Junior Hospitality of Oklahoma City awarded Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) $2,500 to be used for the Pediatric Palliative Care service and Comfort Cart. The funding from Junior Hospitality will be used to purchase educational materials such as books about grief, loss and dying for the patient and the family, as well as comfort items such as warm socks, blankets, stuffed animals and personal hygiene items. The Comfort Cart is made available to families with a child in the hospital or palliative care.
“The Palliative Care Team (PaCT) at Oklahoma Children’s cares for children and their families faced with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Dr. Rachna May, Director of Pediatric Palliative Care at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. “PaCT focuses on quality of life issues for children with complex medical conditions and is a longitudinal model of care, initiated ideally at the onset of illness and continued through end of life. Our team cares for about 230 patients annually with a goal of allowing these patients and their families to enjoy more ‘good days’ than ‘bad days’ through the course of their illness.”
Palliative care is a necessary, healing and reflective practice led by medical professionals specifically trained to work with children, their families and healthcare team when curative care is no longer feasible for the patient. Not only does the palliative team care for the child during this heartbreaking time, but also the team provides essential care and support to the family of the child, including the parents, siblings, extended family members as well as close friends.
“The Comfort Cart is provided to families facing end-of-life moments. It allows us to place items in the hospital room that will be needed by families during that tender time,” said Dr. May. “Since the inception of the cart in 2019, we have been able to serve more than 100 families with the cart. An ancillary program runs alongside the Comfort Cart program. We know that medical teams caring for patients at end-of-life deal with an enormous amount of stress. This was magnified throughout the COVID pandemic. As a result, we have added caregiver care packs to our Comfort Cart, as a way to acknowledge the work of the team at bedside providing care for patients and families at end of life.”