This season I have been overwhelmed by how blessed I am. I know I should take note of that throughout the year, but the holidays require this sort of introspection. And this past Monday I came face to face with the stark difference between my life and people living vastly different from me. I didn’t even have to go to a third world country again. I just headed across the state to Detroit.
On Monday I was invited on behalf of Clorox and The Motherhood to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the launch of the Children’s Health Project in Detroit. Oh please keep reading so I can tell you about this amazing organization. I had never heard of The Children’s Health Project before Monday, but I am a sucker for any charity that helps out disadvantaged kids. Back before I was a mom I was a pediatric physical therapist and I worked on the south side of Chicago. To say I worked in the hood is an understatement.
Crossing into inner city I was reminded again of how many children live. Of course it is often on my mind, since my husband works with Kid’s Food Basket, an amazing local charity. But the lack of food is only one issue that impoverished kids face. I leaned that in Wayne county (which is basically inner city Detroit) there are 200,000 people who are uninsured. But even if you could see a doctor, there is only 1 doctor for every 6000 people. Do those facts astound you? They astound me. Detroit is not in good shape. And even though it isn’t my city exactly, if Detroit fails, Michigan will fail. I can’t sit on my side of the state and pretend that isn’t happening. And I can’t pretend it isn’t happening all over the country.
I don’t know where you stand on the issue of healthcare reform (and let’s not get into it cause this ain’t no political blog), but I think most of us agree that kids should get healthcare. Paul Simon thinks so. And so 23 years ago he founded the Children’s Health Fund. It is the coolest concept! Basically they have created a mobile medical clinic to provide comprehensive health services to medically underserved kids at schools and other community locations. They are in 25 locations in urban and rural areas around the country. They are also the nation’s leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and their families.
picture courtesy of Detroit Mommies
Ok, so that is cool and all, but here is what is brilliant. This isn’t some “drive by” medical clinic. Let’s say the big medical van rolls into a neighborhood and sees a little girl who is diagnosed with asthma. Great that they caught that right? Well kind of. But let’s say they gave her a prescription for asthma treatments. But the little girl’s mom works long hours and they don’t have a car. And there are no pharmacies anywhere near. That prescription doesn’t do any good and the family falls through the cracks again.
The vision of the Children’s Health Fund is to establish relationships with these children and become their medical home. So every week on the same day they will be at the same location. Either a local school or the Boys and Girl’s Club. They keep electronic records on the children and even work with pharmacies to help fill their prescriptions. Families also have a number to call 24/7 for medical advice. So it isn’t just acute care, but case management. And they provide medical, dental, vision and behavioral services.
When you are a family struggling to provide the basics for your children wouldn’t it be nice to have one less thing to worry about? I am planning something cool in the future to help out this organization, but you can also donate money if you are looking for a way to give back this season.
Thanks to Clorox and The Motherhood for allowing me to participate in this amazing event. I truly love it when I get a chance to use this little blog to bring attention to causes dear to me heart. I think it is awesome that Clorox is a partner of the Children’s Health Fund and has donated $500,000 donation from Clorox to help CHF reach their goal of providing more than half a million health care visits to kids in need over the next two years. They also donated enough Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for doctors and staff to use on the unit for the next few months and provided wipes for pediatricians to give to families so they can continue preventive health practices at home.
I was compensated for my time in writing this post, but as always all opinions are my own. This post is linked up to Works for me Wednesday at We Are That Family.