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Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Other Miami-Dade Community Partners Assist Parents Applying for Florida KidCare
(1/3/2005)

MIAMI – A coalition of local organizations will join Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 7 at Miami Children’s Hospital, main lobby, 3100 S.W. 62nd Ave., to talk to parents about Florida KidCare, public health benefits for uninsured children through age 18, and the statewide open enrollment period for the program which will take place throughout January.

Mayor Alvarez and other Miami-Dade officials will be on hand to help guide families through the application process.

Florida KidCare is geared to help families who don't have access to or can’t afford private health insurance. Families with an income of 200 percent at or below the federal poverty level would pay a monthly fee of $20 for comprehensive, preventive health care for their children. Parents have just one month to apply for this affordable health insurance for children. Applications received after Jan. 30 will not be accepted by the Florida Healthy Kids Corp., the public-private organization that administers and oversees KidCare.

Miami-Dade County and local organizations have pooled their resources to set up a hotline - 305-468-KIDS (5347) - where parents can call for information about the program and to get an application.

“I am encouraged to see Miami-Dade County’s community partners and childcare advocates working together to get as many eligible children enrolled in KidCare,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Alvarez. “I hope all parents who think their children may qualify take advantage of this vital program.”

As part of this collaboration, organizations across Miami-Dade County have applications available at their offices. To see a list, go to www.hscdade.org.

Miami Children's Hospital has also set up a phone number - 786-624-3535 - so parents can inquire about the program and receive assistance filling out the application 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout January.

Miami Children’s Hospital is also enrolling children at their main campus and at the Miami Children's Hospital South Dade Center in Palmetto Bay, 17615 SW 97 Avenue.

“At Miami Children's Hospital we’re here to ensure that every child in the community has the best quality health care,” said Thomas M. Rozek, President and CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital. “We hope the community will take advantage of this opportunity.”

Last year, legislation was passed which eliminated state funding for KidCare outreach. In response to this shortfall, local organizations raised approximately $40,000 to print and distribute more than 100,000 KidCare applications in English, Spanish and Creole and hire additional staff to help families through the enrollment process.

“Good health is so critical to a child’s success, and Florida KidCare gives thousands of children the care they need that their parents couldn’t otherwise afford,” says Daniella Levine, executive director, Human Services Coalition of Dade County.

This year, The Children's Trust funded the KidCare outreach efforts of the Public Health Trust, Human Services Coalition and Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center as part of its prevention and promotion grant process. Approved by voters in 2002, the mission of The Children's Trust is to fund improvements to children's health, safety and development; promote parental and community responsibility for children.

“There are approximately 100,000 children currently without access to health care in Miami-Dade County. Studies indicate that many of these children are eligible for Medicaid or Healthy Kids, but are not enrolled,” said Modesto E. Abety, president and CEO of The Children's Trust. “Promoting access to health care by overcoming some of the cultural and language barriers unique to Miami-Dade County has always been and will continue to be a critical priority for The Children's Trust. We are happy to sponsor the outreach efforts of many of our community partners to help in this effort.”

Founded in 1950, Miami Children's Hospital is the only licensed specialty hospital for children in South Florida. Ranked among the country's best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Miami Children's Hospital offers medical care and services for children from birth to age 21. The 268-bed medical facility treats more than 187,000 patients each year and has expertise in all aspects of pediatric medicine.

The Human Services Coalition of Dade County (HSC) was founded in 1996 to work with individuals and communities to create a more just society by promoting civic engagement, economic fairness and access to health and human services. HSC is a membership-based coalition with more than 6,000 members, representing community groups, faith-based organizations, policy makers, businesses and individuals.

Participating Organizations
The Children's Trust
Human Services Coalition of Dade County
Miami Children’s Hospital
University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
Miami-Dade County
Baptist Health South Florida
Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center
Amerigroup
Vista
Steps in the Right Direction
Catholic Charities
Florida CHAIN
United Way of Miami-Dade
Hispanic Coalition
Staywell Health Plan
New Hope Information and Counseling Services
Department of Children and Families
Regis House

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