The CHOP Cares Community Fund and Grants Program awards grants to CHOP employees to cover expenses for health-related projects that fulfill specific needs in one of the many communities CHOP serves. Read more about the CHOP Cares Community Grants awarded in the fall of 2017 and how they are impacting children and families in the community.
Working with Children: Importance of Understanding Trauma
Magrielle H. Eisen, MLSP, MSS
Trauma and adversity occur in all people’s lives — at the personal, family, community and societal levels. When children are exposed to the stress that accompanies trauma and adversity, they are particularly vulnerable to potentially lifelong effects on their health, wellness and life outcomes. Professionals who serve children and families in medical, educational, and community or social services settings can play a critical role in creating buffers to blunt the effect of trauma. Grant funds were used to host a hands-on, full-day workshop on trauma-informed care in Atlantic County, NJ, for medical, educational and social service professionals in partnership with AtlantiCare, a CHOP community hospital alliance partner.
Guadalupe Family Services’ CASA Program
Rachel Keashen, CRNP
Community Adolescents Striving for Achievement (CASA) is an innovative program serving underprivileged adolescents in Camden, NJ, and providing 13- to 18-year-old youth a safe space. This project will start a supper club for the CASA youth, where they can learn about different health-related topics such as intimate partner violence, healthy eating, bullying, sexual health, exercise and dental health. Grant funds will be used to purchase food and supplies for the monthly teen dinners.
Heart Safe Philly Schools: Charter School AED Program
Victoria Vetter, MD, MPH
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. SCA is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented by using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Heart Safe School designation, given by CHOP’s Youth Heart Watch program, means schools have taken the steps necessary to safeguard the health of students, school staff and community members. Grant funds will be used to update AED equipment in 14 charter schools throughout West, South and Southwest Philadelphia, extending the Heart Safe School program beyond the public schools where it already operates.
Extended Family Support Group
Linda Hawkins, PhD, MSEd, LPC
Thanks to an initial CHOP Cares Grant in 2015, the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic at CHOP, in partnership with the Mazzoni Center, began offering support groups for transgender and gender-expansive youth and their families. These groups have continued to run and flourish, helping dozens of families every month. The Extended Family Support Group will offer grandparents, aunts, uncles and additional supportive family members the opportunity to seek support and increase their knowledge to better support their loved ones. Grant funds will be used to purchase supplies and refreshments for the extended family group sessions.
Photo: Understanding that teens like Quincy, 14, thrive when their families have support from other families, Linda Hawkins, PhD, MSEd, LPC, used a grant to expand support groups for transgender and gender-expansive youth and their families to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and other supportive family members.
St. Mary’s Nursery School’s Quiet Kits for Behavioral Health Wellness
John Connolly, PhD
Several studies have demonstrated a significant benefit of mindfulness training in treating behavioral challenges in children. St. Mary’s Nursery School created Quiet Kits for use in classrooms to help students focus, settle down, re-engage positively with peers, and build social and emotional skills. The grant funds will be used to purchase tools, such as weighted toys and emotion cards, for the Quiet Kits.
Equipment for FitMe
Erin Rasnake, PT, MS, PCS
FitMe is a community-based program providing small group and individual fitness instruction to local youth with developmental disabilities. FitMe’s purpose is to give the youth a safe and effective exercise program within their own community and with their peers, and to promote wellness and a lifelong interest in exercise as a leisure activity. Grant funds will be used to purchase program equipment.
Fifth Annual Play Day: Chester Upland Youth Soccer
Harry Ischiropoulos, PhD
The Chester Upland Youth Soccer (CUYS) is a nonprofit organization that engages children in activities that emphasize the value of leadership, respect, teamwork, dedication and hard work. Physical and educational activities are used to teach children the fundamentals of nutrition, the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits and the significance of making healthy lifestyle choices. This grant will support CUYS’s Annual Play Day, a daylong celebration and culmination of the year’s mentoring, nutritional education and community engagement programming. Grant funds will be used to provide participants with T-shirts, healthy snacks and water.
South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center: Shared Partners Programs
Vi Nguyen, RN
The South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center houses a Free Library branch, the Philadelphia Health Center 2, the CHOP Care Network South Philadelphia primary care location and the DiSilvestro Recreation Center. The library and CHOP have partnered to create a healthy story time series for preschoolers, where children read stories related to specific health topics. CHOP and the Recreation Center have partnered to host Zumba classes at the rec center. Grant funds will be used to purchase materials for both programs.
Photo: Families like the Castros, shown in the South Philadelphia Branch of the Free Library, can attend programs that tap into the expertise of CHOP’s primary care practice, the DiSilvestro Recreation Center and the library.
North Philly Project’s Wellness and You (WAY) Program
The North Philly Project is a nonprofit, grassroots organization comprising community members who understand the challenges of growing up in North Philadelphia. A previous CHOP Cares Grant, “Thinking About Nutrition,” introduced healthy food options to the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood through workshops, grocery store tours, nutritional alternatives, healthy eating education and a Fresh Table, providing families with fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition information. The WAY Program continues to provide nutritional support and education through various workshops. Grant funds will be used for facilitation and program supplies.
Photo: The Fresh Table is one initiative to improve the health and wellness of North Philadelphia families by providing access to nutrition information and fresh, wholesome foods that are not readily available in their neighborhoods.
Safe Sleep Education Initiative
Elena Jaworski, RN, BSN; Meera Siddharth, MD; and Emily Henkelman, MD
Philadelphia has a high rate of sleep-related infant deaths, and West Philadelphia has among the highest rates in the city. The goal of the project is to better educate community members about safe infant sleep. Grant funds will be used to create printed materials and hold safe sleep education sessions at day care facilities, Early Head Start centers, homeless shelters, religious organizations and the Karabots Pediatric Care Center.
The Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Education Initiative
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a rare overgrowth disorder that predisposes children to cancer, as well as other issues needing medical attention. One of the challenges with rare disorders is access to up-to-date information for families and healthcare providers. Grant funds will be used to develop novel access to educational material for families affected by this rare disorder.
Language Access Leadership Summit
Gabriela Jenicek, MA, CDM
CHOP’s Language Services Program partnered with the Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition (PAHLC) to host a Language Access Leadership Summit with the objective to improve language access to healthcare for patients and families with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the Greater Philadelphia area. The summit, supported by the grant, provided a forum where local hospital leaders working in language access and health literacy had the opportunity to share best practices and tools, connect with other hospitals and community organizations, identify and address common challenges, learn about current policies and compliance, and create a network that commits to improved language access for LEP patients and their families.
Photo: Miriam Enriquez, Director of immigrant affairs for the City of Philadelphia, gave the opening remarks, and Glenn Flores, MD, Chief Research Officer at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, delivered the keynote address at the Language Access Leadership Summit.
Girls on the Run Program Expansion to Sites in North Philadelphia
Jennifer Massey, MS, ATC
Girls on the Run (GOTR) Philadelphia is a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in the third to fifth grades. GOTR uses running as a platform to encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development through discussions, activities, running games and workouts that creatively engage girls in lessons about bullying, gossip, positive self-talk, healthy habits and teamwork. Grant funds will be used to expand GOTR to three new sites in the North Philadelphia Health Enterprise Zone.