, providing care to the poor and underserved children in New Orleans.  Her patients say she is not only a doctor, but also a great friend, who is available all hours of the day.   

This weekend, we are proud to announce that Dr. Olteanu will receive the 2010 Council on Community Pediatrics Local Heroes Award at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, CA.  This annual award recognizes Dr. Olteanu’s leadership through community action and advocacy for kids in the New Orleans community. 

Congratulations, Alina we are proud of your work and so happy you’re being recognized for all that you do for the children of New Orleans!

Faces from the Field: Darlene Ray, MD

by Caitlin McFeely, Communications Associate, Children's Health Fund

This week, we’re so happy to introduce you to Dr. Darlene Ray, who serves in our Southern Arizona Children’s Health Project.  Enjoy!

Caitlin (C):How long have you been working with CHF?

Darlene:   I first learned of CHF as a pediatric resident, working with Randy Christensen on his mobile unit dedicated to the homeless teens in Phoenix.  My work on the Southern AZ project began this past summer in June. 

C: What made you want to work for this type of organization?

Darlene: Since finishing my training 5 years ago, I have had a strong desire to work with the underserved in my community.  I believe that by increasing a child’s access to quality, preventive medical care, we can positively impact his/her future.  Through Children’s Health Fund, I now enjoy the supportive network of dedicated, compassionate health care providers who seek to accomplish that same goal.  Working on the mobile medical clinic has allowed me to provide quality medical care for children who otherwise are limited to only emergent care. 

C: What is your favorite part about working on the mobile clinic?

Darlene: Working with families with few resources and who face challenges on a daily basis can be difficult at times.  Knowing that we can help, even if in a small way, gives me great satisfaction. 

C: What’s your favorite thing to do when not working?

Darlene: When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 sons, hiking, listening to or playing music, salsa dancing and traveling.

C: What are the biggest challenges children and families in your region are experiencing in accessing health care and how are you addressing them?

Darlene:  One of the greatest challenges our families face is lack of insurance coverage.  For many, it is due to cuts in state funding that have left a large portion of children (and adults) uninsured. For some mixed status families (children born in the US to parents who are not citizens), we have learned that they do not apply for Medicaid for their children out of fear.  Fortunately, with our sliding fee, we do not have to turn any of these families away.

C: What are some unique programs or events that your program has to offer?

Darlene: Our mobile medical clinic is new to our community, and we have been focusing much of our efforts in trying to inform the community of what we can offer.  Families are often surprised when they see that we have an electronic health record system, we can check their child’s vision and hearing, give vaccines, perform blood draws and perform comprehensive medical exams.   It also gives me great satisfaction to know that we are able to provide care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.  In essence they can theoretically be our patient for their lifetime.  That is precisely what a medical home is meant to be.  We just happen to be a home on wheels!

Photo Friday - Congrats to Jennifer Lopez!

Children's Health Fund congratulates Jennifer Lopez on being selected as one of the new American Idol judges.  Pictured above from Children's Health Fund 2007 Gala (from left to right):  Dr. Irwin Redlener, Karen Redlener, Paul Simon, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony.

New Health Reform Provisions to Help Kids Start Today!

by Caroline DeRosa, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, Children's Health Fund

Thumbs Up for New Health Provision to Help KidsToday, on the six month anniversary of the passage of health reform, several new health care provisions that greatly benefit children will begin to apply:

  • Eligible young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plan;
  • Insurers cannot impose lifetime limits on coverage of “essential health benefits”;
  • Insurers may no longer charge co-payments, deductibles or co-insurance for preventive services; and,
  • Children younger than 19 can't be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Many children, especially those who are poor and underserved, often do not get the medical care they need. These children and their families face numerous barriers in accessing critically needed services—not having insurance coverage; being denied coverage because of a previous illness; or not having the money to pay co-pays and/or deductibles. This first wave of implementation of the health reform law will begin to chip away at these barriers and greatly benefit children who currently face overwhelming obstacles in getting comprehensive quality care.

Number of People in Poverty/Uninsured Rises in 2009

by Caroline DeRosa, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, Children's Health Fund

The U.S. Census Bureau released a few alarming statistics last week.  The first finding is that 43.6 million people, or 1 in 7, were in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, in 2008.  The second reported that the number of uninsured Americans jumped to almost 51 million in 2009, from 46.3 million uninsured in 2008. 

As we know all too well here at CHF, children living in poverty often do not get the medical care they need. Poor and underserved families face numerous barriers in accessing critically needed services, such as no insurance coverage or lack of transportation to get to the doctor.  Without access to regular health care, many children go without care for common ailments like asthma or cavities, which can lead to bigger and long term problems if left untreated. 

Statistics like these are an important wake up call for us all.  As the number of people living in poverty and those without insurance grow, the need for CHF's services grow. In addition, now, more than ever, it's essential to ensure that the critical pieces of health reform that were passed last year to help underserved children get care, are protected and not repealed.

Photo Friday: CHF's Day of Service with MBIA

►Pictured here are volunteers from MBIA an organization that is a part of Children's Health Fund's Workplace Giving Campaign.  Through their employee engagement they have helped enable a CHF mobile medical team to provide comprehensive health care to homeless children and families staying at a shelter in the Bronx.  After a tour of CHF's mobile unit, volunteers spent the day painting a youth recreational room at one of the homeless family shelters where CHF provides care. Thanks MBIA for all of your support and for a great day!

Faces from the Field: Kay Kelly, LPN

Nurse Kay Kelly of the Memphis Children's Health Project by Caitlin McFeely, Communications Associate, Children's Health Fund

Hi blog readers!! Today’s “Face from the Field”, Kay Kelly, LPN, comes from our program in Memphis. We hope you enjoy meeting her…don’t forget to leave a question or comment in the comments section below!

Caitlin (C): How long have you been working with CHF?

Kay: I have been at Le Bonheur for 3 years, and I have worked with the mobile unit 1 ½ years.

C: What made you want to work for this type of organization?

Kay: I came to this organization with 21 years of Public Health experience. I have a passion to help improve the health and well-being of those less fortunate.

C: What is your favorite part about working on the mobile clinic (or CHF fixed site)?

Kay: It is humbling to see the gratitude of the families and children we serve that might otherwise go without health care services. I’m glad we are here to help them.

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