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For too many children in poor rural and urban areas, there is no consistent, quality health care in their lives. The problem may be transportation, insurance, or language and cultural barriers. The end result is too often the same. Children lack the essential health services to grow and thrive. In the most heartbreaking scenarios, they develop life-threatening illnesses—or lifelong conditions—needlessly, for want of decent health care.
For over twenty years, Children’s Health Fund (CHF) has been battling barriers to health care for homeless and other low-income children. Out of that fight has come innovative solutions. Our “Blue Bus,” a pediatric mobile medical clinic, draws children and families for curbside checkups and treatments. It may sound unorthodox. When necessary, it is. To ensure underserved children get the health care they need, sometimes caregivers must go to the children.
Children's Health Fund’s creative success in serving disadvantaged children is rooted in highly accepted approaches to pediatric care. The goal is a “medical home” for each patient. We also forge strong affiliations with academic medical centers to ensure children receive quality care. A “medical home” is not a place. It’s a partnership between a pediatric clinician and the child and family. A medical home gives access to an array of services that are family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated and culturally sensitive. It guarantees an ongoing relationship with a doctor, to ensure all health needs are met. Through CHF’s mobile medical clinics and fixed-site clinics, we provide medical homes for at-risk children and adolescents in our Children’s Health Projects around the country. The medical staffs come from our partner institutions, which have the resources and expertise to meet the toughest pediatric challenges.