Children’s Health Fund (CHF) envisions a future where all children in America receive the care they need to be healthy and ready to reach their full potential. Because healthcare is a critical component of that vision and inequities in access exist, CHF’s mission is to ensure access to high-quality healthcare for America’s most disadvantaged children. Founded in 1987, today CHF supports 26 National Programs. We reach more than 100,000 children and family members annually through fixed-site and mobile clinics at over 400 schools, Head Start centers, shelters and community sites, delivering healthcare where children live, learn, and play in 16 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In addition to ensuring access to healthcare, CHF works to reduce health barriers to learning in children from high-need communities, brings the voice of children and youth to local and national policy debates, and responds to the needs of children impacted by natural disasters and other public health crises.
Children’s Health Fund
Message from Deerfield Managing Partner, James E. Flynn
The emergence of COVID-19 has laid bare disturbing differences in health status by race. As of the most recent tallies, Black, Hispanic and Native American persons have roughly three times the rate of hospitalization and double the rate of death as compared to white Americans. The cause is multifactorial and includes the consequences of differential access to care and differential access to employment opportunities that lend themselves to remote work. These lopsided numbers do not lend themselves to debate about who is bearing the greatest burden from COVID-19 and continue to signal a clear call to action.
Overall, the impact of COVID-19 on Asian populations in the U.S. has mirrored that of whites in terms of deaths and hospitalizations. However, owing to the origin of the virus in China and the rising politics of blame, hate crimes against Asians have risen sharply in most major cities across the U.S. It is absurd to blame a Chinese person (or any other person of Asian descent) for a disease with which they had nothing to do. The pain of experiencing or witnessing these acts is severe, and it is every bit as important to address these acts as those which have differentially affected other populations.
These unnecessary and harmful divisions have been heightened by the stresses, isolation and fears associated with COVID-19. However, there is often opportunity in tragedy. We can take lessons from this experience to diversify our institutions and to educate our children and ourselves on ways to be allies for communities that face discrimination of any kind. We can develop innovative solutions for the delivery of health care which solve access by zip code and other fundamental issues. Most of all, we can embrace the strength which comes from the differences in our interests, backgrounds, perspectives and traditions. It is that strength that will allow us to overcome the many future challenges we inevitably will face.