CHOP Cares Community Grants Awarded Spring 2019

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 2019 and how they are impacting children and families in the community.

Enhancing Cardiovascular Education for Kids 5 to 7 Through Social Media

Paul Offit, MD

Healthy NewsWorks (HNW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering elementary and middle school students through literacy and wellness education. This program encourages youth to create factual and relevant health interviews, publications and alternative educational materials to be used in the HNW newsletter and for peer education. In alignment with its mission, HNW has implemented its Hearty Kids Program to promote heart-health education in seven K-2 classrooms in the Philadelphia region as a precursor for its elementary and middle school programs. Teachers have embraced the curriculum and are eager to continue tackling the identified health and literacy needs of the community through HNW materials. Our support supplements the costs of educational videos, nutritional recipe books and advanced interactive curriculum to enhance cardiovascular education in children ages 5 to 7.

Health Needs Assessment for Chinatown Children and Youth

Tommy Chen

Philadelphia’s Chinatown is a cultural hub for more than 35,000 Chinese immigrants and Asian Americans in the region, and is home to over 5,000 individuals, the majority of whom belong to a minority group. Due to its cultural charge, low-income status and designation as a Federal Medically Underserved Area, residents are unlikely to seek medical attention because of the stigma surrounding mental health, inability to afford medical services in the area, and/or inability to receive assistance due to a lack of service providers. To address this vulnerability, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp., with our support, is identifying the community health needs of families and their children by breaking down language barriers and stereotypes, tackling insurance needs, and recruiting city agencies and medical providers to find solutions.

Our Closet Pop-up Shops for Vulnerable Philadelphia Families

Steve Wilmot

Our Closet Pop-up Shops Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) of Greater Philadelphia seeks to strengthen families and individuals across generations and cultures to achieve stability, independence and community. Children’s Hospital is proud to partner with JFCS’s Our Closet initiative, which provides free clothing pop-up shops and benefit screenings to nearly 1,360 vulnerable children in economically disadvantaged families throughout the area. This grant supports Our Closet’s expansion to two new partnering sites, increasing its reach by roughly 400 children and alleviating costs for food, housing, school supplies and medical care for parents throughout the region.

YMCA of Bucks County Second Grade Swim Initiative

Naline Lai, MD

Drowning is the primary cause of death in children under age 5 and is one of the leading causes of injury death in youth throughout the United States. To reverse the misconception that sheltering children from water is the safest way to prevent downing deaths, the YMCA has implemented the Second Grade Swim Initiative. This initiative provides swimming support for children of varying ethnicities, household incomes and skill levels, including children with special needs. Children’s Hospital will partner with the Doylestown and Fairless Hills YMCA to further educate clinicians, parents and children in proper water safety and drowning prevention through educational materials, swim lessons and safety testing for 49 children.

Reducing Access to Prescription Medicines for Abuse Among Area Teenagers

Lauren Longo, MSPH

According to the 2016 CHOP Community Health Needs Assessment, prescription drugs obtained without a prescription are the second most common substance abused by Philadelphia high school students. To address this growing epidemic, the Poison Control Center (PCC) at CHOP began a program to distribute Dispose RX, a disposable packet that deactivates opioids and turns drugs into a gel-based substance that is safe to throw out with normal waste. Included with Dispose RX are clear instructions, talking points and monitoring tools for drug addiction, designed in collaboration with CHOP pediatricians, public health practitioners, pharmacists and nurses. Our support enables PCC to distribute approximately 1,000 disposable packets and 2,000 pocket informational cards, with the ultimate goal of reducing prescription drug abuse among teenagers and educating families throughout the Philadelphia region.

Building Local Partnerships for Maternal Infant Health Advocacy

Emily Echevarria, MD

CHOP’s Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program, in collaboration with the Homeless Health Initiative and Mother’s Home, holds monthly hour-long sessions on maternal and newborn health for vulnerable pregnant women, new mothers and their infants. The workshops, led by a multidisciplinary team of CHOP employees, provide mothers with the information and skills to obtain housing and financial independence by six months postpartum. This grant covers the expenses for supplies, educational resources and activities for the 12-week sessions.

North Philadelphia Project’s Mentoring Program

Suzette Harper

North Philadelphia Project’s Mentoring Program provides a clearer pathway to post-secondary education for students in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia through informational workshops, field trips to colleges and providing educational resources that are not readily available within the community. Forums address literacy, careers in STEM, mental and physical health, trauma, and toxic stress, among other prevalent topics affecting this minority group. This CHOP Cares Grant supplements the costs affiliated with off-campus programming, transportation, and trauma specialists and professional support needed to run the program.

Scholarship Program at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy

Leigh Ann Difusco, RN

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy provides core strengthening, hand-eye coordination, increased self-discipline and a greater sense of self-confidence in children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, and other developmental and genetic disorders through equine-related activities. Pegasus, the only program of its kind in the city of Philadelphia, is proud to serve nearly 100 riders each week and to provide financial assistance to 16 of them. Still, financial support requests are at an all-time high, and Pegasus is unable to meet the demand for assistance among its client base. This CHOP Cares grant supports six riders from low-income households in Philadelphia to attend 276 lessons during 2019-2020.

Socialized Recess at Jackson Elementary

Irena Lala

Playworks Team Up utilizes onsite training and organized programming to empower local elementary school teachers to foster an inclusive, sustainable and healthy recess culture. This program funds the implementation of socialized recess at Jackson Elementary and reaches roughly 588 ethnically diverse students in South Philadelphia. Newly implemented recess activities, focused around the idea of safe play, encourage team building, physical activity, mental well-being and a deeper sense of community.

Language Services Community Interpreter Education Forum on Peer Supervision

Priscilla Ortiz, PhD, CMI

CHOP’s Language Services Program has identified a need for educational and professional development opportunities for interpreters in Philadelphia who work with families with limited English proficiency or patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. This grant provides a unique educational forum that addresses interpreters’ daily challenge of listening, analyzing, understanding, remembering and then reformulating a message while remaining impartial and aware of cultural differences and language barriers. At this event, interpreters have the opportunity to participate in peer review, self-reflection and demonstrative seminars, led by renowned medical interpreters from across the country.

Gun Violence Prevention Forum for Parents, Caregivers and Youth

Lindsey Mitros

In an effort to address one of life’s most challenging topics, the National Liberty Museum hosts its Gun Violence Prevention Forum for parents and children in the Greater Philadelphia area. This forum focuses on peaceful conflict resolution, social and emotional awareness, and injury prevention, among other identified needs. This grant provides the financial resources to host the conference, promote educational materials and supplies, and provide technical support from CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention and Violence Prevention Initiative teams, and other gun violence prevention experts from the hospital.

Prepared Caregivers: Teaching Healthcare Navigation to Bhutanese Parents and Caregivers

Leela Kuikel

Bhutanese American Organization-Philadelphia (BAO-P), established in 2013 in response to the community needs of Bhutanese refugees living in South Philadelphia, is a not-for-profit organization that provides direct services for elder engagement, Nepali and English language tutoring, and healthcare and social services navigation for individuals with limited English proficiency. In 2016, BAO-P collaborated with CHOP’s PolicyLab to conduct a community survey regarding access to benefits and social services, finding that Bhutanese caregivers of children were less likely to report confidence in their healthcare navigation skills than those individuals pursuing educational or professional endeavors during primary caregiving hours. This project provides culturally sensitive, interactive workshops on recognized topics of need to help parents and caregivers better navigate the medical system.

The Lower Merion/Narberth Summer Café/Box Lunch and a Book Program

Saba Khan, MD

The Lower Merion School District serves approximately 8,500 students in Montgomery County and remains among the top 20 highest-performing school districts in the country, much of which is directly related to the prosperity of its surrounding neighborhoods. Still, 11% of its population is classified as economically disadvantaged and is unable to access free lunch programs and additional resources due to a lack of state funding based on the district’s average income and prime location. This grant supports the implementation of the Box Lunch and a Book Program, which provides nearly 500 children with a meal and a book during the summer months.

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