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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.

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!

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