BANK OF AMERICA
Generous $1 Million Donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation Provides Access to Health Care for Houston's Underserved
Addressing one of the biggest issues facing Houstonians and Americans today -- that of access to quality health care, regardless of an individual's ability to pay -- Texas Children's Hospital and Bank of America were joined by Mayor Bill White today to celebrate the opening of the fourth Texas Children's Pediatric Associates Project Medical Home®, located on the campus of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA).
"The $1 million gift from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is the lead funding source for this new center and will supplement existing Project Medical Home facilities," said Ayse McCracken, president, Texas Children's Pediatric Associates. "Our goals for the program are to address access and coverage among a population that most needs these services. We are incredibly grateful to have the support of an organization like Bank of America."
The high cost of health care and the challenges this poses for lower-income families is one of the most troubling issues facing urban populations. Backed by the strength of Texas Children's Hospital, the largest freestanding pediatric facility in the United States that is consistently ranked among the nation's top five pediatric institutions, its Project Medical Home subsidiary is a leading community improvement effort with a proven track record of success.
"At Bank of America, we realize there is a critical shortage of quality health care in our city with nearly 28 percent of Houstonians lacking basic health insurance, more than 350,000* of which are children," said Kim Ruth, Houston market president, Bank of America. "We are proud to partner with Texas Children's Hospital as they serve as an anchor in our community, providing children in the Houston area with reliable medical services while building relationships and educating families on the importance of basic health care."
According to the United States Census Bureau's 2005 Health Insurance Data report, Houston has one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation and research indicates these children are six-times more likely to go without medical care and five-times more likely to seek out emergency room treatment as their only source of health care. Project Medical Home addresses these issues and, more importantly, provides a consistent pediatrician with whom families can develop a trusted, long-term bond.
"Time and time again Houstonians have shown their dedication and commitment to helping those in need within our city. I applaud the partnership of Texas Children's Hospital, Bank of America and AAMA in providing much needed health care access to our children," said Houston Mayor Bill White. "Efforts such as this are a shining example to other community organizations, health systems and corporations of the power of collaboration and are vital to the prolonged health and wellness of our residents."
Each year, Project Medical Home provides more than 16,000 children and 12,000 low-income minority families with a full spectrum of educational and preventive health care resources, including assistance in obtaining health care insurance, obesity and substance abuse counseling, immunizations, life coaching for at-risk youth, and literacy initiatives.
"When a patient walks through the doors of a Project Medical Home facility, they are in effect walking through the doors of Texas Children's Hospital and are provided with access to the highest level of pediatric services the hospital offers," adds Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children's Hospital. "Clearly, corporate philanthropy enables this to happen. This gift from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation makes high quality health care a reality for countless families throughout our community, and serves as an extraordinary example to other corporations of the power of philanthropy."
About Texas Children's Hospital:
As one of the nation's largest pediatric hospitals, Texas Children's Hospital is renowned for its expertise and breakthrough development in the treatment of cancer, premature infants, cardiogenic disorders, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS and attention-related disorders. Since opening its doors in 1954, the Texas Children's Hospital has cared for more than 1 million children from every corner of the world and has had more than 2 million patient encounters a year. Internationally recognized, the hospital is ranked in the top five among children's hospitals by both Child and U.S. News and World Report. For more information about Texas Children's Hospital, please visit www.texaschildrenshospital.org.
About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Bank of America has embarked on an unprecedented 10-year goal to give $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the quality and vitality of their neighborhoods. The bank will give more than $200 million in 2007, making it one of the most generous corporate donors in the world. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contribute more than 500,000 hours each year to improve the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
* United States Census Bureau's 2005 Health Insurance Data report
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Bank of America Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.