American Idol's Jason Castro Gives Back

"American Idol" finalist Jason Castro, will tour the Children's Health Fund's Dallas program, a partnership with Parkland Health & Hospital System, in support of "Idol Gives Back," the Emmy Award-winning television event and musical celebration raising awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities, airing Wednesday, April 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Children's Health Fund (CHF), one of the "Idol Gives Back" beneficiaries (for the third time), is the nation's leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care of homeless and low-income children and their families -- regardless of their ability to pay. Each one of CHF's 24 programs across the country received support from "Idol Gives Back."

Castro will visit The Family Place, one of the Children's Health Fund's Dallas Program's service delivery sites for the mobile dental component of the program, the program also provides medical and mental health care to homeless children and families. He will see how "Idol Gives Back" funding is helping some of Dallas' neediest while visiting the clinic and performing for the families, many who benefit from these essential services.

Children's Health Fund's Dallas program, which is affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System, provides quality medical, mental health and dental care to homeless children and families. Last year the program provided care to over 8,400 homeless people in over 26,000 patient visits via its fleet of six mobile medical and dental clinics that roll through Dallas with teams of medial professionals visiting various homeless sites.

Since 2007 CHF has granted the Dallas program over a half-million dollars of "Idol Gives Back" support, and the most recent mobile dental clinic was made possible through the generosity of "Idol Gives Back" viewers. The state-of-the art fully-operational dentist office on wheels makes it possible for the team to provide a true "dental home" for the patients it serves. The program hits the streets 5 days a week with a fully staffed team made up of a dentist, dental assistant, hygienist and receptionist/registrar. In its three spacious exam rooms with state-of-the art equipment including a "pano" digital x-ray machine the team is able to provide the same services to their patients, regardless of their ability to pay, as they would receive in any dentist office. Besides The Family Place, the program serves various homeless sites in Dallas including a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, day care for homeless children, residential drug and alcohol treatment program and a teen shelter.

Many, if not most, of the women and children seen on the clinic have not received previous dental care. Lack of appropriate dental care can have serious medical repercussions including, serious infections that can affect other parts of body, tremendous pain and discomfort and even death.
Children's Health Fund (CHF) is a non-profit organization co-founded by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/child advocate Irwin Redlener, MD. CHF is committed to providing health care to the nation's most medically underserved children and their families. Over the past 23 years, the organization has supported more than two million health care visits for underserved children. CHF currently has 50 mobile medical clinics serving 100's of locations across the country that provide comprehensive care to thousands of at-risk children, often in places where doctors and health care providers are in short supply.

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