Medical Home Meeting: December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012- During our December meeting of the Medical Home Work Group for Children with Special Needs in Western Massachusetts, we heard from two excellent children’s service agencies, the local Loving Care Agency of Springfield, Massachusetts, and the national Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Patricia Flink, area director from Loving Care Agency, began the meeting with a presentation of the pediatric nursing services that Loving Care provides special needs children. The agency, located at 205 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield MA, provides home health and private-duty nursing care for children, including services for G-tubes, tracheostomy, and ventilator care. As well, intermittent skilled nursing visits are available, and services provided by Loving Care must be associated with a skilled nursing need.

Flink explained the importance that all nurses have high-quality pediatric training, which the agency provides. All nurses undergo pediatric preparatory courses with the goal that nurses will be equipped to teach families to care for their special needs children in areas such as diabetes, tracheostomy, G-tube care, and more.

As well, the agency provides unique transitional assistance for children moving from a facility to home. A “transitional team” coordinates with hospitals and facilities to customize the child’s services, and the Loving Care nurses assist families with adapting to new equipment, such as ventilators, in the home. Loving Care’s clinical managers, who are also pediatric nurses, help with insurance and maintaining quality of service. All insurance plans are accepted by Loving Care Agency. For more information, please visit the agency’s website.

Our second presenter, Julie Able from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, spoke about the fantastic gifts that the Foundation bestows upon many children with critical medical conditions. Although it is not necessary that the child’s condition be terminal, the condition must be progressive, degenerative, or malignant in nature. As well, a medical diagnosis and a doctor’s recommendation are required. For more information on this wonderful program, please visit the Make-A-Wish Foundation website.

In other news, uur Medical Home group sponsored a successful holiday event on December 18 at Shriner’s Hospital for Children which over 100 children and family members attended! We are grateful for our sponsors, THOM Early Intervention and Safe Kids of Western MA.