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Spring 2012

F O R S U P P O R T E R S O F L A R A B I D A C H I L D R E N ' S H O S P I TA L

Groundbreaking Planned for Outpatient Expansion

La Rabida CEO Brenda Wolf said one of the hospital’s goals is to focus on the medical home model, providing coordinated care to children with complex conditions such as sickle cell anemia, cerebral palsy and diabetes. These patients are treated by teams of specialists. The goal will be easier to achieve with the new facility, she said. “The future is the delivery of services to keep children, particularly children with special needs, out of the hospital,” Wolf said in an April Crain’s Chicago Business story about the project.

To better serve Chicago’s most vul-

nerable children, La Rabida Children’s Hospital is planning an outpatient service center renovation and upgrade.

The new outpatient building will have bigger doorways for improved handicap accessibility and larger spaces for interdisciplinary, family centered treatment.

In March, La Rabida’s Board of Trustees approved the $16 million project that will include construction of a one-story outpatient clinic with 18 exam rooms. The 13,000-squarefoot building will replace the smaller clinic.

Providing services for the entire family is a point of pride for La Rabida, which has been nationally praised for its medical home model that provides family centered care.

The entire project, which also includes updating aging infrastructure, is expected to be financed by fundraising dollars and state capital funding. The renovations are necessary for more effective and efficient care. Patients, accompanied by caregivers, younger siblings and bulky medical aids are now seen in a space designed more than 50 years ago.

In 2011, the National Committee for Quality Assurance recognized the hospital for its medical home model, which aligns with the standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP defines a medical home as “continuous, comprehensive, accessible, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective to every child and adolescent.”

The current outpatient building will be renovated to provide more space for existing services, including pharmacy, lab and rehabilitation services. Both the renovation and the new addition will be registered with the United States Green Building Council as the hospital seeks to achieve the internationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which provides a framework for identifying and implementing measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. After gaining community support and approvals from the city of Chicago, the hospital is awaiting final Certificate of Need approval from the state. Plans call for breaking ground in the fall of 2012 and occupancy in late summer of 2013. The Pick Building renovation will follow the opening of the addition and will be completed in the following winter.


A New Perspective on Medical Trauma What is medical trauma and how do we treat children who have latent issues? Those are the questions 145 health care professionals including pediatric nurses and educators sought to answer during La Rabida’s Perspectives in Care conference, Medical Trauma in Childhood.

Though the definition of medical trauma varies, La Rabida’s conference planners characterize it as a child's or family's experience of frightening, painful, and/ or highly distressing medical events and their responses to them. Melissa Alderfer, Ph.D., from the Cancer Center of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and La Rabida’s Rose Briars, N.D., PNP-BC, CDE., led a nursing track

of the daylong conference in Tinley Park. Briars, co-director of the Chicago Children’s Diabetes Center, discussed anxiety families often face dealing with diabetic ketoacidosis, (DKA), a lifethreatening condition that can develop when blood sugar is too high because of insufficient insulin. Keynote Speaker Judith Simon Prager, Ph.D., outlined communication tools to help children heal faster and empower them to participate in their own self healing.

Pediatric Orthotics Update More than 50 orthotists, occupational therapists and physical therapists recently attended a two-day course, Updates in Pediatric Orthotics: Dynamic Movement Orthoses. Presenters from across the country and England discussed and

demonstrated The Dynamic Movement Orthosis (DMO®), a unique way to brace pediatric patients. The Lycra®-based orthotic garment is fabric, latex free, and designed to the child’s specific need. The orthosis can be a glove, sock or suit that provides compression, as well as directional pull needed for the child. It supports any body segment required

to meet the needs of a particular child who has challenges with movement resulting from conditions such as cerebral palsy. "As always, excellent. I appreciate (Chief Occupational Therapist and Organizer) Audrey Yasukawa's direct information and honest and down-toearth approach always fosters great problem solving,'' one participant wrote following the course.

Diabetes Patients Spring into Healthy Living Emerald City Theatre actors tickled the audience pink during an annual health fair for families affected by diabetes, hosted by the Chicago Children’s Diabetes Center at La Rabida. About 300 patients, their families and caregivers, along with vendors and entertainers joined the Spring Celebration: “Healthy Living with Diabetes” at the Homewood Suites in Orland Park. 2 CUR R E N T S

Experts from La Rabida, as well as Children’s Memorial Hospital, packed the day with informative sessions on diabetes management, nutrition and achieving independence.

Colorfully costumed actors thrilled young patients with an abbreviated

performance from Emerald City’s hit musical, Pinkalicious: The Musical. Other sponsors included Novo Nordisk and Medtronic. A panel of patients and their families wrapped up the day with a question and answer session led by experts about reallife experiences with diabetes. “Life is worth living,” Teodulfa Jimenez, mom of patient Hannah Jimenez, told the members of the audience, some of whom acknowledged being frustrated by the disease. “You have diabetes. Diabetes does not have you.”

Events Preview

A Family Affair

La Rabida is planning several annual

Jayden Garcia was

summer and fall fundraisers to support the hospital, patients and their families. • Women in Support of La Rabida will host Cruisin’ on a Sunday Afternoon Sunday, July 15, 2012 aboard the Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier.

born with respiratory complications that left him with a tracheostomy (breathing) tube and ventilator in order to move air through his fragile body. He spent the first weeks of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit and then came to La Rabida so his parents could learn the intricacies of the health technology needed to sustain his life.

• The La Rabida 23rd Annual Golf Classic will be held Monday, August 6, 2012 at Harborside International. Sponsorships are available.

• Friends of La Rabida Awards Benefit will be Friday, November 16, 2012 at Four Seasons Chicago. The hospital’s annual celebration is an evening of cocktails, dinner, silent and live auction, and dancing. Sponsorships are available.

Parents of technology dependent children must master a complex skill set before they take their child home from La Rabida. This process, from an ability to identify changes in the child’s condition to emergently changing the tracheostomy tube and troubleshooting the ventilator, can be overwhelming to families. “Parents can take as many as 10 classes during their child’s hospital stay and then return once a year for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) refreshers,’’ said La Rabida Nurse Case Manager Nancy Richer. She teams with Rosalva Torres, also a nurse case manager, to train parents and caregivers to become comfortable and knowledgeable with the technology on which their children depend. The classes are offered in addition to bedside training done by La Rabida nurses. Together, Torres and Richer - an award-winning care and education team - bring 40 years of nursing experience to La Rabida families. Twice a week for three hours each time, Torres, Richer and respiratory care practitioners train caregivers to administer feedings and medications by tube. In addition, caregivers learn to clean and change tracheostomy tubes and deliver CPR. Trainers use props to model proper care delivery. ‘’We’re able to take the extra time the families need to become comfortable,’’ Richer said. ‘’Training on the mannequin establishes a safe environment, where caregivers can gain experience without fear of injuring anyone.” Though insurance pays for in-home nursing care to relieve parents, caregivers still must be prepared to care for their child alone. “These parents do everything our staff does, but they are by themselves at home,’’ said Torres, whose fluent Spanish speaking skills allow her a special connection with families like Jayden’s.

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She and Richer worked with his family throughout his hospital stay before the he went home with mom, dad and 12 siblings. Torres recalled how nervous the family felt when they first began training. Yet, a few weeks after discharge, Torres quite accidentally discovered the fruits of her labor. “I ran into the entire family at Sam’s Club,’’ Torres said. “They had all the kids, and equipment – portable ventilator and all. They were completely at ease with all aspects of his care. Everything we prepared them for had paid off.”




Mr. John Doe, Director of Medical Services E. 65th Street at Lake Michigan Chicago, Illinois 60649


Two Newly Created Leadership Roles Filled The Board of Trustees recently

named seasoned experts to oversee and enhance inpatient and outpatient services to strengthen the hospital’s position in Chicago’s health care delivery system, as well as its commitment to the community. Walid Maalouli, M.D., FAAP, is the hospital’s first chief medical officer. He brings to the position more than 18 years of clinical and leadership experience in pediatric and hospital practice, most recently as founder and medical director of the hospitalist division at Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota, a tertiary care, multi-campus provider. Maalouli was instrumental in the deployment of one of the first electronic medical record (EMR) systems in an outpatient setting in Minnesota. In addition, he has built a solid reputation for leading physicians, creating a pediatric physician networks and other programs.

He spearheaded multiple quality improvement measures that helped streamline patient flow and reduce length of stay at Children’s Minnesota. These efforts minimized readmissions, maximized outcomes and maintained outstanding satisfaction measures from patients, families and referring providers. “Dr. Maalouli comes to La Rabida with a great combination of skills,” CEO Brenda Wolf said. “He not only has excellent and innovative clinical expertise in the inpatient and outpatient settings but has played a critical role in outreach and physician referrer relationship development.” Marcene Dickes, M.H.A, B.S.N, R.N., is the new assistant vice president of ambulatory care services. She oversees ambulatory operations, including the Acute Care Clinic, registration, admitting and appointment functions. Dickes brings more than 30 years of experience in pediatric nursing, nursing administration, marketing, business

development and physician relations to the role. Her wealth of experience includes positions at tertiary health care institutions and academic medical centers such as the University of Kansas Medical Center (KU), where she most recently was senior director of pediatric marketing and business development. Previously, she had been administrative director in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas, Missouri. La Rabida’s Vice President of Patient Care Aden Henry pointed to Dickes’ past successes with opening new clinic sites, building programs to improve access, leading complex pediatric ambulatory services and an EMR launch as proof of her strengths. “Marcene’s vast experience in cross-functional roles allows La Rabida to further achieve its strategic vision of offering high-quality medical home, disease management and other ambulatory services to our patients.”

Sickle Cell Team Update After treating sickle cell disease patients for more than 20 years at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Uma Subramanian Srinivasan, M.D., retired her stethoscope earlier this year. No one could ever replace “Dr. Uma” as she was known to patients and staff alike. But Radhika Peddinti, M.D., brings years of compassionate service treating children with blood diseases to her sickle cell disease patients. Peddinti has experience with health care institu4 CURRENTS

tions across the city, and solid training from academic centers including Children’s Memorial Hospital, where she completed a pediatric hematology/ oncology fellowship in 2007. Before joining La Rabida, Peddinti was an attending physician at John H.

Stroger Hospital of Cook County and a pediatric resident there from 2001 to 2004. She earned her medical degree in 1997 from India’s Government Medical College. Peddinti joins Sickle Cell Medical Director John Cunningham, M.D., as well as Nurse Practitioner Yasmin Abdullah and other sickle cell medical staff. The team held its first continuing education medical event on June 14.


This issue of Currents features articles about La Rabida's outpatient expansion, conference recaps, a preview of fundraising events, Jayden'...

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