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Faces from the Field: Dr. Rhonique Shields-Harris

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

Hello blog readers, this is Caitlin from Children's Health Fund's Communication’s department.

We have some exciting posts on the horizon that we think will give you an even better glimpse into the Children’s Health Fund.  We’ve asked some of our doctors, nurses, mental health providers, drivers, and other staff members across the CHF Network to contribute to our blog and the response has been overwhelming!!  Over the next few months, we will begin to introduce you to the faces of CHF—the people providing quality health care to America’s most vulnerable children.  After their introduction, keep your eye out for more posts from these new bloggers.  We hope you enjoy the posts and please feel free to leave comments/questions. 

Well, that is enough from me…Check out my interview with Dr. Rhonique Shields-Harris, Medical Director of CHF’s Children’s Health Project of D.C. (CHPDC).

Caitlin (C):  Dr. Harris, how long have you been working with CHPDC?

Dr. Harris:  I’ve been with the program for 11 years now!  I started as a pediatric resident and when I finished my residency, stayed with the program as an attending physician.  I took over as the Medical Director of the program in 2005.

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

Dr. H:   During residency my training involved working on the mobile units and providing advocacy for the families. I knew that this was a meaningful career path, which is why I requested to stay with the program. 

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

Dr. H:   My favorite part is knowing that at the end of the day, many of my patients are living healthier lifestyles because of the work of the mobile health team

Why the Crews’n Healthmobile Loves Our Electronic Health Record and You Should Too!

by Randy Christensen, MD, Medical Director, Phoenix Children's Health Project

The Phoenix Children’s Health Project’s Crews’n Healthmobile is a 38 foot mobile medical unit that circles Phoenix and surrounding cities taking care of homeless children and adolescents.  For much of the day it is away from our “offices” and as such carries all that we need to provide comprehensive care to this vulnerable population.  As you might expect keeping medical records for this type of practice might be a little difficult. It was! I remember thinking about the day we could install our Electronic Health Records (EHR) system. Through the efforts of Children’s Health Fund we were finally able to realize that dream. 

Since that time EHR has proven to be an essential and vital part of our work. In fact, it has been the most beneficial step we have taken to ensure state of the art care for our kids. The majority of our patients are homeless and their surroundings change sporadically and frequently, so one week they may be cared for at one of the sites we serve and the next week, end up at a site on the opposite side of the city. As our program and patient base expanded, so did our need. Fortunately we have been able to meet that need thanks in large part to our Electronic Health Records.  Check out a recent article on the Department of Health and Human Services website which explains in detail how PCHP eventually came to implementing and enhancing our system. We love it, and even more than that, our patients love it!

Photo Friday - On the Road in Rural West Virginia

Imagine if your child was sick, but you couldn't get to a doctor because the nearest pediatrician is 3 hours away.  This is a harsh reality for many families across the US.   Pictured here is our mobile medical clinic, "a doctor's office on wheel's," on the road in rural West Virginia bringing care where its needed the most.

Photo Friday - HBO Volunteers Help Teach Kids about Healthy Living

CHF's Harlem Children's Health Project taught kids about health living during yesterday's Harlem Children's Zone's Summer Games in NYC.  Volunteers from HBO and Deerfield Company spent the day with HCHP staff and talked about eating right, exercise, and keeping hands clean. They also handed out goodie bags that included CHF's Asthma Guide and also toothbrushes and toothpaste donated by GlaxoSmithKline.  Thanks to all of our donors and volunteers who made this a great day!

Delaying A Child's Health Care: A Lifetime of Consequences

by Irwin Redlener, MD, Co-Founder and President, CHF

A recent study published in the prestigious journal, Health Affairs, underscored some of the grim realities associated with the persistent recession and the loss of jobs in the United States. The study reports that for every 1,000 jobs lost by a parent in 2000-2004, 311 children with private insurance lost health coverage.  The situation is even more dramatic for low-income children. For every 1,000 jobs lost by an economically disadvantaged parent, 456 low-income children with private insurance lost health coverage.  And, the highest rates of losing coverage (40%) were seen among Hispanic children whose parents become unemployed. These are troubling statistics given that lack of health insurance can delay a child's health care which, even for a short time, can mean a lifetime of consequences.

Photo Friday - CHF Mobile Clinics in Action


Dr. Gracy, of the Children's Health Fund, makes a housecall in the Bronx, NY.

► Dr. Gracy, of the Children's Health Fund, makes a housecall to children in the South Bronx, NY. Aboard the "Big Blue Bus", Dr. Gracy sees patients in a state-of-the-art pediatric mobile clinic. As of 2010, there are 50 Mobile Medical Clinics in our National Network serving children across the United States.

The Health Reform Fight: Why It’s Not Over Just Yet

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

As a child health advocate, it was extremely satisfying to watch President Obama sign historic and far reaching health care reform into law earlier this year.  Since then, the question most often asked by colleagues at Children's Health Fund (CHF) has been “what’s next?” As it turns out, the process doesn’t end when a bill is signed and the “what’s next” in the implementation phase is just as important as the initial passage.

In order to be successfully implemented, the legislation that is passed must be further clarified with details and specifics through federal rules and regulations.  These regulations are released by federal agencies so that interested parties can comment and provide feedback to ensure that laws respond to real world concerns.  This phase is critical, because it makes certain that the provisions originally intended within the law are properly carried out. 

In the coming months and years, CHF will be monitoring federal regulations and providing our feedback to the government to ensure a resounding voice for children is heard in this lengthy and complicated process.  We will continue the fight to ensure that all kids, especially those served by our programs, will get all the health benefits and coverage that were intended by the health reform law.

Happy Fourth of July

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and fun-filled 4th of July weekend.

Children's Health Fund Caravan to Washington D.C.
CHF's New York and Washington DC Mobile Medical Clinics head to the U.S. Capitol to advocate on behalf of America's most vulnerable children.

Photo Friday - Mississippi's Big Blue Bus

Children on Gulf Coast's Big Blue Bus

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

Introducing Photo Friday

Starting today and continuing every Friday from here-on, we're going to share a new CHF photo with all of you in the blogosphere. We hope these photos give you a better sense of the work that we do and the wonderful children and families we serve.

Do you have your own photos from a CHF program or event? Post them on our Facebook page! We'd love to see the CHF moments you capture on camera.


► Children from our Mississippi Gulf Coast project love coming to the "Big Blue Bus" where they receive quality health care and a sticker for being great patients.

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