The Compass Winter 2019 - Page 6

FOUNDATION NEWS Child Life Program Expanded with Gift from Moody Foundation When a loved one has suffered a trauma or is battling a grave illness, it is a difficult experience for anyone. For children, the uncertainty and fear they can experience can be terrifying. With the help of this grant, the Palliative Care Child Life program will be established or expanded in locations in North Texas, including in Fort Worth, Irving and Grapevine; and in Central Texas, including Waco and Temple. Highly trained and dedicated certified child life specialists help families in crisis, serving in palliative care and in all other hospital units including trauma, emergency department, intensive care unit, oncology, cardiac care, transplant, women’s and children’s services and rehabilitation. Acting as advocates, educators, liaisons and hand-holders, child life specialists support children and families with their knowledge and experience with child development and age-appropriate therapeutic interventions. In doing so, they help reduce the stress and anxiety that many children can experience in these circumstances. aylor Scott & White Health impacted by the health or injury of a loved believes that treating the patient one will receive this support. means treating the whole family. “We have the unique opportunity to “When there is a serious life-limiting illness or injury, the children are often the ones who need the most information In 2011, Baylor University Medical Center take the long view in deciding how our and emotional support, but the adults in Dallas became one of the first hospitals foundation can best invest in meaningful often don’t know where to start,” Cinda in the nation to develop a Palliative Care projects that positively impact the lives McDonald, manager of Palliative Care Child Child Life Services program dedicated of Texans for years or decades,” Frances Life Services, said. “We work with adults to exclusively serving children of adult Moody-Dahlberg, executive director and to educate and empower them in how patients who are facing life-altering chairman of the Moody Foundation, said. to support their kids through their health or life-ending illnesses and trauma. “Bringing comfort to our smallest and crisis, giving them confidence to talk about The program has expanded in the last most vulnerable children in their time of this difficult information with their kids. eight years to additional Baylor Scott uncertainty allows us to be of service in a & White hospitals. way that is both gratifying and humbling. understanding can sometimes lead to fears Now, through a generous grant We are pleased to come together with or misperceptions, like that they “caused” from the Moody Foundation, more Baylor Scott & White Health on this life- a serious illness because they didn’t clean children whose lives have been changing initiative.” their room as told, or that they were at “For many children, their lack of risk for “catching” their mother’s breast cancer if they gave her a hug. It’s both Cinda McDonald, child life specialist, works with 10-year-old Angel following his mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. heartbreaking and real,” McDonald says. “Our goal is to work with children and their families, and help by being that unbiased person outside of their family, that ‘safe space’ where children can have open and honest conversations on topics that parents have given us permission to talk about.” Helping children cope with real-life circumstances is the goal of providing child life services and support in this innovative way, McDonald explains. Thanks to generous support from the Moody Foundation and other gracious patrons, generations of Texans may be supported on their journey through the inevitable circumstances of serious illness, injury or death of a loved one. To find out how you can support this program, please contact Lynn Bohne at 214.820.4070 or Lynn.Bohne@BSWHealth.org. 6 THE COMPASS / BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE FOUNDATION NEWS / WINTER 2019