Grace Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince Survived Quake

While other hospitals in Haiti were devastated, thankfully Grace Childrens Hospital still stands.

This latest report from the field:

We continue to asses the structrual damage that the hospital suffered, and in the next few days will be opening the hospital grounds to serve as a triage and treatment center in conjunction with other aid groups.

I emailed ICC directly to find out how to help:

Sandra,

Thank you for writing. We appreciate your support and prayers!

At this time, financial donations are most urgently needed, as shipping items to Haiti requires logistical efforts that are impossible at this time. We will be using the funds to offer immediate relief as well as to help with needed repairs at the hospital. In the next few days, we hope to be able to offer the facility to be used for the relief efforts. We will keep you updated on our website as much as possible! If, in the future, opportunities come up to collect items for the hospital or other relief efforts, we will let you know.

Thank you!

Ann Simmons
Communications & Development Coordinator
International Child Care, USA
3506 Lovers Lane, Suite 8
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 382-9960
(800) 722-4453

So like most natural disasters the best thing to do is to donate money and/or organize local fundraisers to raise funds rather than try to do supply collections.  Here’s a Donor’s Guide to Global Emergencies from , Nonprofit About.com Guide (on Twitter @joannefritz .)

Visit the ICC & Grace Childrens Hospital Website

Here’s a video news segment from local TV

Other organizations that were already in Haiti mobilized immediately to help:

@redcross @MSF_USA @PIH_org @oxfam @oxfamamerica

8 Things to Know About Healthcare Reform in the United States

There’s way too much crazy talk about healthcare reform hitting the airwaves.  While the internet often adds to misinformation, there are also some great online newspapers and other websites that provide a way to sort it all out and find out the real deal.

Here are 8 points of information (with links for more info)…

1. On Socialism: Myth: Health care reform is socialized medicine. Fact: Health care reform will preserve the employer-based health care system, meaning an estimated 200 million Americans will continue to get their coverage through their employers. – AARP

2. Numbers: The federal government estimates that over 45 million individuals lacked health insurance coverage of any kind during 2008. As most elderly people are covered by Medicare [a government run healthcare program], nearly all the uninsured are under age 65.  Nearly twenty percent of uninsured Americans – 8.7 million individuals – are children. – CovertheUninsured.org

3. On Rationed care: Myth: Health care reform means rationed care. Fact: None of the health reform proposals being considered would stand between individuals and their doctors or prevent any American from choosing the best possible care.  Fact: Health care reform will NOT give the government the power to make life or death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by an individual, their doctor and their family. – AARP

4. No one will be “put out to pasture.” On former Sen. Fred Thompson’s radio show, former lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey said that the House’s proposed health care bill contained a provision that would institute mandatory counseling sessions telling seniors how “to do what’s in society’s best interest … and cut your life short.” In truth, that section of the bill would require Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling sessions helping seniors to plan for end-of-life medical care, including designating a health care proxy, choosing a hospice and making decisions about life-sustaining treatment. It would not require doctors to counsel that their patients refuse medical intervention. False Euthanasia Claims, July 29, 2009 FactCheck.org

5. On Abortion, Medicare cuts: “In fact, none of the health care overhaul measures that have made it through the committee level in Congress say that abortion will be covered, and one of them explicitly says that no public funds will be used to finance the procedure. Furthermore, none of the bills call explicitly for cuts in Medicare coverage, much less rationing, under a public plan.” Surgery for Seniors vs. Abortions?, August 3, 2009 FactCheck.org

7. Impact on existing insurance companies: “The insurance companies are in no danger of going out of business under this bill, under any version of this bill…. All its going to do is give people more choice, lower costs over time, although it will cost more initially, and end the fear that all of us should we lose our jobs or get sick. For us not to be addressing that, to continue to discriminatie against people who are ill is the real outrage that has to be ended this fall. ” Johnathan Alter, Senior Editor, Newsweek, on MSNBC August 6, 2009

8. Impact on small business: Small business owners, sole-prorietors and employees of small business are more likely than employees of larger firms to be uninsured or under-insured. The 16.8 million uninsured workers at firms with fewer than 100 employees make up 63% of all workers without coverage, even though such companies employ just 41% of the labor force. – Health-Care Debate: Issues for Small Business, May 4, 2009 BusinessWeek

P.S. For additional news sources see my Delicious bookmarks on healthcare

Communities Helping Families Through Kids Cafe

Kids Cafe is a program that provides after school meals for children from low-income families.  It’s a partnership between local food banks and area partners.  Feeding America, the organization that helps many local/regional food banks, provides the basic framework for locals to start their own Kids Cafes. Here’s a great video from Austin via Texans Against Hunger.

Blogging for the uninsured: getting health care access for everyone

One of the causes that I follow and blog about occasionally is the issue of health care access. Recently on my personal blog I posted my four reasons for healthcare reform.

Zane Safrit is a fellow blogger that often writes about health care.  (Here’s a link to many of his healthcare posts.)

Via Zane’s Twitter stream I found this link to a New York Times article.  It reports that Millions With Chronic Disease Get Little to No Treatment because they are among the nation’s growing ranks of uninsured.

I also recently discovered another passionate blogger who’s right in the heart of helping the uninsured. Brenda Hook works at Good Samaritan Clinic in Fort Smith, Arkansas and writes about providing health care for the uninsured on The Samaritan’s Blog.

I’m really excited about learning more from Brenda.  While I know about the health care problem and have had some limited experience with it, she has a lot of direct experience.  Take yesterday’s post for example.  She explains why most unemployed people do not have COBRA.  I have gone through a layoff where the COBRA was totally unaffordable.  Thankfully it was a short period of unemployment and I didn’t get sick.  But I imagine the thousands of families, especially those with chronic conditions, who go unemployed for months, what a stress that would be.

Four reasons for healthcare reform

Late last night I got a message from Congress.org regarding the issue of health care reform.  I’m not 100% sure why they framed the question this way, but at least it’s attention getting:   SHOULD AMERICANS PAY MORE FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM?

Although final Congressional action is still many months away, several House and Senate committees this week are holding hearings on health care reform – and the costs associated with it. The nation spent $2.4 trillion on health care in 2008, and yet 46 million Americans have no health coverage at all.

This is the short and sweet message I sent along with my vote:

America needs health care reform and universal access because:

1. Many of those who are already covered are already paying HIGH premiums, deductibles and copays.
2. There are many self employed, small businesses, retirees, underemployed and unemployed who cannot get affordable healthcare.
3. Uninsured care cases are already driving up the costs of insurance and provider fees.
4. Access to health care is a right not a privilege.

Sincerely,
Sandra Sims

Vote at Congress.org and send a message to your senators, congressional representatives and President Obama

Legislative Timeline: Health Care a look back at this issue over the years