CHOP Cares Community Grants Awarded Spring 2016

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 2016 and how they are impacting children and families in the community.

Mama Care: An Innovative Model of Group Prenatal Care

Lindsay Waqar, MPH

Division of General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery

Mama Care is an evidence-based model of group prenatal care delivery based on the Centering Pregnancy program. It consists of three components — a health assessment, education and social support. Midwives and nurses from CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT) have adapted the model while catering to the unique needs of the CFDT patient population. This grant will fund materials for the Mama Care support group sessions.

CHOP Music Works programChildren with Special Needs Discover How MusicWorks Wonders

Susan M. Scully, RN, MSN, CNOR

Perioperative Complex

Music therapy helps people with challenges lead more fulfilling lives. MusicWorks, based out of Delaware County, is dedicated to making music therapy available to all. For patients with autism spectrum disorder, music therapy is particularly effective at facilitating verbal and physical expressions and breaking the pattern of isolation. The grant funds will be used to provide scholarships to children and adolescents to participate in music therapy sessions.

Adolescent HIV Groups

Erin Titze, MEd, LCSW, and Erica Rand, MEd, LSW

Adolescent Initiative

LGBT youth who are HIV positive or HIV affected are underserved. This grant will help fund two 10-week youth support groups — one for HIV-positive adolescents ages 16 to 24 and one for adolescents ages 16 to 24 who are HIV negative and affected by HIV. The goal is to create a safe space for these youth to be able to process their feelings about living with or being affected by chronic, life-long illness while gaining support and resources to use outside of the group setting.

The Mobile Library Literacy Initiative

Brooke A. Allen

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

In order to improve the literacy rates for children in South Philadelphia, the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP) has created a Mobile Library Literacy Initiative to promote healthy childhood development. The program will include reading days, reading challenges during afterschool programming, and a weekly parent-child Saturday reading groups at Mifflin Square Park. The grant funds will be used toward books and program materials.

Community Wellness Initiative for South Philadelphians

Ina Lankenau

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The Community Wellness Initiative for South Philadelphians will engage families with young children and the elderly living in the neighborhoods surrounding Mifflin Square Park to enhance interracial and intergenerational unity and ensure safe, supervised activities for children and their families. The grant will fund various built environment projects to engage local families to steer change and build a stronger community through service.

Students Run Philly Style Fall Distance Training Runs

Zoe Artz, MSW, LSW

Patient and Family Services

Students Run Philly Style, a program of the National Nursing Centers Consortium, cultivates a lifelong appreciation of health and active living among 12- to 18-year-olds throughout Philadelphia. The program encourages participants to create positive and lasting relationships with adults who are invested in their physical and overall well-being. This grant will fund youth participation in the Courage, Effort, and Respect Run.

MLX Park Summer Health & Fitness Series

Amanda Evans, MPH

Government Affairs, Community Relations & Advocacy

The Friends of Malcolm X Park is a nonprofit comprised of volunteers from the immediate neighborhood and across Philadelphia who are invested in seeing the park thrive. The Friends of Malcolm X Park will partner with BMe Community leaders to provide a free eight-week physical activity summer program for children ages 6 to 12 years old. The sessions will include various sports and fun group fitness activities and nutritional education. This project funds physical fitness equipment and materials for the program.

Compas de Viaje: Supporting the Emotional Well-being of Undocumented Immigrant Youth

Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy, MD

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Services

La Puerta Abierta (The Open Door) is a nonprofit with the mission to eliminate barriers to mental healthcare in the Latino immigrant community by building a resource of competent and bilingual clinicians through training, collaboration and service. One of its program, Compas de Viaje, is a peer-to-peer mentor program that teaches youth conscientious communication, relationship-building, and interpersonal safety and boundaries to learn how to responsibly and effectively connect with newcomer immigrant youth. This project helps fund the training of new youth mentors.

Caregiver Influenza Vaccination to Reduce Pediatric Respiratory Illness

Stephen McKee, MD

Pediatrics Residency Program



Influenza (flu) is the most common vaccine-preventable disease, and it continues to contribute to significant morbidity and mortality in children. Flu vaccines are the most effective prevention tools available; however, immunization rates for both adults and children and inadequate. This project will help provide influenza vaccination to parents and other caregivers during their child’s pediatric primary care visit at the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Primary Care Center.

Closet Pop Up Shop at South Philadelphia Literacy CenterOur Closet Clothing Pop-up Shops

Laura Palacio, LSW, ACSW

Social Work and Spiritual Care



Our Closet is a volunteer-driven organization that provides clothing to vulnerable Philadelphians and their families free of charge by operating “pop-up shops” throughout the city. Our Closet hosts a Pop-up Shop at CHOP’s Care Network Cobbs Creek. This project will fund the materials needed to expand and host pop-up shops in West Philadelphia and the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center, new home of the South Philadelphia primary care practice.

Ride Astride for Hope

Colleen Schlotter

CHOP Care Network Central Bucks



Therapeutic riding has a dramatic impact on cancer patients, reducing stress, and eliminating isolation and alienation from normal social interaction while improving quality of life and coping for the patients and their families. Ride Astride for Hope is a summer camp program for pediatric cancer patients in collaboration with the Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center. This project will help fund materials for the camp.

Breastfeeding Support Group at Karabots

Alison Ahern, RN, Katherine Jones, MD, Meg Kawan, MD, MPH, IBCLC

Karabots Pediatric Care Center

Karabots staff have recently witnessed an increased number of mothers who express a desire to breastfeed at their child's first newborn visit. Many mothers face significant barriers to the continuation of breastfeeding, such as lack of family support, early return to employment or school and lack of evidence-based breastfeeding knowledge. This project will fund the establishment of an on-site breastfeeding support group at Karabots.

Camp Freedom Diabetes Camp for Kids

Diana E. Stanescu, MD

Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Camp Freedom Diabetes Camp for Kids provides a traditional summer camp experience in a medically safe environment while fostering opportunities for children with diabetes to develop basic diabetes self-management skills. This project funded scholarships to low-income children with type 1 diabetes from the Philadelphia area to attend the camp in Summer 2016.

Summer Enhancement and Weekend Program at Feast of Justice

Kathy Abel, DPN, RN, APNC

Specialty Care & Surgery Center, Voorhees

Feast of Justice works to address food insecurity in Northeast Philadelphia through its food cupboard that serves 224 households, distributing 8,000 pounds of food each week. This project will fund children’s programming during the time of food distribution on weekends. Programming will include, physical activities, gardening, nutrition and reading.

Building Partnerships to enhance CHOP's impact on the local LGBTQ communityBuilding Partnerships to Enhance CHOP’s Impact in the Local LGBTQ Community

David G. Taylor, PhD

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The goal of this program is to create a bridge between CHOP healthcare experts and the Greater Philadelphia LGBTQ and allied communities that will serve to raise awareness of and alleviate issues related to key concerns of LGBTQ youth. The Pride@CHOP Employee Resource Group will partner with CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative and the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic to participate in community outreach events organized by Philly Pride Presents and the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference.

Babies and Books

Laleh Bahrami, MD; Morgan Brown, MD; Laura Rubinos, MD

Pediatrics Residency Program

Premature infants are at a higher risk for language delay and learning disorders compared to term infants. This project will fund new books and educational guidebooks for parents to extend the Reach Out and Read program in the University of Pennsylvania Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a CHOP Care Network site.

Increasing Water Access and Appeal in Philadelphia Schools

Gregory Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE

Division of Urology

Seventy-five percent of 9- to 18-year-olds have insufficient water intake. Nationally, 80 percent of children aged 2 to 19 years consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily. Substituting water for sugar-sweetened beverages can reduce calorie intake and may also help prevent obesity. This grant will help support current student and community-led efforts at several School District of Philadelphia schools to improve and promote water access to children and adolescents.

Enhancing the Culturally Appropriate Care for AAPI Children with ASD

Kate Wallis, MD

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program

The Pennsylvania Autism and Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program reports the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to be 8.4 per 1,000 among Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Although AAPIs comprise 7 percent of Philadelphians, only 2 percent receiving autism services identify as AAPI. This project will fund culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate parent workshops for AAPI families so their children on the autism spectrum can learn functional strategies for success is school, as well as maximizing independence and integration into the community.

Welcoming the Stranger, Host Recruitment Project

Alan Tuttle, MSW, LCSW

Department of Patient and Family Services

Host for Hospitals is a nonprofit organization that pairs patient families receiving care in local hospitals with a host family willing to offer housing to offset lodging costs. Host for Hospitals recently created an Advisory Council to enhance the comfort of out-of-town patients. This project will help fund promotional video/webcam engagement for the organization on its website.

Stretching Bodies, Stretching Minds

Irene Mathieu, MD

Pediatrics Residency Program

Adverse childhood experience (ACEs) alter neurobiology and impact behavior and outcomes later in life. Toxic stress from sustained childhood adversity can lead to epigenetic changes, prolonged cortisol levels, and pro-inflammatory state. These changes can affect educational outcomes as well as adult health later in life. This project will introduce high school students at El Centro de Estudiantes, a Big Picture Philadelphia alternative school, to basic yoga and mindfulness meditation practice based in trauma-informed care. The grant funds will be used toward yoga mats and mindfulness workbooks.


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