CHOP Cares Community Grants Awarded Spring 2014

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 spring of 2014 and how they are impacting children and families in the community.

Pertussis Vaccination of Infant Caregivers in the Pediatric Office Setting

Lisa Akhtar, MD, PhD, and Emily Duffy, MD
Department of Pediatrics

The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination series is given to infants starting at 2 months of age and is completed by 18 months, which means the youngest infants are left unprotected. The applicants found fewer than half of infant caregivers going to CHOP Care Network primary care practices in Philadelphia have been vaccinated against pertussis. This project funds pertussis vaccinations for parents and caregivers in an effort to use a “cocooning strategy” to protect these infants from the illness.

Toolkit to Promote Early Childhood Literacy

Meghan Bullock, MD, and Melanie Ruffner, MD, PhD
Department of Pediatrics

A number of CHOP Care Network primary care practices participate in the national Reach Out and Read program, distributing books at all well-child visits to children between 6 months and 5 years old. The applicants concluded that there is not enough time in the primary care visit to give full guidance on literacy development. This project funds the creation of short videos about literacy targeted to different age groups. The videos are to be shown in reception areas and exam rooms while families are waiting to see a clinician, and will be shown to families in CHOP’s Early Head Start Program.

Friedreich Ataxia Program Portable Medical Record

Kim Schadt, MSN, CRNP, CCRP
Friedreich’s Ataxia Program

Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a degenerative, neurological disorder that progresses over time. Sometimes patients with FA experiencing an emergency might not be able to communicate with healthcare providers about their condition. Also, providers not familiar with FA are often unclear on how to manage the disease. This project funds the purchase of USB bracelets, which include the patient’s medical information as well as treatment instructions for emergency providers.

Shiloh CDC Freedom SchoolShiloh freedom school

Nikki Graham
Office of Government Affairs, Community Relations and Advocacy

The Shiloh CDC Freedom School is a nonprofit, community development organization created to strengthen families and build the Trenton, NJ, community. This project funds material for children ages 7 to 14 to participate in daily health or physical fitness activities and also funds a health curriculum. The program gets parents involved by including health and physical fitness activities and healthy meal preparation in three of the six parent workshops.

Glassboro Child Development Centers’ Healthy Families Program

Marianne D. Nazarewycz, LPN
Division of Urology

The project funds the Glassboro Child Development Centers’ Healthy Family Program, which provides activities and nutrition programs to engage families to make sustainable change in an effort to prevent childhood obesity. The program aims to boost overall physical activity as well as increase eating healthier foods.

Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program – Philadelphia Boo at the Zoo

Gina Duchossois, MS
Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program at CHOP

Injury is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 — particularly pedestrian-related injuries. CHOP admits more than 1,400 children annually due to injury. This project funded pedestrian safety education during the Philadelphia Boo at the Zoo event in October 2014. CHOP trauma nurses distributed safety items and information and answered safety questions at CHOP’s display.

Karabots First Annual Health Festival

Jamila Smith
Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center

The Karabots Pediatric Care Center is working to become an integral part of the West Philadelphia community. The project will fund a health and fitness community event on National Dance Day in July 2015. The event will be open to the entire surrounding community and will include information and demonstrations from a variety of CHOP programs that focus on health and wellness.

People’s Emergency Center’s Eat Well
Cooking Workshop Series

Erin Connolly, MSW, LSW, Amy Cressman, MSW, Joe Flores, BSW, and Sara Kurlansik, MSW, LSW
Department of Social Work

People’s Emergency Shelter (PEC) provides emergency and transitional housing to meet the immediate needs of families in crisis. The grant funds monthly cooking workshops for 10 families at Rowan House, PEC’s transitional housing facility. The workshops teach families skills for preparing healthier meals on a limited budget. Families take prepared meals with them and receive ingredients and recipes so they can use their new knowledge to prepare meals on their own.

Ketogenic Diet Outpatient Cooking Classesketogenic diet

Sue Groveman, MS, RD, LDN
Department of Clinical Nutrition

Treatment-resistant epilepsy affects about 30 percent of children with seizures. The ketogenic diet, which is medically prescribed, offers two-thirds of these children a greater-than-50 percent reduction of seizures and complete control of seizures in up to 20 percent. It is a very high-fat, low-carb and protein-rich diet that is difficult to follow if the food doesn’t taste good. CHOP opened the nation’s first Ketogenic Diet Teaching Kitchen in September 2013 and holds cooking classes for inpatient families. This project funds cooking classes for outpatient families as well as assistance with recipe design for our dieticians from a culinary intern or trained chef.

Community-based Education: Prevention of Noise-induced Hearing Losscommunity education and hearing loss

Sarah McKay, AuD
Center for Childhood Communication

The use of personal listening devices, including iPods, has been identified as a major risk factor for noise-induced hearing loss in adolescents. Approximately 12.5 percent of children and adolescents 6 to 19 years old have suffered permanent damage to their hearing. Research shows that programs aimed at reducing risky listening behaviors can have an impact on adolescents. This project funds educational resources, professional consultation, interactive exhibits and ear protection at a three-day urban music festival in Camden, NJ, that is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s public radio station, WXPN.

TOPS Program – Outreach Program for Soccer

Stephen Niedzwiecki, MD
CHOP Care Network Salem Road

TOPSoccer is a community-based training program, run through Mount Laurel (NJ) United, for young athletes with disabilities and organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program was created to use soccer to foster physical, mental and emotional growth and development in young disabled athletes at all levels of age and competition. The grant will partially fund this program, which will provide exercise and a team atmosphere of learning for children with special needs.

Adolescent Parenting Project

Rasheeda Lawler, BSN, RN
Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center

The grant supports a teen parenting program for adolescents seen at CHOP Care Network’s Karabots or Cobbs Creek primary care practices. The Adolescent Parenting Project (APP) seeks to help teen parents cope with day-to-day life with a child and encourages a healthy lifestyle that will ultimately facilitate change and provide direction. APP has a child- and parent-centered focus. The grant funds a training curriculum plus child care, refreshments, incentives and transportation for attendees.

Fitbit Bracelets for Individuals with Down Syndrome

Stephanie Pratico
Trisomy 21 Program

Children with Down syndrome have a greater tendency to be overweight or obese. This project will fund fitness tracking bracelets for individuals with Down syndrome who have a BMI in the range of overweight or obese. The bracelets track fitness as well as sleep duration and quality. CHOP’s Healthy Weight Program will be contacted to provide supportive educational materials to go along with the bracelets. Recipients and their families will be surveyed about how using Fitbit bracelets affected their health.

Safety, Emotions, Loss and Future (SELF)
Groups for Assault-Injured YouthSELF

Joel Fein, MD, MPH; Rachel Myers, PhD; Brooke Paskewich, PsyD; and Laura Vega, MSW, LSW
Violence Intervention Program

The CHOP Violence Intervention Program (VIP) promotes community-focused and trauma-informed support for patients who receive care at CHOP for an injury resulting from interpersonal violence, and their families. A key component of VIP is participation in Safety, Emotions, Loss and Future (SELF) psychoeducational support groups. This project will fund SELF groups at a CHOP-based location for VIP participants. SELF provides assault-injured clients a safe group atmosphere in which to focus on and process symptoms of post-traumatic stress and other consequences of their exposure to trauma. For some youth, this trauma is the assault, stabbing or gun shot that prompted their care at CHOP. For others, SELF provides a therapeutic forum to process the more chronic stressors they experience in their lives within urban, impoverished, high-need communities.


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