Together for Kids Foundation Will Focus on Fundraising, Childhood Obesity and Accident Prevention
The University of Maryland Hospital for Children at the University of Maryland Medical Center has joined a new nonprofit organization, Together for Kids™, which will raise funds nationally to help its member hospitals cope with dramatic increases in the health needs of children.
“The children of our region and all across America are facing increasing challenges to their health and well-being—challenges that include a growing obesity epidemic and a staggering rise in accidental injuries. We are also concerned about the dramatic number of children whose families are without health insurances,” says Steven Czinn, M.D., head of the University of Maryland Hospital for Children and professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The University of Maryland Hospital for Children is delighted to be part of this exciting new initiative to rally more resources to improve children’s health in the U.S.”
The newly-formed Together for Kids consists of 34 children’s hospitals and hospital systems, representing 53 individual facilities serving children in 47 U.S. cities. As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity, Together for Kids (www.togetherforkids.org) will raise funds through corporate sponsorship, events, grants and other forms of philanthropy, distributing the funds to member hospitals to address the most urgent children’s health needs in their communities.
Dr. Czinn cites a host of troubling statistics that demonstrate the need to focus more resources on children’s health. “Since the 1980s, the percentage of overweight children has jumped from six percent to 17 percent, the number of children with asthma has doubled, and today more than 11 percent of all children are without health insurance,” he noted.
“While the needs are increasing, funding for children’s hospitals is declining,” Dr. Czinn adds. “That’s why the University of Maryland Hospital for Children is so glad that Together for Kids has been created to support the critical work of children’s hospitals in caring for seriously ill and injured kids, and to make a focused effort on the issues of childhood obesity and accident prevention.”
In April 2008, the University of Maryland Hospital for Children and other member hospitals will participate in Together for Kids’ first annual national fundraising campaign, Come Out to Play!—a month-long series of events around the country to raise funds for hospitalized children and to encourage kids and families to take part in active play that is healthy and safe.
Pediatric specialists from the Together for Kids hospitals who make up its Physicians Advisory Committee have prioritized the issues of childhood obesity and accident prevention as critical challenges where the member hospitals will work together to make a real difference.
Recognized statewide and regionally as a center of excellence for children with critical illnesses and complex, chronic conditions, the University of Maryland Hospital for Children combines state-of-the-art medicine with family-centered care. The Hospital for Children offers a broad array of specialty care for children of all ages.
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