Friends of Jack Awards $200K in Grants to Improve Pediatric Care on the SouthCoast
If you've ever gone out to eat at a SouthCoast restaurant for a Food For Tots night, or attended a Friends of Jack fundraising event, here are just some of the ways that money is used to help make our community a better place for our children.
The Friends of Jack has announced $200,000 in grants that have been awarded to local hospitals frequented by kids and families here on the SouthCoast.
A $100,000 grant has been awarded to St. Luke's Hospital to fund two part-time child life specialists and to purchase a new giraffe warmer for premature newborns in the newly opened combined unit.
Another $50,000 has been awarded to Boston Children's Hospital to bring Tobey Hospital in Wareham a new "Rosie the Robot," a telemedicine device to connect directly to Boston doctors and expedite pediatric care.
In addition, $50,000 has been awarded to Hasbro Children's Hospital to support the child life specialist department.
What is a Child Life Specialist?
Friends of Jack founder Jill Fearons explains the position of child life specialist.
"They work with the physicians, nurses and families to explain what is going to happen with the child's car," Fearons said. "They make things a little bit easier for the child using distractions during a procedure. They just help the family with any of their needs."
Without funding, these types of positions don't exist at hospitals that are sized like the ones here on the SouthCoast, Fearons said.
The Friends of Jack has funded enough child life specialists at St. Luke's to cover nights and weekends, as well, "because that's when kids tend to get sick," Fearons said.
The next Friends of Jack event is Casino Night: A Circus Spectacular. It will be held Saturday, March 25, at Kilburn Mill in New Bedford.