Homeless Families to Benefit from Grant to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from The Philadelphia Foundation

12/3/2009

- $225,000 Grant Supports Healthy Lifestyles, Obesity Prevention Program Among Children and Families -

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia recently received a $225,000 grant from the Philadelphia Foundation to support an obesity education program for children and families who are homeless.

The program, which focuses on prevention of obesity, includes providing healthy lifestyle education to families and staff in shelters; recommending behavior modifications within the shelter environment to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity; increasing general awareness of health issues in shelters in order to build a culture of concern about healthy lifestyles; and engaging families in a dialogue about healthy lifestyles and assessing their readiness to change.

The CHOP Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) represents a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach towards the improvement of the healthcare of children in shelters by providing free high-quality, culturally sensitive acute-care services to children in shelters; encouraging the use of primary and specialty care as well as access to insurance coverage; providing education to shelter staff, shelter residents and community groups; and collaborating with local and national partners to effectively advocate for children in shelters.

Hundreds of volunteer doctors, nurses, social workers, dentists, and healthcare trainees in these disciplines successfully deliver these services because of the daily efforts and guidance of a dedicated leadership team that has built strong relationships with shelter partners. This leadership team consists of two social workers and a pediatrician who have healthcare skills, interpersonal skills, teaching skills, behavior modification training, and access to resources.

"We are delighted to support this important initiative," said R. Andrew Swinney, president of The Philadelphia Foundation. "Establishing healthy habits in childhood is a key component of long-term health, and pays lifetime dividends both for the individual and the community."

"We are thrilled by the Philadelphia Foundation's generous support of the Homeless Health Initiative which serves the hundreds of families that are homeless in the neighborhoods surrounding The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia," said Melissa Bennett, M.D., medical director of Children's Hospital's Homeless Health Initiative. "Because of this grant opportunity, we can contribute to making a positive difference in the prevention of obesity and related cardiovascular disease in these families."

The HHI program will continue to strengthen relationships among shelters, families and their communities. There are also plans to increase the number of shelters served with healthy weight education. The program will help identify community resources and encourage access for families to places that will support lifestyle changes.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 441-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

About The Philadelphia Foundation: The Philadelphia Foundation is Southeastern Pennsylvania's leading center for community philanthropic engagement and has been committed to improving the quality of life in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties for more than 90 years. As a public charity community foundation, it manages more than 775 charitable funds, maximizing the strategic impact of charitable contributions. It supports the intentions of individual, family, business and organizational donors who have established permanent charitable funds to help the region meet the challenges of changing times. The Foundation invests and administers these funds and awards the distributions - about $20 million a year to nearly 1,000 area organizations - as grants and scholarships. The Foundation's work is overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in the region's needs. For more information, visit http://www.philafound.org

Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6063, salis@email.chop.edu


SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia