Children's Health Fund Blog


Virtual or In-Person? All Kids Need Your Support

The issue of how to best support students’ learning this coming school year is gripping communities across the country. For many students and their families, the difficulties brought on by the pandemic have not subsided with time, especially in underinvested communities and communities of color. Even through the challenges of this crisis, school communities (virtual […]

Community Healing Blog Post

Community Healing is the Systemic Change People of Color Need By Dr. Wenimo Okoya, Assistant Vice President, Healthy and Ready to Learn Initiative

In the last two months, conversations that I never thought would make it to the mainstream are suddenly circulating through social media graphics, news pieces, and corporate messaging. America is finally admitting that inequities stemming from white supremacy and racism have systematically cut off Black and Brown people from resources and political power, creating conditions […]


COVID-19 Response Updates from Partners Around the Country To Date, Children's Health Fund Partners Have Screened 360,000 and Tested 57,000 People for COVID-19.

Tennessee: The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) supported mobile program is part of a large collaboration between the City and County Government, the University of Tennessee, and multiple Federally Qualified Health Centers.  Expanding access to testing for anyone who wants it has been a priority and great strides were made this past week as the CHF […]

Baby Anisa’s empty baby bottle.

In this Crisis, Children are Going Hungry

“Doctora, there’s no food at home. And we ran out of formula for the baby a few days ago.” These are the heartbreaking words uttered by a mother who brought in her baby, Anisa, for a six-month baby well-child checkup at the Children’s Health Fund-supported New Orleans Children’s Health Project (NOCHP). The baby was crying […]

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Racial Inequities in COVID-19

You may have seen the recent reports in the news that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the Black community. This news leaves me feeling heartbroken. But, sadly, I’m not surprised that racial health disparities are being exacerbated by this pandemic. Communities that have historically been marginalized because of race, economic status, immigration status, or other aspects […]


Honoring Our Front Line Providers on Doctors’ Day

March 30, 2020 We can’t get through this without doctors and healthcare providers. Amidst the fear, grief, and uncertainty we are collectively experiencing as we cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, providers are on the front lines caring for our loved ones and protecting our communities. Every day, they brave the enormity of this crisis to […]


COVID-19 Action and Guidance Center

The spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) impacts all of us. But as with any public health crisis, children and families already experiencing poverty and barriers to health and wellness, like many of those served at the clinics and programs we fund throughout the country, will be the most impacted by this pandemic. Families experiencing […]


Rising Up in Phoenix: Children’s Healthcare Providers Share Innovations from Across the Country By Dennis Walto, CEO

Leaders from the CHF national network of programs were in full inspirational form at the annual 2019 Children’s Health Fund Fall Conference, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22 through 24. Partners from across the CHF National Network gathered to listen, learn, and share our stories and successes in ensuring access to high-quality […]


Trauma Sensitive Schools: A Leap Towards Progress for Kids

By Wenimo Okoya, EDD, MPH, Assistant Vice President, Children’s Health Fund Healthy and Ready to Learn Initiative and Karen Redlener, MS, Children’s Health Fund Co-founder & Executive Vice President As published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health Newsletter   Imagine walking into school each day preoccupied with the violence you witnessed in […]


Halloween Oral Health Tips for Parents

Halloween is often synonymous with sweets. And while collecting candy is fun, these sugary foods can cause harmful and lasting repercussions on teeth. Parents and guardians can help save their little goblin’s teeth from all this sugar with a few helpful tricks: 1. Brush and Floss daily. Indulge in that extra piece of chocolate, just […]


Watch: Actress Amirah Vann reads to children in L.A.

  Earlier this year, when How to Get Away With Murder actress Amirah Vann came to the Children’s Health Fund-supported mobile clinic program COACH for Kids in Los Angeles, she didn’t just meet our dedicated medical providers. She also visited a school where children receive health services through the mobile clinic and gave a group […]


“Honoring the voice” of children

When Cristina Muñiz de la Peña first met the young man and his mother, the teenager was distant. Cristina tried to engage with him, and he couldn’t open up. But as a psychologist, Cristina knew that his behavior reflected deeper traumas and dynamics in his life. The young man had just recently made a life-altering […]


We Need You to Light the Way for Nuria

When three-year-old Nuria walked into the New Orleans Children’s Health Project for her medical appointment with Dr. Kim Mukerjee, she cautiously felt her way around. She came upon a trash can with a metal lid and banged on it curiously. After one bang, she bent down and put her ear to it, then kept banging […]


Baby Rosa Needs Your Help

She was less than one month old, but Baby Rosa and her family had already been through an unimaginable journey when she arrived at Dr. Kim Mukerjee’s office for a checkup two weeks ago. Just four days before Rosa was born, her mother, father, and two young siblings arrived in the United States from Honduras. […]

Children's Health Fund staff, patients, and supporters at the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new, state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic in New York City.

New Mobile Medical Clinic to Help Children in NYC Shelters

“I can’t even begin to express the peace of mind that is knowing that your child has everything that they need,” said Dilenia, holding her 22-month-old daughter Sophia. Addressing the crowd on July 12 at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest Children’s Health Fund (CHF) mobile medical clinic in New York City, Dilenia recalled the […]


LGBTQ Youth Need to Be Safe in Schools to Be Healthy

Pride month has passed but our work to ensure the health of ALL children, especially those who are vulnerable, including LGTBQ youth, is ongoing and championed by exemplary medical providers in the field. In Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Vinny Chulani and his team found that too often, LGBTQ youth face learning environments so hostile that they […]


Are You a Champion Too? By Dennis Walto, CEO

We were blown away by the tremendous demonstration of care and support on display at our annual benefit, which took place last week in New York City. Over 400 people came together to learn more about our work and pay tribute to our honorees, collectively raising nearly $1 million! Athletic all-stars Allyson Felix, Katelyn Ohashi, […]


The March Madness Attendance Challenge

To do well in school children must be in attendance. Children’s Health Fund’s Healthy and Ready to Learn program, used innovation and creativity to help eliminate absences. On the morning of the second day of March, the hallways at PS 36 were humming with excitement. In fact, more children aged 3-12 eagerly made their way […]

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We Took Our Patients’ Voices to DC By Dennis Walto, CEO

Children’s Health Fund is committed to ensuring kids can access healthcare whenever they need it. That’s why every year we make sure the voices of our medical providers across the country echo powerfully in Washington DC and are heard loud and clear by our nation’s elected officials. At our Spring Advocacy Conference last week, we […]

NEW YORK - APRIL 19:  Karen Redlener, executive director of Children's Health Fund speaks about the kick off Connect Kids to Care at Children's Health Fund's New York Program on Monday, April 19, 2010. The program will help support CHF's goal of providing half a million health care visits to disadvantaged children nationwide. (Bronx, NY) (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage for Clorox)

Our EntreprenHER, Karen Redlener

Some people have a rare ability to make visions come to life. They create tangible solutions to fix a dire need or gap that exists in the world. This spark of creation, the ability to make something out of nothing takes determination, endless resolve, and even a bit of magic. Karen Redlener, co-founder of Children’s […]


A Standout Nurse Practitioner Stands For Children

It’s hard to believe that even in a U.S. metropolis of four million people, there are still swaths, entire neighborhoods, where people and children are going without basic preventative care, let alone urgent medical care. And yet, this is the reality in Los Angeles. This Women’s History Month, we honor Michele Rigsby Pauley, a star […]


We Would Not Be Here Without the Civil Rights Movement

This Black History Month, it’s important to reflect on the urgency of health care access in the black community and the strong legacy that ties this deeply essential work to the civil rights movement. Activists during the civil rights era recognized poverty as a major hurdle to achieving equality and other basic rights–such as healthcare–and […]


We provide care so Arhiana can too

Every day aboard our Memphis, TN based mobile medical clinic, we meet children with lives of extraordinary hardship and inspiring resilience who live the spirit of helping others. It is our goal that through the caring services of our medical teams we are able to help these kids grow up healthy and able to face […]


Inspire and be Inspired By Dennis Walto

Inspire and be inspired…that was the charge to the Children’s Health Fund (CHF) leaders from across our national network as we kicked off a three-day conference in Miami on October 16th. And inspire we did! Over the course of the gathering we listened, learned, and shared about what’s working in our efforts to break down […]


We Will Not Lose Hope By Dennis Walto

In trying to put the violent events in Pittsburgh and Kentucky into some sort of perspective, we here at Children’s Health Fund are struggling with our emotions.  Many of us work here in response to what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question: ‘What are you doing for others?’” In […]


Children’s Health Fund Starts Conversation to Find Solutions to Help Immigrant Children By Dennis Walto

For months, we’ve been anguishing over the separation of immigrant children and their families at the border, but not standing idle. We can’t; more than five hundred children remain separated from their families. That’s why on September 25th, ​Children’s Health Fund convened a roundtable discussion at the 2018 Concordia Summit in New York. The forum […]


Life on the Street By Dennis Walto

Kerry* has been living on his own since the day he turned 18 – the day he came out to his mom as transgender. The response to Kerry’s coming out was not one of love and support, just the opposite; Kerry’s mom told him to leave the house and never come back.  Since then, Kerry […]


CHF strongly condemns efforts to rescind funds allocated to CHIP

Earlier this year, in a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, Congress overwhelmingly passed a budget deal that was signed by the President.  That budget included a long-term extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This prudent bipartisan agreement ensured that, for the next 10 years, CHIP – a program crucial to the […]

A Q&A with The Center for Rural Health Innovation

Earlier this year, Children’s Health Fund launched a new partnership with The Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI). To help introduce CRHI to the CHF audience, we conducted a brief Q&A with Amanda Martin, Executive Director and Dr. Steve North, Founder & Medical Director, as well as Children’s Health Fund CEO Dennis Walto to share […]

Together Against Child Poverty By Dennis Walto

Comic Relief and Children’s Health Fund share a common goal of ending child poverty. And in the spirit of this common cause, we couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Comic Relief/Red Nose Day for our fourth year in a row! Children’s Health Fund is the largest provider of mobile based primary care for underprivileged […]

In the Same Boat By Dennis Walto

Standing in front of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN recently, I was reflecting on the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  And in looking around me, at the diverse and building crowd that was gathering to bear witness to the anniversary of his tragic death at that same spot […]

Never Again…Again

Five weeks ago the reprise from students across the country was “Never Again”; yet here we are today, watching as the details are released on yet another school shooting. We are deeply saddened by the news of this morning’s tragic event at Great Mills High School in Maryland, and continue to add our voice in […]

Never Again

Children’s Health Fund envisions a future where all of America’s children get the care they need to be healthy and ready to reach their potential in learning and life. A key part of this mission is to activate in times of crisis to serve those most at-risk and we feel that the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 children and educators lost their lives at the hands of an individual with an assault weapon, is a moment for change. While this event stands by itself as a tragedy, since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, more than 430 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings. When seen in this context, we are compelled to stand with students, parents, teachers and a rising chorus of Americans to say Never Again.

Great Gains For Children

Today marked an important step forward for the health and well-being of America’s most medically underserved children. With the early morning passage of a budget deal, Congress finally lifted the cloud of uncertainty that hovered over many essential health programs that serve as a lifeline to our nation’s most vulnerable.

New Report Shows Majority of US States Fail to Require Adequate Health Screenings for Students By Dennis Walto

Today, Children’s Health Fund published a report in the Public Library of Science (PLOS-One) titled “Missed Opportunities,” revealing that an alarming majority of US states fail to require adequate health screenings for school-aged children. Findings from the report, featured by Reuters, present evidence that asserts states are not doing an equal or adequate job ensuring […]

Introducing 30 Stories from Children’s Health Fund

For 30 years Children’s Health Fund has been providing health care to some of America’s most disadvantaged children. What started in 1987 with the idea of delivering vital health care to children living in New York City’s homeless shelters, has grown into a national network of 26 programs in 15 states and the District of […]

Got You Covered By Dennis Walto

Winter seemed to arrive in a hurry this year – maybe it was the unseasonable warm fall weather we had, or maybe it was the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that just seemed to mask the inevitable temperature drop… But the bitter chill of winter arrived in full force last week, and we […]

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 2017 marked Children’s Health Fund’s 30th anniversary providing essential health care services to children and families in need. Thanks to your support, we were able to provide more services to more children in more locations than ever before. Please see the video below from our Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Walto, highlighting some of […]

Children’s Health Fund Statement on CHIP

Critical child health programs have been teetering on the brink of financial collapse since October. Now, in the aftermath of moving a massive piece of tax legislation, it’s time for Congress to resolve the roadblocks and come to an agreement that immediately restores funding of the Child Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), Community Health Centers and […]

We are thankful for YOU!

This year marks Children’s Health Fund’s 30th Anniversary of providing care to America’s most disadvantaged children. What began as a single mobile unit in New York has grown into a robust national network of programs serving nearly 100,000 children and their families across 16 states and the District of Columbia each year. It is thanks to […]

Press Release: Recognizing 30 Years of Service in New York, Children’s Health Fund and Montefiore Unveil Expanded Deerfield Child & Family Health Clinic

NEW YORK, NY, November 16, 2017 – On Monday, November 20, 2017 the New York Children’s Health Project marks its 30th year providing high-quality health care to children and opens the expanded Deerfield Child & Family Health Clinic serving homeless children and families in the South Bronx. The New York Children’s Health Project was the […]

CHF commends efforts to restore funding to “Child Health Safety Net” and urges bipartisan efforts to complete the job

Children’s Health Fund commends efforts to restore funding to programs that comprise essential threads of the “Child Health Safety Net” and urges bipartisan efforts to complete the job On September 30th, funding for a number of critical child health safety net programs expired, putting the health and wellbeing of millions of kids in jeopardy. We […]

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Houston Stronger

Dennis Walto, MA & Delaney Gracy, MD Watching the water level slowly rise outside her house, seven-year-old Molly wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. Her Mom and Dad were monitoring the weather channel and checking their phones constantly trying to both assess the current situation and anticipate what might come next. They were […]

Children’s Health Fund strongly urges U. S. Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal

In response to yet another attempt to reverse the progress America has made in improving child health coverage and access, Children’s Health Fund strongly urges Congress to reject the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal, which could bring significant harm to the future health and well-being of children. Introduced last week by Senators Graham (S.C.), Cassidy (La.), […]

Never Forget

Today is a solemn day of remembrance and reflection on the tragic attacks that our nation endured 16 years ago. The events of 9/11 inspired America to unite, strengthened our resolve to serve others and affirmed our responsibility to never forget. Children’s Health Fund joins the nation in mourning the lives lost on that day. […]

Children’s Health Fund strongly urges Congress to support a 5 year extension of Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding

Children’s Health Fund (CHF) health care professionals provide pediatric care to some of the nation’s most medically underserved children.  Families in these communities have witnessed first-hand the critical and positive impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  CHF strongly urges Congress to support a 5 year extension of CHIP funding. “In 2016 alone, CHIP […]

Texas – IR Trip #1

Public Health Emergency Declared in Texas

Over the past several days, I have been on the ground in Texas assessing the needs of children in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and have witnessed the extraordinary devastation across southeast Texas. As I told NBC News last week, I believe it will take more than a decade for the impacted regions of Texas […]

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CHF Statement on the Senate Health Care Bill

Children’s Health Fund strongly urges U. S. Senate to reject the Affordable Care Act repeal bill titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Despite repeated assurance that the Senate version of the bill would lessen many of the draconian cuts written into the American Health Care Act passed in the House, the Better Care […]


Black Swans and Wayward Thinkers

At the Carter Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side, the iconic Children’s Health Fund Mobile Medical Unit may have been parked, but it was operating at full speed.  Children from a newly arrived family were busy getting their school physicals – including immunization updates and screenings for health barriers to learning – and the parents […]


CHF Urges Congress to Reject Harmful Budget

Children’s Health Fund (CHF) joins children’s advocacy groups across the country in opposing President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18) budget released yesterday. “By taking away the safety-net programs that help children and families mitigate the impacts of poverty, the budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration would result in a literal free-fall for poor […]

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Value Driven

Thanks to Morgan Stanley’s commitment to children, the screens on their global headquarters in Times Square will light up with Children’s Health Fund messaging for the entire month of May through the ‘Lights on Broadway’ Campaign. City residents and tourists alike can take pictures in front of the large screens depicting images of Children’s Health […]


Part of the Solution

It’s been called “a little bit of hope and health on wheels” but the Children’s Health Fund program in Phoenix, implemented through a strong partnership with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, knows that delivering high quality health care to poor children and families can also mean staying home – especially if that home is the United Methodist […]


High Stakes

CHF strongly opposes repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and urges Congress to carefully consider the potentially disastrous effect repeal would have on the wellbeing of America’s children, especially its most vulnerable children. Significant strides over the last five decades have brought the uninsured rate for children to a historic low. It is estimated […]


Purpose Driven

The CEOs participating in the Conscious Capitalism® Summit I attended recently outside of Austin, Texas are clearly purpose driven. Equally purpose driven are the doctors, nurses and administrators of the Children’s Health Fund Austin program, which I also visited that same week. And while the 35 miles that separated these two groups seemed a world […]


Helping Louisiana Stay Afloat

Historic rainfall and flooding in southern Louisiana have left the region devastated and vulnerable, affecting many families still recovering from similar flooding that hit the area in early March. As of this past Sunday, more than 20,000 residents in southern Louisiana have been rescued from their homes, and more than 10,000 people have relocated to shelters.


Working Together

It has been said that networking is both an art and a science; but at Clinton Global Initiative meetings, it is the opportunity for impact.  Over the past several years I have had the privilege of working with the team at CGI on issues such as redefining “First Responder” assumptions for humanitarian relief in Africa, […]

Looking Up for Jordan Downs

Pulling up next to Children’s Health Fund’s mobile medical clinic in Watts recently, I was taken aback at the contrasts. The drive to 103rd Street in South Central Los Angeles had been populated by a chorus of liquor stores, churches, boarded up shops, more churches and more liquor stores. Arriving at the Florence Griffith Joyner […]


What’s Next for the Children of Flint?

We now know that over the past two years, children and families in Flint, MI have been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in their water. We know too that this lead exposure has likely caused irreparable damage to children and that the problem itself – lead leaching pipes that carry water into the […]


Opening Doors

Tearful words were being spoken to Carlos quickly, and in Spanish; his repetition in English was slower, and more deliberate. He looked over to me as he repeated the woman’s words, then he turned back to his work — again listening to Juanita, the mother of 10-year-old Maria Pablo. Maria Pablo had been suffering chronic […]