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Simon Cowell and ‘Idol Gives Back’ Shine Spotlight on Children’s Health Fund and Families Struggling to Access Health Care

Children’s Health Fund (CHF) is one of the charities benefiting from tonight’s “Idol Gives Back,” the Emmy Award-winning television event and musical celebration raising awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities. CHF, an “Idol Gives Back” beneficiary for the third time, is the nation’s leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care to homeless and low-income children and their families – regardless of their ability to pay. At least 14 million children and youth in the U.S. – one in five – live in poverty, and often when people live in poverty, they struggle to get access to ongoing health care. Each one of CHF’s 24 programs across the country has received support from “Idol Gives Back.”

Simon Cowell’s visit to CHF’s Southern Arizona program will air as part of “Idol Gives Back,” airing tonight, Wednesday, April 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), on FOX. During his visit, he saw firsthand how families in rural communities have difficultly accessing health care due to some non-insurance-related barriers, including lack of transportation or hundreds of miles between them and the closest doctor or specialist. CHF’s Southern Arizona program is located in an extremely rural area and experiences myriad challenges with very limited resources. It was founded largely in part to “Idol Gives Back” funding to CHF and brings urgently needed health care services to thousands of children, hundreds of which have special health care needs.

“In many poor communities across the country, children living in poverty can have an extremely difficult time getting the medical services they need. That fact is compounded by the great distances families have to travel to access critically needed services as well as doctor and other health professional shortages. It is particularly devastating for children with challenging medical conditions,” said Irwin Redlener, MD, President, Children’s Health Fund. “We are delighted and honored to be the recipient of ‘Idol Gives Back’ and its viewers’ generosity for the third time. Thanks to their incredible support, Children’s Health Fund has been able to provide care to families in Southern Arizona and all over the country through more than 650,000 health care visits. On behalf of everyone at the Children’s Health Fund and the children and families served by our programs, thank you.”

Access to doctors and specialists. Transportation issues. Language and cultural barriers. It is challenges like these that affect many of CHF’s families across the nation, preventing many kids from just getting to a regular well-child visit to treat a chronic illness before it results in a more serious ER visit or preventable hospitalization. With funding from “Idol Gives Back,” Children’s Health Fund will be able to continue to tackle these barriers and provide comprehensive health care services for even more children across the country.

This year’s special will feature performances and appearances by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Elton John, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck & Joss Stone and Mary J. Blige & the All-Star Band.

Visit www.childrenshealthfund.org/idol-gives-back for more information on how “Idol Gives Back” funding has helped CHF.

About Children’s Health Fund
Founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, Children’s Health Fund (CHF) is the nation’s leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and their families. CHF’s mission is to bring health care directly to those in need through the development and support of innovative medical programs, response to public health crises, and the promotion of guaranteed access to health care for all children. CHF currently has 50 mobile medical clinics serving 100’s of locations across the country. Over the past 23 years, the organization has supported more than two million health care visits for disadvantaged children, often in places where doctors and health care providers are in short supply. For more information about CHF, visit www.childrenshealthfund.org.

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About “Idol Gives Back”
The brainchild of Simon Fuller, “Idol Gives Back” has made history by raising over $140 million for charity to date. This year’s special celebration will help raise awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities, including Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation.

About “American Idol”
“American Idol” is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America. The series features host Ryan Seacrest and judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson. Visit www.americanidol.com for more information on “Idol Gives Back” in addition to exclusive videos, photos, special behind-the-scenes information and all of your “American Idol” news.
Source: Children’s Health Fund

CONTACT: Rebecca Hut of the Children’s Health Fund, +1-917-613-2089

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