Child Family Health International

Rating: 4.59 stars   111 reviews

Address:

995 Market St Ste 1104 San Francisco CA 94103 USA

Mission:

Founded in 1992, Child Family Health International is a global family of committed professionals and students who work to strengthen communities at the grassroots level. We are united by a vision of advancing quality healthcare for all by creating global health education programs that are socially responsible and financially just. We are recognized by the United Nations.

Results:

-->Established in 1992 -->20+ sites in 7 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda) -->8,000+ volunteers have completed programs to date -->Supports & works with 250+ medical professionals around the world -->Donated over $10 million in medical supplies/equipment -->Offers professional development opportunities to global medical partners -->Academic Partners include UC Davis, Northwestern University, Northeastern University, etc. -->Awarded Special Consultative Status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) Economic and Social Council, July 2008

Target demographics:

Our students explore what health care and public health are like in developing countries while experiencing local culture and issues. Our program fees help support the local underserved communities where we work. We have enrolled 8,000+ students to date.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

700+ students and 250+ CFHI community partners (doctors and businesses, NGOs)

Geographic areas served:

Worldwide, with a focus on the US, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda, and India.

Programs:

GLOBAL HEALTH INTERNSHIPS : Experience global health through 4 to 16 week programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Uganda & South Africa. Open to all with an interest in global health/medicine. INTERNATIONAL GRANTS: CFHI indirectly provides critical medical services to our partners abroad. Support CFHI's efforts in bringing village-based health care to underserved areas. HEALTH PROMOTER TRAINING: CFHI trains community-based health workers and teaches local members about preventive medicine and public health issues. Equipped with medicines and supplies physicians often see over 400 patients in a month.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

415.957.9000
www.cfhi.org

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Reviews for Child Family Health International

Rating: 5 stars  

I went to Oaxaca in 2006 as a part of the first cohort with my undergrad university and CFHI was incredible. They were well prepared, accommodating, and super helpful. The clinical rotations were really great and the doctors were as eager to teach as we were to learn. Even in the midst of some intense political turmoil, CFHI made me feel safe and cared for. They also were able to secure rotations even when we were evacuated to the coastline because our university decided it was too unsafe for us to stay in the city centre.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a volunteer with the CFHI Rural/Urban Himalayan program in Uttarkhand, India in August 2012. There were three students involved in the program at the time and we spent four weeks living in a variety of settings and experiencing the different modes of health care delivery in each place. Overall, the experience was fantastic from a cultural and public health perspective. Health care and the large-scale challenges in health infrastructure in India were very different from my home country, Canada. I gained a much better understanding of the crucial role that social and environmental determinants play in health. Clinically, the placement did not offer many learning opportunities directly related to clinical, patient management on an individual level. However, I went into the program expecting that to be the case and I am already a medical student in Canada so I know I will get that clinical experience at home. Most importantly, I never felt as though my position as a foreign student was ethically questionable or exploitive. I was particularly welcomed by the staff at the Landour Community Hospital in Mussoorie, and I plan to go back some day and spend more time there. It was a Christian hospital, which may not be appealing to all students, so be aware of that when you sign up for the rotation. I never felt pushed to join in with religious services etc. Logistically, the program coordinators did a good job. We never had any transport issues and the home stay was very comfortable. Overall, I would recommend this program to medical or public health students, with the caveat that it is not a hands-on clinical experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

I think this is a good time to look back and reflect a bit on the hospital experience in some detail. It was amazing to be able to go to places and observe things that I’ve never had the opportunity to go or see before. Even though there were some slow days, overall I loved it.

So, this is how the overall month went. Each week we rotated to different hospitals or to different units within hospitals and tagged along with Doctors/Surgeons and Nurses. Some weeks we would go to multiple different locations. While in these rotations we would observe so much. We got to follow along in rounds, and occasionally even participate in the discussions, and we were able to observe almost all aspects of the state health care system. In my time in South Africa, I spent a week in King Edward’s Pediatrics Department as well as it’s Surgery Department. In surgery, I was able to observe some amazing procedures such as laparoscopic gall bladder removal and (in the trauma ward) the insertion of an intercostal tube into a stabbing victim. That was amazing!

I was also able to spend a full week at St.Mary’s Hospital, where I did rounds in the medical ward, pediatric inpatient ward, and pediatric outpatient ward. I also spent a considerable amount of time in the theater as well as the Antiretroviral (ARV) Clinic. The last week of my stay, I also had the opportunity to visit an orphanage (picture below) and go to the Malagasy clinic, which was a really great experience. At the clinic I got to see firsthand the first line of institutionalized healthcare; the place where basically everyone went previous to arriving to the hospitals. This time spent within the medical system of Durban was more amazing than anything else I’ve had the opportunity to do in my pursuit of medicine thus far. It was stunning to be able to interact with patients and physicians on such an intimate level (or as intimately as possible given the language barrier with many patients). One of the most interesting things for me was that, as an African-American, this is the first time I’ve ever truly just blended in. It seems like a minor thing, but it was strange to me to be surrounded by other black men and women everywhere. At hospitals where I’ve been before, I always stuck out like a sore thumb, but here, I was home. I truly loved it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a participant of one of the CFHI programs, Confronting Tropical Infectious Diseases in Mumbai, India this past July 2012. This volunteer experience has taught me so much about the world and myself. I have learned that I can adjust to any circumstances and live in any place in the world. I am looking forward to become a doctor and to practice medicine in rural areas where the supply for is limited and highly need it.
I knew that being part of this program and being exposed to a complete different culture will aid in increasing my awareness for global health understanding, I just did not know up to what level my understanding will increase. The experiences I have acquired through this program will facilitate to establish self-confidence as a future physician. They will enhance the development of trust between my future patients and me regardless the difference in religious beliefs and culture.
Along with gaining new skills, I also enjoy learning about India, and its people, culture and customs. There is no right or wrong way to do things, there are just many different ways to do them and accomplish the same results and goals.
One of the challenges I faced was not speaking Hindi. My channels of communication with people from this country were limited due to this barrier. I could not understand what they were saying either, although being humble and having a smile helped me to feel welcomed everywhere I went.
I am looking forward to get involved in more programs that will allow me to visit countries where there are an increasing number of underserved communities in need for medical care. I recommend this program for anyone thinking about specializing in Infectious Diseases. Visit www.cfhi.org and click on Confronting Tropical Disease Challenges in Mumbai Program for more details

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This was an amazing experience for me. I had never flown to another country before, so I really did not know what to expect. CFHI really took care of me when I was there, placing me in an excellent homestay and checking in with me regularly. They also answered all questions that I had before the program began very promptly and were very accomadating to my schedule (I went outside of the recommended program start and end dates and did not have any problems). It is hard to offer points of improvement for constructive feedback. The program is a bit expensive, combined with the cost of flights to the country. However the cost is well worth it, and CFHI provides fundraising suggestions for you. As for the program itself, I had much freedom to do what I was comfortable with. Perhaps this could very with each preceptor at the locations, which would be outside of CFHI's control, but their medical director allows flexibility in scheduling to change rotations if you are unsatisfied (the same with your host stay as well). I got more clinical exposure than in Med1 back in the states, doing physicals on children with things like pneumonia, hip displasia, and meningitis. I have my strongest recommendations for the program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

When I had initially embarked on this trip I had low expectations of the future while in South Africa. By this I mean I knew that life would have been different from the United States but how different was something I could paint in my mind. I was also a bit perplexed at the idea of living with perfect strangers as my home stay family. However this trip ended up being a learning experience as well as a sense of connection with others whom I had previously never encountered in life. During my stay I was able to appreciate the community life and family life that is shared among each South African citizens. Everyone is different but very alike as they tied with the past, present and promising future. Although life was very different to a great extent to life in the United States we are somehow very alike. We share the same stress and common goals in life. There was no difference in the heart of a person unless one chose to look at the color of their skins. I had very friendly neighbors that made my trip worth while. My daily activities after the hospital were varied and always fun. At times it always felt as if there was so much to do and so little time to do it. I was very please with how amicable the atmosphere was in the hospital among professionals. Although there was a great amount of stress applied to the work and seriousness there was also a sense of ease that helped to make the work easy. I learned a lot about the Zulu culture as well as the Zulu language. I admire their prairies and vast landscape that are almost never ending. The tourism in the country was something that we were all driven to achieve. I learned about strength and courage as I watched people around me deal with daily struggle of life with great optimism. The struggle of a family for clean water and electricity was something I was familiar with through the stories of my country of birth the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was able to share with the people of South Africa my life experience as well as give hope by showing them that their struggles although significant are somewhat better in certain areas than the struggles of other African nations.. In the Cape, I was able to see the both the similarity and difference the socio-economic lifestyle of its citizens. For instance, there were parts of the cities in which you will find only a certain culture which was mainly influence by the race that lives in that community. I remember going out one night in the sea point neighborhood and it was beyond belief the lifestyle that I saw there. I must say there was absolutely no difference between the city of Los Angeles and some part of the cape. One strange thing that did strike me the most was the lack of crime. I was almost always expecting the worst because we hear stories but truthfully I got to realize that all stories are a bit exaggerated. In short, this trip gave me a mirror image to myself. I was able to enter another world and see how intricate and similar it is from the one I know, but it also allow me to look into myself and appreciate as well as compare certain things I have in my world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've not yet to experience the results of this organization in my community or place of work but I am confident that sometime soon I will see these results.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would perhaps increase the time and different field students are exposed to.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Time spent at the hospital and various places

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Absolutely, profound effect.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

My volunteer experience made me feel rewarded because I felt as if I made an impact in people lives every second of the time I spent volunteering.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This past November I went with Child Family Health International (CFHI) on their Healthcare Challenges in Cape Town, South Africa program. I worked at a public hospital called GH Jooste in Manenberg, a township located right outside Cape Town. I experienced first hand how doctors and nurses had taken care of patients while the hospital was understaffed, overworked and had limited supplies. However, during my time there, the doctors still took time out of their busy days to teach me about a wide variety of tasks including reading ECG graphs, taking blood, interpreting patient histories and lab results, as well as minor surgeries. I shadowed doctors in the trauma department for 3 weeks and then the orthopedic clinic for 2. There I was allowed to apply pops (casts) under supervision and scrub in to observe orthopedic surgery.

My days would begin with rounds, and because GH Jooste was a teaching hospital, every staff member (doctors, nurses, students) participated. Each patient was examined and the resident or supervisor in charge would make each a new “case,” explaining how one would come to a clinical diagnosis and plan out a treatment. Most of the time the doctor would do a quick physical examination, read the blood results and be able to identify what was wrong. As a pre-med student, I came into the program having only a basic biology background and whenever I was lost, someone would always take the time to walk me through each step.

My homestay family, along with the local coordinator and medical director, were amazing and I couldn’t have asked for more. They always called to check in on me and my homestay family was accommodating, warm and welcoming—I felt right at home on the very first day. I still keep in contact with all of them and I miss them dearly!

This program was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and it was truly life changing. I originally chose this program because I needed to figure out if I wanted to pursue medical school. When I returned, I had no doubt that I wanted to become a doctor. I really hope that other students, whether or not they are going into the medical field, take advantage of CFHI’s programs because what you gain is a once in a lifetime experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

I graduated as a pre-med student from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular immunology. In an elective global poverty course, I could not help but realize the strong connection between infectious diseases and global poverty. To develop my interest in global health, I went to Ecuador through CFHI for a month to work in clinics both in Quito and by the rainforest, to better understand tropical diseases specifically. It was a life-changing learning experience. Not only did I learn so much about how public health initiatives work firsthand, I experienced a new culture and the extent to which culture and health care are connected in Ecuador. Every doctor, medical student, and health worker I interacted with was incredibly welcoming and friendly. They made great efforts to not only include me in different cases, but to also teach me about the medicine behind it. I loved interacting with patients so directly since clinical internships in the States usually involves being seen but not heard. Beyond the actual clinical aspect of the program, I had an amazing time making local friends, bonding with other students in the program, and exploring the beautiful country itself. I learned so much about myself and my interest in global health, and I am positive that I want to continue to be involved in helping underserved individuals internationally as a doctor.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a student at UC Berkeley in my first year that is a Political Science/ International Relations major, but with a large interest in Public Health. I planned to live in Berkeley over the summer so I searched for public health related non-profit internships located in the SF Bay Area. I came across Child Family Health International that combined both my interests of international affairs and public health and applied!

I am writing from the perspective of an SF office intern and not a participant of CFHI programs, however, I still feel strongly about the integrity and remarkable quality of this organization. The staff is all of varying background, making the workplace a dynamic environment. They all have a love for travel and therefore, inspire their students to make the fullest advantage of their learning experience overseas. A lot of work is put into the coordination of the program, and making sure each student is satisfied while abroad. The organization is truly dedicated to its cause of being able to provide service-learning opportunities to pre- health science students while introducing participants to a first hand global health perspective. For that reason, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work here over the summer knowing that my efforts contributed to the greater cause of CFHI.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I recently went to La Paz, Bolivia with Child Family Health International for their Pediatric and Adolescent Program. The program allowed me to learn about the healthcare system in a developing country. Unfortunately, during my month stay there, the physicians were having their first strike ever in Bolivian history. The physicians were striking against the government for the lack of resources in the hospitals and the recent increase in daily work hours without an increase in pay. The media called the physicians “lazy” and the community members followed the media. Even with protests from the community, the physicians continued to stand up for their beliefs and marched everyday. The police would line the streets in front of hospitals and clinics to control the demonstrations and crowds. I soon learned that striking was common throughout the entire work force of Bolivia. From public transportation to sex workers, different groups protested everyday.

While clinical settings were limited due to the physician strike, I was able to rotate through 3 different hospitals with the 4 other students from the United States. We as students were welcomed by the physicians and residents at each facility. One was the main public pediatric hospital of La Paz, one a brand new private hospital, and the other a small public hospital in a poor neighboring city. Both public hospitals lacked many resources and the poorer hospital was overcrowded. This program allowed me to learn how physicians dealt with health without resources and about Bolivia’s health insurance and coverage.

The other students and I were able to enhance our Spanish not only through the clinical setting, but through our daily Spanish classes. Living with a host family also helped my conversational skills. The host family was extremely welcoming and kind, and the son spoke fluent English. On the weekends, we were able to explore the city and even travel throughout the country. Going to a different country to experience health care first hand and living with a local family is a unique opportunity that I am extremely fortunate to have experienced!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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