Children's Health Fund, Montefiore Launch Child Health Center in South Bronx to Address Link Between Stressful Childhood and Long-Term Health Problems

Friday, May 20, 2011 General News
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Center for Child Health and Resiliency, Among First of Its Kind in U.S., Focuses on Building Protective Factors to Mitigate Harmful Stressors Poor Children Often Experience

NEW YORK, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children's Health Fund (CHF) and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore are launching the Center for Child Health and Resiliency (CCHR) May 23
to address health disparities in the South Bronx. At the center, group parent education programs are paired with regular health care visits to provide emotional and social support to families, particularly those exposed to high levels of stress.


New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former Mayor David Dinkins and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., will participate in the event.

The CCHR is incorporating the latest scientific research in child development into its new comprehensive prenatal and pediatric health care model. The research demonstrates that severe stress causes biological disruptions that can permanently affect a child's immune system and alter brain development. Children who are exposed to chronic stress are at risk for lifelong health problems like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But by developing nurturing and protective relationships with their children, parents can help build protective factors that mitigate the destructive stressors and increase resiliency.

"Many low-income children face chronic stress from nutritional deprivation or persistent violence at home or in the community," said Irwin Redlener, M.D., CHF president and co-founder. "By addressing their medical, emotional and developmental needs through a comprehensive clinical care model, we can lower their risk of developing long-term physical and mental health issues."

The poorest congressional district in America, the South Bronx has some of the country's highest rates of asthma, diabetes and obesity. Children in this community lack access to comprehensive health care, negatively impacting their physical and emotional health throughout their lives.

"Montefiore and CHF have a long and successful partnership developing innovative programs to advance the health of families and children in the south Bronx," said Steven Safyer, M.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center. "The Center for Child Health and Resiliency brings the newest research to bear on improving how pediatric care is provided. This forward-thinking approach is part of our overall strategy to improve the lives and futures of children at risk."

Through a coordinated community-based effort, the CCHR gathers critical developmental information about the children, leading to richer and more targeted visits. During the first visit, families fill out extensive questionnaires that specifically help guide care for children by primary care physicians. By enhancing communication between families and community partners such as social workers and food banks, the CCHR is creating a network of essential resources for these parents and their children.

The CCHR is part of a collaboration between CHF and the Community Pediatrics Programs of the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, which also includes the New York Children's Health Project and the South Bronx Health Center for Children and Families. The CCHR's pediatricians, women's health care providers and mental health professionals serve children up to age 21, with a special focus on the unique health care needs of the prenatal environment and children up to age 5.

More than 50 percent of the CCHR’s $3 million budget was financed by the Health Resources and Services Administration and other federal funds.

Children's Health Fund

Founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/advocate Irwin Redlener, M.D., Children's Health Fund (CHF) is the nation's leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and their families. CHF's mission is to bring health care directly to those in need through the development and support of innovative medical programs, response to public health crises, and the promotion of guaranteed access to health care for all children. CHF currently has 50 mobile medical clinics serving hundreds of locations across the country. Over the past 24 years, the organization has supported more than two million health care visits for disadvantaged children, often in places where doctors and health care providers are in short supply. For more information about CHF, visit  

Montefiore Medical Center

As the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is a premier academic medical center nationally renowned for its clinical excellence and scientific discovery; compassionate, patient-centered model of care; commitment to its community; and medical education, including the second largest residency program in the country. Montefiore is recognized among the top hospitals nationally and 6th out 180 in the New York metro area by U.S. News & World Report. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore has consistently ranked in U.S. News "Americas Best Children's Hospitals," and is 2nd among those in the New York metro area. As an integrated health system, it is comprised of four hospitals, has 1491 beds and 93,000 annual hospital discharges, and is seamlessly linked by advanced technology. State-of-the-art primary and specialty care is provided through a network of nearly 100 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. Inspired by its patients and its community, Montefiore is on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care and is a national model for excellence. and

SOURCE Children's Health Fund


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