More Committed Than Ever to the Health of Children and Families
Children are paying an extraordinary price as the pandemic ravages this country. Kids are experiencing negative impacts on their education, housing stability, food security, and family economics, but perhaps most importantly, on their mental and physical health and wellbeing. These adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress have proven to have profound and potentially lifelong detrimental effects. The COVID-19 Community Emergency Response and Recovery Fund was launched by Children’s Health Fund to ensure resiliency and supportive measures are available for children living in this country’s most marginalized communities during, and after, the pandemic.
Knowing that the communities of color served by our partners are disproportionately affected both in terms of disease and economics, we worked to ensure that our programmatic focus was designed to meet their needs. Our interventions ranged from increasing access to testing for COVID-19, to direct support for families to mitigate impacts from lost wages. We supported increased technology access for remote learning and provided assistance to ensure mental health services were there to address trauma. These investments not only address healthcare access, but also elevate the focus on social determinants of health, the primary driver of health outcomes. As the focus begins to shift to access to vaccines, we are working to help Black and other communities of color get the information they need to make informed decisions about the COVID vaccine and eventually the vaccine when it becomes available. By supporting our partner programs’ efforts in this way, we aim to narrow equity gaps for Black and brown communities during the pandemic and use the lessons learned to shape policy for the future.
An anchor grant in March 2020 was the CHF catalyst for more than 1 million children and adults receiving COVID-19 screening and testing in our network in the first three months of our response - and the work continues to this day. Additional generous donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations were quickly raised, which supported the procurement of masks; telehealth equipment and services; food and household supplies; and emergency funding for families’ rent, utilities, and transportation.
In the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare providers were forced to temporarily close or severely limit the in-person services they offered. However, CHF’s network partners worked quickly to ensure care was available. They initiated or expanded telehealth services to provide primary care visits. Mental health clinicians counseled via video and telephone; dentists performed virtual screenings; and medications were delivered so that families didn’t have to leave their home. Case management teams revised their workflow to screen for stress, depression, food insecurity, and financial needs. In all of 2019, our partners performed 2,481 telehealth visits; in the first half of 2020 alone that number rose to 45,610.
New Emergency Response Needed Urgently
Funds are needed to support:
- Immunization Campaigns – As the pandemic continues, it is clear that the most likely path back to normalcy for children is wide-spread uptake of the COVID vaccines. The same health systems who have been taxed to test and care for the community are being asked to vaccinate those same communities. The first step of any successful effort will include support to address COVID vaccine hesitancy common among BIPOC communities. A coordinated and centrally supported campaign will be tailored for specific partner needs using trusted voices and modeling vaccine acceptance by members of the community.
- Expanded Mental Health Services – The pandemic is a source of trauma and grief for children and families impacted by infections and death which is often layered onto pre existing toxic stress.
- Greater Telehealth Capacity – New and upgraded telehealth equipment and additional staff are needed throughout the network to ensure care for those who cannot come to the clinic for a variety of reasons.
- Community Identified Social Determinants of Health – Working closely with community leaders, our partners identify and support solutions and resolve unique social determinants of health such as transportation and food insecurity.
Generous support provided by
Corporate and Foundation Donations Needed Now
More funding is needed to help us address the extraordinary health, social, and financial needs countless families and children will experience as this crisis unfolds. We are calling on our corporate and foundation leaders to show their generosity in this time of unprecedented crisis. Contact email@example.com for further information.