CHOP Cares Community Grants Awarded Fall 2018

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 2018 and how they are impacting children and families in the community.

American Sign Language Tutoring for a Family with Limited English and ASL Proficiency

Louise Montoya, MA, LPC, ACS, CSC

American Sign Language (ASL) is the predominant form of communication for individuals with hearing loss in the United States and is an integral part in navigating the education and healthcare systems, as well as other external entities. This project provides an intensive, family-specific intervention to address the communication barrier among a CHOP couple and their children by providing the family with individualized education in ASL through the Deaf Hearing Communication Centre Inc.

EMS Week 2019: Hands-on Training in Pediatrics

John Erbayri, MS, NRP, CHSE

EMS Week 2019 is an educational initiative that offers hands-on, evidence-based pediatric training to emergency medical services (EMS) practitioners from Philadelphia and surrounding counties. EMS Week is recognized annually throughout the nation to celebrate EMS practitioners and their vital role in the community. This project funds the publication of pediatric-specific educational resources that are distributed during EMS Week, reaching hundreds of medical professionals in the Philadelphia area.

Engaging Providers and Community Youth in Mental Health

Sarah L. Guerrieri, MA

In collaboration with the Department for Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) and the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF), CHOP representatives have identified an increased demand for comprehensive resources to address mental health needs in youth. This project supports a one-day summit dedicated to improving access to mental health care and educational resources for Philadelphia youth at risk for, or currently diagnosed with, mental health conditions. The summit acts as a forum for discussing the current landscape of mental health care for youth and the best practices for identifying and addressing these needs.

Cystic Fibrosis Children’s Book — Breathing Better: Peter’s Trip to the Hospital

Haley Hlela, MSN, RN, ACCNS-P, CPHQ

Cystic Fibrosis Children’s Book Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disorder that causes chronic lung infections, inflammation and digestive issues. To monitor complications, comprehensive treatment regimens are designed for patients to prevent or delay the onset of symptoms and associated side effects. This grant supports the publication of an informational book for children with cystic fibrosis to better explain the reasons for taking specific medications, performing respiratory therapies, eating calorie-dense foods, staying active and a myriad of other preventive strategies that will enhance their abilities for self-care and wellness.

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: New Jersey Transition to Adulthood Comprehensive Care

Stephanie A. Pratico

As the life expectancy for individuals with special needs continues to lengthen, adult healthcare systems are challenged to provide comprehensive, quality care that meets the unique accommodations of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This grant supports the launch of a 12-month pilot program, led by New Jersey Transition to Adulthood Comprehensive Care (NJ TACC), which provides continuous care coordination and informational courses for patients with IDD from adolescence through adulthood, allowing for a smoother transition into the adult healthcare system.

Increasing Access to Emotional Wellness: Supporting Health-related Books for Parents and Caregivers in South Philadelphia

Sarah Dziedzic, MSW

Commonly recommended educational materials for parents in the CHOP community are both costly and quickly outdated due to continuous research and medical advances in healthcare. In an effort to provide access to current informational resources for all parents in the CHOP Care Network South Philadelphia community, this CHOP Cares Grant subsidizes purchasing these materials. The CHOP-recommended books and materials are displayed in a designated area in the South Philadelphia Free Library, which is co-located in the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center along with CHOP’s South Philly primary care practice.

Implementing Patient-centered, Medical Home-based Community Tax


Melissa Argraves, MD; and George Dalembert, MD

Research suggests that financial solvency and mental/physical health are intricately linked. Each year, hundreds of families in the CHOP community fail to reclaim thousands of tax dollars, which increases financial burdens while decreasing overall health and well-being. In collaboration with the Center for Working Families (CWF), this grant supports a free tax preparation service co-located within the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center to empower families to proactively address the economic factors that inevitably are a detriment to health.

Philadelphia Student Union — Meditation with Malcolm: Wellness Program at Malcolm X

Gmerice J. Welch

Meditation with Malcolm is an after-school program that provides a safe and consistent outdoor space for students who seek mental and physical wellness. During this program, students discuss the challenges of managing responsibilities and work toward a proactive approach to tackling homework, family responsibilities, extracurricular activities and employment. This grant supports a workshop series on meditative skills, community building and healthy relationships, provided by Philadelphia Street Union.

Special Olympics New Jersey: Camp Shriver Balance Bike Camp

Samantha Cohen, PT, DPT

Camp Shriver, founded in the early 1960s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was the original location of the first inclusive program for individuals with special needs, better known today as Special Olympics. Camp Shriver Balance Bike Camp, the namesake of this legacy, provides direct instruction for individuals with intellectual disabilities on safely and effectively riding a balance bike (a bike with no pedals or brake). Riding a balance bike helps improve balance and coordination. Based upon the individual’s skill progression, they may move on to operate a two-wheel pedal bike. This grant provides 15 participants with the unique opportunity to attend Camp Shriver Balance Bike Camp, which serves as a qualifier for Special Olympics cycling tournaments hosted around the world.

Refugee and Immigrant Health Orientation

Mary Fabio, MD

The Refugee and Immigrant Health Orientation grant provides multilingual seminars and educational resources for refugee and immigrant families, courtesy of CHOP’s Refugee Clinic and HIAS Pennsylvania. During orientation, families learn about vaccinations, stress management, healthy parenting and navigating the healthcare system. Sessions are presented in families’ native tongue for increased comprehension. Additionally, the seminars enable refugees and immigrants in the Philadelphia region to connect with likeminded individuals in the community with similar beliefs, cultures, upbringing or hardships.

Philadelphia ADHD Parent Support Group: A CHADD Affiliate

Susan Becker, RN, BSN, CCRC

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), is a national nonprofit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. CHADD was founded in response to the frustration and isolation experienced by children with ADHD and their families. CHADD seeks to provide parent support groups and resources for children with ADHD to assist with social and neurological assimilation. This grant provides funding to offset membership fees, costs associated with holding parent-support group meetings and the expenses of resources for parents of children with ADHD.

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