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Karen Redlener's blog

Bring the Gift of Health Care to Kids Across the US

Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund

Imagine what it would be like if your child was sick, and he couldn't get the care he needed.  That is exactly what Patricia* faced for weeks, as her two-year-old son, Sam*, wheezed and coughed in her arms.  Patricia, a single mom, had just moved with Sam into a homeless shelter. 

This Year, Give the Gift of Health Care

by Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund

Every day, doctors and nurses at Children's Health Fund (CHF) programs across the country hear words of thanks from patients and their families.  Marcus Gondella*, father of two, who lost his job and his family’s health insurance along with it said of CHF’s care, “You gave us back our dignity. My wife and I were so relieved that we could take our sons to your mobile clinic for their immunizations, school physicals and to keep our youngest boy’s asthma under control. Getting this high level of care means a lot to us and makes our whole situation a lot easier to deal with.”  Children rely on CHF programs to get the health care they need.Families like the Gondella’s rely on CHF to get health care.  Without our programs and access to regular health care, common ailments like asthma or cavities can lead to bigger problems if left untreated. 

Unfortunately, there are many more children who need our help, and yours.  You can be a part of our efforts to help more children grow up healthy by making a generous gift now.   And the best part is CHF’s Co-founder, Paul Simon, has pledged to match new and increased donations to Children's Health Fund.  So a $25 gift can become a $50 donation to Children's Health Fund! 

Please click here to make a gift now and help us continue delivering services.  Thank you for your support of Children's Health Fund and the children we serve.

*To protect the patient’s privacy, his name has been changed. Patient in the photo above is not the patient represented in the story.

A Night of Beginnings

by Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund

Last night, Children's Health Fund (CHF)’s annual benefit celebrated beginnings. Our three honorees Joan Baez, Jane Pauley, and James L. Dolan, were each a part of an important beginning for Irwin and me and the Children’s Health Fund.

Joan Baez received CHF’s Humanitarian Award for a lifetime of inspiration and unerring dedication to the well-being and human rights of all people. Joan was with Irwin and me at the beginning of Joan Baez and Paul Simon performing togetherour careers in Lee County, Arkansas, when she helped save the Lee County Cooperative Clinic which Irwin was running. To be able to recognize our dear friend Joan and witness an entire audience give her a standing ovation, is a moment I will not soon forget.  We were also graced with Joan’s angelic voice when she performed with CHF Co-Founder, Paul Simon, bringing the entire audience to their feet once again.

CHF’s Founders Award was given to Jane Pauley, another long-time, dear friend to both Irwin and me and to Children’s Health Fund. Jane was with Irwin, Paul Simon, and me at the beginning of the start of CHF.  She has guided us as a member of our Board of Directors and Chair of CHF’s Advisory Council, encouraged others to become aware about our organization, and helped CHF raise much needed funds to expand our National Network of programs throughout the country.  Since the beginning, Jane has been a true member of the CHF family. 

CHF’s prestigious Corporate Award was given to James L. Dolan for his support of CHF during the beginning of CHF’s endeavor in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina.   Dolan was instrumental in the production of "From the Big Apple to the Big Easy”—the benefit concert that raised money to benefit long-term hurricane relief efforts and.  Funds raised supported the expansion of CHF’s fleet of mobile CHF 2010 Honors Joan Baez, Jane Pauley, James L. Dolanmedical clinics in the Gulf region.  Our fleet remains there today, ensuring quality care for underserved kids still affected by the aftermath of the Hurricane. 

It was a night to celebrate these beginnings and the work CHF has done over the last 23 years to help children receive access to quality health care.  But it was also a night to reflect on the long road ahead…and the new beginnings on the horizon.  While the passing of health insurance reform back in March was a step in the right direction, we must not forget that health insurance doesn't equal health care. Work remains to address the many barriers to accessing care that affect many of CHF’s families across the nation, preventing many kids from just getting to a regular well-child visit to treat a chronic illness before it results in a more serious ER visit or preventable hospitalization.

With support like we have seen from our honorees and from those who attended last evening, CHF will be able to address and try to eliminate these barriers and continue to provide quality and consistent care to the most underserved children across the US.

CHF is Connecting Kids to Care with Clorox and Celebrity Mom Julianne Moore

by Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund

Two weeks ago, on April 19, I spent the day with actress and mother of two, Julianne Moore, who helped launch Connect Kids to Care (, a program we developed in partnership with The Clorox Company.  

The Connect Kids to Care campaign uses Facebook to rally people across the country to help CHF connect kids to ongoing health care with the click of a you can help!  Visit Clorox’s Facebook page ( to learn how you can Connect Kids to Care, watch videos of CHF doctors in action, and see photos from our event with Julianne Moore.  Most importantly, make sure you “like” Clorox, because for each new fan, Clorox is donating $1.00 to CHF, up to $100,000 (from April 2010 to January 2012). 

Tune in Tonight to see CHF on "Idol Gives Back"!

by Karen Redlener, Executive Director, Children's Health Fund

Today is an exciting day for all of us at Children’s Health Fund (CHF).  For starters, with this first official blog post, CHF is entering the blogosphere (wait until I tell my kids that I am a blogger).  We hope you enjoy CHF’s blog and rely on it as a resource and a platform for thought-provoking discussion.  Please don't be shy...we want your comments and feedback.

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