Children’s Medical Fund Mission Statement
Since its establishment in 1989, the Children’s Medical Fund has sought to provide medical assistance to critically ill Greek, Greek American and Orthodox children, whose families are unable to afford appropriate and necessary medical treatment. The Fund also provides grants for innovative research programs to pediatric hospitals throughout the United States and to organizations with special programs that care for children with critical and life threatening illnesses.
History and Grant Distribution
The Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon began as the Cancer Fund Luncheon in 1989 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and was followed by a second Cancer Fund Luncheon in 1990. These successful events provided funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, for the Greek Children’s Cancer Fund and for the Kids-n-Cancer program. In 1991, this event was officially named the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon, and it became a biennial event hosted on a rotating basis within the Direct Archdiocesan District and eight Metropolises of the Archdiocese.
Since its inception, the National Philoptochos has raised over $2.7 million for the Children’s Medical Fund, and has awarded over $2.6 million in grants to hospitals and organizations. The remaining funds have been disbursed for children in need through grants handled by the Social Services department at the National Philoptochos office.
A total of $136,900 was distributed at the 2013 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon.
Children’s Medical Fund Flyer
2013 National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Recipients
Total Children’s Medical Funds Distributed: $136,900
The Angel’s Closet
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $1,500
Project: Clothing & Supplies for Newborns
The Angel’s Closet works cooperatively with 15 social service agencies, local churches and hospitals in Monroe County, Pennsylvania to distribute newborn clothing and supplies to low income mothers. Many infants leave the hospital without basic clothing and accessories. Because of The Angel’s Closet, when mothers leave the hospital, they are able to take their newborns home clothed and protected from the elements. The CMF grant will be used to purchase clothing and accessories for newborns, which will be distributed by The Angels Closet.
Children’s Medical Fund Grant:$3,500
Project:Ideal Nutrition for Preterm Infants
The Level III Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Aultman Hospital cares for 300-400 preterm infants per year. It is the goal of Aultman Hospital to improve the health of the most fragile of these infants, who are born at 22-29 weeks gestational age, or one to two pounds. These infants have suppressed immune systems and benefit greatly from the antibodies provided in human milk. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious gastrointestinal infection, can be reduced or prevented by the properties in human milk. Human breast milk promotes improved health outcomes and better developmental progress for these infants, providing the best chance of survival and a healthy future. Approximately 20% of NICU mothers are unable to provide their own breast milk. Thus, it is necessary to use donor milk in order to offer the best possible nutrition to these infants. The CMF grant will be used to purchase donor breast milk from the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio, located in Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The Childhood League Center
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $ 10,000
Project:Capable Families–Social Worker Family Support
Founded in 1945, The Childhood League Center is committed to serving children under the age of six with developmental delays and their families regardless of race, color, creed or ethnic origin. The Center provides an environment that fosters the growth of the whole child and encourages feelings of confidence and self-worth. Comprehensive services help each child and family to develop and function to their fullest potential. The success of a young child is directly related to the success of the family. Families are even more important to the future potential for children with special needs. Nearly 61% of the Center’s families are living in poverty, 30% are single parent homes and 21% are unemployed. The Center’s curriculum and programs, social workers and Family Service Specialists help families to develop and build the skills that will influence the child’s development. Specialists include intervention teachers, speech, occupational, physical therapists, nurse, dietician and mental health professionals. CMF funds will support one social worker and expenses associated with home visits, and professional development.
Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $10,000
Project:Child’s Way–Acute & Chronic Medical Needs
Established in 1893, Child’s Way is a Pediatric Extended Care Center, which provides a vital alternative or supplement to in-home nursing care for children with acute and chronic medical needs. From 6:30 AM to 6:00 pm every weekday, the program cares for children’s medical needs while simultaneously providing educational and social activities. Medical complications of the children served include seizure disorders, heart or respiratory illnesses, and cancer. Child’s Way can accommodate up to 60 children per day from ages 0 to 21. The CMF grant enables the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh to provide services to additional children in the Child’s Way program.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $12,000
Project:Vaccine-Based Immunotherapy for Childhood Gliomas
Gliomas are among the most common and fatal brain tumors for children. This project is the first study of its type to examine peptide vaccine therapy for gliomas. Results have been encouraging, as investigators are seeing tumor shrinkage in children with very high-risk tumors. This vaccine trial is a last-chance effort for many of the children and has been providing families with precious additional months. It is also demonstrating that immunotherapy is a promising addition to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation in the battle against this stubborn cancer. The vaccine consists of proteins that are found on the surface of the tumors and elicit a response from the child’s own immune system, so that the immune system itself will target and potentially eliminate the tumor cells. CMF funds will permit researches to expand the number of children enrolled in the trial, increase the options for patients, and prepare to enlarge the trial to other sites so that more children throughout the country have access to the therapy, and more researches are engaged in the work. In doing so, the trial will maintain momentum toward developing a viable treatment for these fatal tumors.
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $20,000
Project:Caring for Our Kids–Support for Families of Children with Blood Disorders and Cancer
The economic burden of childhood blood disorders and cancers can be devastating for the entire family’s financial well-being. Negative financial effects, coupled with profound emotional stressors that are associated with a diagnosis, can stretch families beyond their limits and have long-term effects on an entire family unit and its quality of life. The CMF grant will directly fund medications and supplies that are not covered by health insurance in order to provide ongoing support and relief for the families of patients.
Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $9,000
Project: Electronics for Kids with Cancer
Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund was founded in 2009 when Genre Baker was in the midst of his leukemia treatments. He realized that many sick children did not have a hand held gaming system to play during the long hours of chemotherapy and blood transfusions, and the Fund was born. Each newly diagnosed child with cancer is provided with a new Nintendo DS system, or if they have a system, they may choose new games. There are also mp3 players for non-gamers and Leapsters for younger children. The CMF grant will be used to purchase hand held electronics for pediatric cancer patients.
New Horizons Youth and Family Center
Children’s Medical Fund Grant:$12,000
Project: TeenScreen Program
The TeenScreen Program provides free, school-based mental health screens to local junior high and high school youth. One in four children that are screened test positive, indicative of risk factors associated with teen suicide. For youth who test positive, clinicians provide same-day clinical assessment and a parental consultation. Referrals and case management services are available to all families. All children in need of psychiatric treatment are offered treatment by a board-certified psychiatrist. When surveyed during treatment, 60-70% of adolescents and families report improved functioning as a result of this program. The CMF grant will subsidize the screening and outpatient treatment of additional children and families who are uninsured or under-insured. Public funding for services such as these has been drastically reduced over the past three years, causing children with severe emotional disturbances to go untreated. CMF funds will help restore care for these children.
Pinnacle Health Children’s Resource Center
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $16,500
Project: Medical Examination & Counseling Services
The Children’s Resource Center (CRC) serves child victims of sexual and physical abuse and child witnesses to violence in their homes and communities. In addition, it provides public awareness programs that strive to educate the community about child abuse. The CRC conducts forensic interviews of children in a consistent, non-leading manner; provides medical exams to obtain evidence and ensure the health and safety of the child; connects the child and their non-offending care giver to mental health services, and facilitates collaboration of agencies involved in child abuse investigations, including law enforcement, prosecution, and child protective services. This coordinated approach is designed to reduce the trauma to child victims associated with multiple interviews, while improving the quality of the information obtained. Because no family incurs any costs for services provided at the CRC, the Center runs at a deficit. The CMF funds will offset expenses related to child forensic medical examinations and mental health counseling services, as well as training.
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $21,000
Project: Diabetes Technology Clinic
Diabetes is one of the most common long-term childhood diseases and a major health threat. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that one in three American children born today will develop diabetes during their lifetimes. The Diabetes Technology Clinic at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital diagnoses, treats and manages both type I diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes) and type II. They assist families in evaluating their choices with respect to technology, testing, equipment and medication administration. The team provides a comprehensive perspective to families, which includes diet, prescriptions, glucose monitoring and use of insulin pumps. The CMF funds will be used for Insulin Pumps and will help advance diabetic self-management among children.
Variety the Children’s Charity
Children’s Medical Fund Grant:$5,400
Project: Adaptive Bikes for Children with Disabilities
Variety the Children’s Charity is an international organization that provides unique programs, experiences and equipment for children with disabilities so that they can live life to the fullest. For a child with a disability, riding a bicycle is more than a recreational activity. When a child struggles to skip, run, and even walk, an adaptive bicycle can be transformative. It enables the child to ride alongside his/her friends, thereby increasing the child’s independence and restoring normalcy to the child’s life. CMF funds will be used to purchase additional adaptive bikes to expand the number of children served by the Center.
Weirton Christian Center
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $5,000
Weirton, West Virginia
Project: Journey Transportation Project
The Weirton Christian Center serves low-income families in the area, providing clothing, meals and gift cards for groceries for families in need. The Center provides a safe afterschool program for children ages three to eighteen. Children at the afterschool program receive homework help, access to computers and tutors, snacks, dinner, and Bible Study. Additional educational programs address manners, literacy, math, fitness, nutrition, job training and entrepreneurial skills. The school system transports the children to the Center following school; however, there is no other program that transports children who are not in the public school system and no programs to take children to their medical appointments. The Center recently received the donation of a van that will be used for this purpose; however, the cost of gasoline is prohibitive. The CMF grant will be used for gasoline costs to enable the Weirton Christian Center to provide these vital transportation services.
West Virginia University Children’s Hospital
Children’s Medical Fund Grant: $11,000
Morgantown, West Virginia
Project: Pediatric Supportive Care Program
Child trauma victims who have suffered physical or sexual abuse, emotional neglect, medically induced trauma, traumatic accidents, and children who have witnessed violent events or who are struggling with a chronic or life threatening disease are the children who are most in need of psychotherapy. These children suffer from a variety of behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, attachment disorders separation anxiety and social, interpersonal and self-esteem image issues. The WVU Children’s Supportive Care family therapist applies an intensive trauma treatment model that includes videotaping the patient so that the patient can view his/her behaviors. However, the Program does not possess all the necessary equipment the therapist requires to conduct and expand the intensive trauma treatment model therapy. The CMF grant will provide funds to assist the Pediatric Supportive Care Program to continue its work with child trauma victims, thereby directly enhancing the children’s emotional well being.