First of its Kind e-Toolkit to Help Families of “Aging Out” Children Navigate the Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care
St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, New York’s leading provider of pediatric post-acute care, today unveiled the first online resource designed specifically to guide parents of medically fragile children through the complex transition from pediatric to adult care.
The Transition e-Toolkit, developed by St. Mary’s in collaboration with advocacy groups and State agencies, will serve as a one-stop information hub for the growing number of families whose children are “aging out” of pediatric care.
“Thousands of parents across New York are struggling to plan for the future care of their near-adult children,” said Jeffrey K. Frerichs, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. “Many have tremendous difficulty navigating the aging-out process and are unaware of the resources available to them. Our goal is to give children with special healthcare needs the best quality of life possible, and part of that is providing them with direct access to this essential information.”
Today, it is estimated that 1 in 5 kids has a special healthcare need, which equates to roughly 800,000 in New York State alone. Due to advances in medicine and technology over the past 20 years, healthcare organizations have witnessed a tremendous increase in the survival of children who have experienced catastrophic illness, severe injury, or complications of premature birth. This phenomenon has created an emerging population of medically fragile children and adolescents who are now living into adulthood — something today’s healthcare system was never designed to address.
St. Mary’s e-Toolkit provides a step by step guide for families when their children begin to approach the age of 18 and transition from pediatric to adult care. Successful transitioning requires families to develop a personal and comprehensive plan. The e-Toolkit provides resources on healthcare services, insurance and benefits, supportive services, residential options, as well as education, work and financial considerations. The e-Toolkit can be found at https://etoolkit.stmaryskids.org