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Happy Thanksgiving from Children's Health Fund

by Delaney Gracy, MD, MPH, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Children's Health Fund

CHF's NY program staff help families find services that provide them with access to food.This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a wonderful tradition and time to enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal with family and friends while giving thanks.  It’s also a time to think about those who aren’t as fortunate and won’t be able to enjoy a meal this Thanksgiving.

When I was working on the mobile clinics with the New York Children’s Health Project (NYCHP), one of the first questions I would ask my patients was “Have you eaten today?”  Sadly, the answer to this question was often “no.”  Many of the families seen by CHF doctors across the country struggle from food insecurities.  In fact, in a recent survey of all of the programs within CHF’s National Network, we found that referrals made by health care providers to community-based services were most frequently related to food insecurity.  Proper nutrition is pivotal to healthy living, especially for children, so when a patient hasn’t eaten, his or her health will undoubtedly be impacted.

Luckily, because of CHF’s ability to not only provide primary care services, but also social services referrals to help address the complete picture of a child’s well-being, we were able to help these families get food immediately and begin the process of signing the families up for food assistance programs.  In New York, if a family visiting the clinic needs an immediate source of food, we are able to go to the food pantry at CHF's New York Children's Health Project and provide a few days worth of healthy meals for the entire family.  As part of the longer-term solution, NYCHP staff helps the family find services that will provide them with access to food via food stamps, benefits, or other local soup kitchens or pantries.  From January to October 2010, the NYCHP food pantry fed more than 400 individuals and helped get them back on their feet. 

Children's Health Fund programs and services, like our food pantry, wouldn't be possible without your support, so this Thanksgiving we thank you for all that you do to help us provide the best health care to underserved communities. We hope you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and families.

Photo Friday: Prince Charles' visit to Harlem Children's Health Project

Prince Charles' visit to Harlem Children's Health Project 2007

►During a January 2007 visit to New York that focused on youth development, urban regeneration and environmental conservation, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Children's Health Fund's Harlem Children's Health Project, as part of a tour of the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ).  The Prince and Duchess discussed and toured the Health Promotion Learning Lab where HCZ Promise Academy Middle School students were engaged in an interactive computer lesson about asthma and the Harlem community.  Two years later, as part of his first official overseas visit, Prince Harry visited the program as well.

Photo Friday....CHF Staff Goes Bowling

Children's Health Fund Staff

► This afternoon, Irwin & Karen Redlener are taking the staff from CHF's Headquarters bowling.  Sporting our new CHF shirts, we are off to have some fun and celebrate what we have accomplished this year thanks to hard work and all of our generous supporters!  We hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Supporting Grandparents as Caregivers

By Dr. Rhonique Shields-Harris, Medical Director of Children’s Health Project of D.C.

In 2006, CHF's Children's Health Project of DC (CHPDC) launched a grandparent support group for local grandparents who were raising their grandchildren. CHPDC recognized a need to provide assistance and encouragement to this growing population because of their often unexpected roles as caregivers. The group not only provides support, but also acts as a place where these grandparents can access legal advice, referrals, housing resources and assistance completing forms and applying for benefits for their grandchildren.

Interestingly, an article in yesterday's New York Times noted findings from the most recent Census Bureau report regarding the sharp rise in the number of children living with their grandparents. In 2010 in the US, 6.5 percent of children live with their grandparents, which is the highest rate in 20 years and an 8 percent increase since 2009. Given these new findings, it's important for support groups like ours to provide resources to help these grandparents in raising the next generation.

Photo Friday-Congrats to Susan Spalding, MD

From left to right:  Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund, Susan Spalding, MD, Medical Director, CHF's Dallas Children's Health Project, Irwin Redlener, MD, President. Children's Health Fund.  During Children's Health Fund's Annual Conference in Austin, Dr. Spalding received the 2010 CHF Founders' Clinician Award (supported by Schering-Plough Foundation) for her 18 years of incredible service.  Congrats!

Celebrating 10 Years of Service in Phoenix

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

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has a slogan that I just love, “Here We Grow Again!”  Growing up is certainly what the Crews’n Healthmobile has been doing for quite some time.  Thinking back to 2000 and our first mobile clinic, it just amazes me how far we have come. 

When you’re a kid, your 10th birthday is a pretty big deal.  Not only have you reached double digits, you’ve spent a decade growing, learning, developing relationships, and understanding the world around you. It’s a milestone that deserves a special celebration with family and friends.  For us here at the Crews‘n Healthmobile, our 10th birthday is no different.  On November 13, we are taking a moment to celebrate a decade of growth and success serving thousands of homeless children & adolescents in the Phoenix area.  It will be a time for our friends, donors, and co-workers to recognize all that we have accomplished and look towards the future of our program. Yes, that day we will certainly be the “big kid” at the table.

Those in the Phoenix area that would like to join us for the celebration at Martini Ranch of Scottsdale, can view our invite online.  The $25 will cover a drink, a band, and food!  All of the door proceeds go directly to the program and through the generous donation of Children's Health Fund we have matching funds up to $50,000! 

Photo Friday - Happy Halloween!

►Butterflies, witches, superheroes and everything in between...Children's Health Fund is wishing you a safe and fun Halloween!!
 

Photo Friday - New Webkinz Foundation-Sponsored Mobile Clinic Debuts in Newark

Pictured from left to right: Ariel Almacen, PsyD, MSN, APNC, New Jersey Children's Health Project, Irwin Redlener, M.D., Children's Health Fund, Delaney Gracy, M.D., Children's Health Fund, Representative Donald M. Payne, Mindy Ganz, Webkinz Foundation, Susan Salmond, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey -School of Nursing, William Owen, Jr., M.D., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey -School of Nursing, and Assemblyman Thomas Giblin

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.

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