Every Child, In Every Neighborhood, Deserves a Doctor

This post was authored by Greg Irace, Senior Vice President, Global Services, Sanofi
Apr 4, 2014 4:00 PM ET
Campaign: Sanofi US
From left: Irwin Redlener, MD, Co-founder and President of CHF; Isani Castro; me; and Altagracia Tolentino, MD

Speaking of Sanofi

Recently I met Isani Castro, a young woman who has been a patient of Children’s Health Fund’s (CHF) New York project since she was five years old.  When she first came to CHF, Isani had a serious eye problem that affected her ability to learn and thrive.  Thankfully, a CHF mobile medical clinic drove into her New York neighborhood each week, giving Isani and her family access to high-quality healthcare they never would have received otherwise. At the mobile clinic, she met Dr. Altagracia Tolentino who quickly addressed her need and built such a strong bond that Isani still refers to her as a “Second Mom.” Today, thanks to that early medical intervention, Isani is a junior in high school with 20/20 vision and her sights set on Columbia University, where she hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer

It’s changed lives like Isani’s that have made partnering with CHF a high priority for Sanofi — and a personal passion of mine – for many years.

In 2013, I became Chair of the CHF Corporate Council, which seeks to expand the number of companies that partner with CHF to support their mission of ensuring all U.S. children have access to quality healthcare. Sanofi is leading by example not only to get companies to support CHF financially, but to take that support several steps further by sharing their expertise and even their employees’ time and talents to help drive the mission forward.

Turning Innovative Ideas into Real Life Solutions
Already, we’ve seen the positive affect of Council member companies expanding their CHF collaboration to help address specific barriers to healthcare. Here are a few examples.

- Samsung is helping to put a new mobile clinic on the road in the San Francisco Peninsula’s Children’s Health Project, replacing a 19-year-old clinic. This investment helps ensure Northern California maintains its lifeline of clinical services (medical, mental health and nutrition) to vulnerable adolescents and street youth. Samsung’s generosity is also extending to kids in Texas, New York City, Florida, New Jersey and Detroit where the company will soon provide state-of-the-art technology to local CHF programs.

- The American Express “Serve2Gether” program encourages skill-based volunteering among employees, which includes those who consult with CHF in their areas of business expertise.   Through this partnership, CHF has benefitted from projects improving Human Resources processes, policies and benchmarking –  and with CHF’s staff doubling in size over the last two years to meet the growing need, this expertise came at the perfect time.

- Molina Healthcare partnered with CHF to co-develop an asthma brochure geared specifically toward elementary-aged children who need help understanding how to manage their asthma. This is all part of a broader educational effort “Breathing Easy with Asthma” that Molina Healthcare is sponsoring in Michigan, a state with two CHF mobile medical units.

In my next post, I look forward to sharing how Sanofi employees across the United States are gaining inspiration from CHF’s mission and taking action on our shared belief that every child, in every neighborhood, deserves high-quality healthcare.

Greg Irace