When Kevin Chung joined Children’s Health Fund (CHF), he had been unemployed for roughly six months. And while financially he was secure, the concern about healthcare became a real one. Aside from the standard doctor visits, the worry about a scrape, a fall or even something more severe was always in the back corner of his mind.
In his own words, Kevin explains how this experience connected him to the mission of CHF:
We, my wife and I, were alright. When you’re unemployed, there’s an inevitable tightening of the belt. You don’t go out as often as you used to. You second guess a bigger purchase, but overall life goes on for as close to normal as you can make it.
My kids were little. Living in NYC, they are exposed to a lot. I was always aware of their health. What if they became sick? We were fine, but I knew it only took one big illness for things to change all that. What if they had a fall and broke something? What if they caught something that makes them have a hospital stay?
The hardest part was that there is only so much as a parent that you can do. You watch, you monitor, and you do your best. You can’t shield them from everything, even though you may want to.
I’m proactive though, I don’t wait for things to happen. I liked to be prepared. My wife and I explored options to get the kids on health insurance, but financially, there’s always a limitation. Health insurance, in my experience, when paying for it out of pocket is really expensive.
For a family of four, the cost was higher than I originally was prepared for. But it also made me more determined to find a job and support my family.
Had I known about CHF before I started working here, it would have done a lot just to ease our minds about the kids’ healthcare. Just knowing that there was something out there is peace of mind you can’t put a price tag on.
My family was lucky. Nothing happened to the kids, my wife or I. So we managed to get through it. But there are so many people who get hit by something that they can’t afford. Even basic checkups can cost a lot if you don’t have health insurance.
After researching CHF, its mission hit home. In my current role in IS&T, I contribute to the success of the entire organization and that helped to fill that void that I had started to feel with my previous job and while looking for a better job fit.
I’m extremely proud of the work that we do, especially with how CHF responds to the needs of children impacted by major public health crises.
CHF does not run away from the hard issues, it tackles them head-on and looks for ways to help the kids that need it. I’m constantly inspired and motivated by the people behind our success.
Q & A:
Do you have any work vices?
I wouldn’t say I have work vices… I just happen to know who bakes the best cookies in the office.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself where Shay hides the chocolate bars!
Lastly, is there anything that people should know about you?
Fluffy* and I are close. When he makes an appearance, I’m one of the first people he sees.
*Fluffy is the CHF unofficial/ official rabbit mascot.