enCourage Kids Success Stories that Improve Patient Care and Hospital Stays for Kids
Our success stories are played out every day in various creative therapies, pet therapy, patient support, technologies, hospital equipment and supplies, and recreational activities.
enCourage Kids has proudly funded the music therapy program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital since 2013, making it an integral part of the hospital’s child life program. For patients in its traumatic brain injury unit, one of the largest populations served by this grant, music therapy sessions are clinically proven to improve cognitive function, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills, and quality of life. For these reasons, music therapy is one of our most funded hospital projects.
Facility Dogs and Pet Therapy
In 2018, we welcomed Kimono and Vente, resident dogs at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, into the enCourage Kids family in response to members of the child life community. Facility dogs provide opportunities for interactive, loving and memorable moments during a challenging time. Dogs are often used to lift spirits, lessen depression, provide comfort, and increase socialization, allowing kids to disconnect from their illness to feel more secure and hopeful. Pets can also help motivate kids and make reaching important care goals, like getting out of bed or walking on their own, feel less daunting.
Sickle Cell Support Group
enCourage Kids Foundation funds a monthly support group at Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center for children and families living with sickle cell disease. The support group environment provides a safe space for feelings of anger, depression, guilt, and anxiety to be expressed, validated by others, and accepted as a normal response. This resource also helps patients and families connect with others so they are not alone.
Hospital Admission & Comfort Kits
The Hospital Admission and Comfort Kits at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital provide a dose of fun distraction. Since 2005, enCourage Kids has packed supplies including sippy cups, bibs, teethers, books, puzzles, cards, bubbles, journals and beauty supplies. These customized kits are an enjoyable way for kids of all ages to pass the time, and help them focus on something more pleasant, diverting fears and negative thoughts.
Technology: KidZone TV
enCourage Kids Foundation has been supporting closed-circuit KidZone TV at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital since 2005. It broadcasts entertaining, educational, and therapeutic content daily and adapts programming based on children’s and families’ interests. Patients can also direct, produce, host, and create their own programming—an expressive, healing outlet for hospitalized children. These hands-on learning and play experiences support autonomy, creativity, individuation, social and emotional growth, and overall well-being. Patients have reported that watching KidZone TV helped them cope with severe pain or readjust after waking from sedation.
VECTA Deluxe Mobile
The VECTA Deluxe Mobile Sensory Station is used at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in its pediatric unit, treatment rooms, the playroom, and the pediatric emergency room. The multi-sensory mobile station has a CD player to play soothing music, projector, fiber optics for tactile touch, aromatherapy, and an interactive bubble column in which the speed of the bubbles and the color of the column are patient controlled.
Safe Sleep Initiative Onesies
With support from enCourage Kids, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was able to implement a safe sleep initiative in its neonatal intensive care unit. Each family that enters the NICU receives an infant onesie that reminds parents to lay their child on his/her back when being put to sleep to avoid SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
enCourage Kids provided funding to Vassar Brother Medical Center to install much-needed equipment and technology to its pediatric unit. These include:
- IV poles adorned with fun plush toys.
- Rocking chairs that provide soothing, close-contact means for caregivers to comfort patients.
- MamaRoo® swings, increasingly important to soothe the growing number of patients born with opioid addiction, which can be otherwise challenging with limited staff attention.
- TVs and Xboxes that provide a way for patients to play and interact with their parents, siblings, or other caregivers.
Child-friendly Exam Tables
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Department provides care to an ethnically diverse and under-served community who utilize its ER and primary care services. The hospital’s aging ER needed updated equipment. enCourage Kids funded new child-friendly exam tables and an infant scale, which elevated the level of care and comfort.
Ski Trips to Adaptive
enCourage Kids funded a ski trip to the Adaptive Sports Lodge at Windham Mountain for the Hospital for Special Surgery’s pediatric patients who require adapted equipment. Young patients with cerebral palsy, significant limb length discrepancy, and lower limb amputation were enabled to participate in exciting sports programming. The experiences encourage mobility and independence, and pediatric patients return home with increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and motivation to live fuller, more active lives.