St. Mary’s Hospital for Children Receives $38,000 Grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities

Grant to Support St. Mary’s Award-winning Pediatric Palliative Care Program

BAYSIDE, NY – St. Mary’s Hospital for Children is pleased to announce it has received a $38,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area (RMHC-NYTSA) to support the life-affirming work of its Pediatric Palliative Care Program.

“We are honored to continue our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area,” remarked Burton Grebin, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. “This generous grant enables St. Mary’s to expand our innovative and compassionate Palliative Care services and therapies to children with life-threatening as well as life-limiting conditions. We are grateful for their ongoing support of St. Mary’s and our children.”

“We are excited about all of the worthwhile programs that we are able to fund this year,” said Irving Klein, Board Member, RMHC-NYTSA. “It is wonderful to partner with non-profit organizations that are working to better the community and to support programs that benefit children such as St. Mary’s Palliative Care program.”

St. Mary’s nationally-recognized Pediatric Palliative Care Program is designed to improve the care and quality of life for children with life-threatening, life-limiting, and/or chronic conditions and their families. Credited for pioneering the first inpatient pediatric palliative care program in the United States, St. Mary’s uses a holistic approach to palliative care, which combines complementary therapies such as art and music therapy, guided imagery, Reiki, therapeutic touch, and aromatherapy with more traditional pain and symptoms medical management modalities. Palliative care is often used along with curative measures to help provide the greatest healing potential for St. Mary’s patients. The program offers a full range of support services, including pastoral care, mental health, social work, and end-of-life services.

The grant from RMHC-NYTSA will be used to expand St. Mary’s Palliative Care Program including the expansion of its innovative Doula Program to include families that receive home health services. Doulas are trained volunteers who help guide children and families through the end-of-life process, offering emotional, spiritual, and logistical support during this most challenging time.

In May 2007, St. Mary’s Palliative Care Program was honored with an award by Children’s Hospice International. In addition, it has received the prestigious Circle of Life Award for innovation in palliative care from the American Hospital Association and the New York State Quality Award for Best Practice in Pain Management and Palliative Care from the State Department of Health in 2004.