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Extra Life News:Together, We've Raised 30 Million Dollars!

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Congratulations Extra Lifers! You've helped raise $30 million since Extra Life started back in 2008 and have made a huge impact on your local CMN Hospital - funding numerous programs, equipment and charitable care. To help celebrate the miracles you’ve made, here are 10 of the top miracles $30 million made happen at your local hospitals.


10.       You Have Made Child-Sized Veins Easier to Find




CMN Hospitals treat children of all ages and sizes – from the tiniest newborns – to teenagers and beyond. Vein illuminators assist with IV insertion in pediatric patients, making it easier to find veins on the first try, reducing the number of stick attempts for the children. This means more accuracy and less pain.


Vein Illuminators are valued in the $20,000 range. With funds raised through Extra Life, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and McLane Scott and White Children’s Hospital were able to purchase Vein Illuminators.


9. You’ve Helped Children Understand and Process their Treatment Plans


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Hospital experiences are unpleasant enough. For a child, they can be especially frightening and stressful. At all our member hospitals, Extra Life has funded Child Life services. Child Life specialists are specially trained and certified to help children and families cope with the stress and anxiety of hospitalization. 

For example, Extra Life funds have helped Child Life fund Teddy Bear Clinic at UF Health Shands in Florida. Powie, the bear from Teddy Bear Clinic helps kids understand the different treatments and how they are performed. In the above photos, Powie and a Child Life Specialist are showing a child patient how an IV is placed. Powie is also wearing Oxygen and a feeding tube to help ease the patient's fears and questions about what happens next. 

8. You Have Provided Charity Care for Patients and Families

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Some families have high deductibles, high co-payments, or no coverage at all. All CMN Hospitals treat every child, regardless of the family's ability to pay. Gillette Children’s in Minneapolis, MN shares how this works:


“In some cases, many private and public insurance providers don’t cover all the specialty services provided. Extra Life dollars in Minneapolis are used to fund the Gillette Assistance Program (GAP), our financial assistance program for families who can’t afford cost of care. Any Gillette patient can apply for GAP, whether they have health insurance or not.”


Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide $3.4 billion in charity care annually.  The funds you raised have made, and continue to make, a crucial impact on families who need assistance.


7. You’ve Made Hospitals More Child-Friendly




Children are not just small adults. That is why children’s hospitals exist just for them. Children’s hospitals ensure that every staff member is focused on pediatric care, knowing exactly how to work with, and calm children from every stage of the treatment process. One of the first stages of treatment is simply to help the hospital look less scary.


Extra Life funds have been used in your community to help the hospital look more fun and exciting to kids. Extra Life funds helped The CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation take on a special project to make the Emergency Department more pediatric friendly. The project resulted in 7 art murals being installed, as well as coloring books and stickers created from the art.


From murals, to child-friendly playrooms and outdoor spaces to help kids play while at the hospital, Extra Lifers have helped provide it all.


6. You Have Kept Patient Services Free for Families


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CMN Hospitals treat children and families beyond their medical care. Hospital staff are trained to care for the developmental and emotional needs of children in addition to their physical needs.


Our hospitals design programs that meet all the emotional needs of the family, which can’t be reimbursed by insurance. Child Life, pastoral care and case management as shown above, are all examples of non-billable services that receive support from Extra Life and aid hospitals in keeping these programs free for families.


For example, Extra Life funds in Ft. Worth, TX have helped Cook Children’s provide case workers to assist patient families with lodging, transportation and meal cards. Chaplains can visit with families in times of trial or grief. The families are touched by those services, and will never have to see a bill for them. Cook Children’s is just one of many of our member hospitals that have used Extra Life funds for these types of programs.


5. You’ve Helped the Natural World and Technology Age Collide for Hospitals




The benefits of pet therapy are well-documented. Interacting with a friendly pet can help many physical and mental issues. It helps reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can release endorphins that produce a calming effect. Some environments, such as hospitals pose a challenge for the use of live animals.


EMHS Foundation in Bangor, ME has used Extra Life funds to provide interactive robots that look like baby harp seals and play a role in pet therapy sessions. By interacting with people, the robotic seals respond as if they are alive, moving their heads and legs, and making sounds. The seals are proving effective at easing anxiety and improving patient’s ability to process feelings of sadness, loss, grief and trauma. Kids are able to calm down quicker and engage in therapy session with better outcomes.


4. You Have Helped Kids stay on track at School




Lengthy hospital stays or treatments can keep kids out of the classroom. However, funds raised through Extra Life have helped kids stay on track at school.


In Atlanta, Extra Life funds have provided teachers that help kids while in the hospital, and help them transition back to their school when they leave the facilities. The teachers work with school systems to make sure the kids are on the most appropriate school track based on the child's physical and neurological recovery. For example, a high school student taking three AP classes prior to a traumatic brain injury may not need to return immediately to those AP classes. 


3. You Provided Ambulance Incubators for Newborn Transport


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The critical care teams at member CMN Hospitals are available to provide state-of-the-art care and transportation to pediatric patients. Team members include specially trained pediatric registered nurses and paramedics. Each team member not only needs to have neonatal and pediatric critical care experience as well as additional training, they also need to be equipped with specialty equipment to transport patients from prematurity through adolescence.


An example of Extra Life funds in action is shared from the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. Extra Life funds have purchased an ambulance incubator for their critical care transportation team.  This machine allows the tiniest of patients to be transported safely with the right life-saving equipment.


2.  You’ve Helped Redefine In-Home Care for High-Risk Cardiology Patients




The first time parents are able to take their child home from the hospital is an incredibly happy moment. For congenital heart families, that moment also brings stress and responsibility. Funds raised through Extra Life have helped families and doctors monitor cardiology patients at home by funding the Building HOPE program at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital.


The Building HOPE program allows families and doctors to work together to monitor pediatric cardiology patients once they leave the hospital. Vitals such as oxygen levels, weight, and food and liquid intake data is sent through secure transmission to the team at UVA, who monitor the data in real-time. This allows critical issues to be detected before an emergency arises. Home monitoring programs like this have helped increase the percentage of congenital heart defect patients live safely in their homes from 75% to over 95%.


1.     You Have Provided the Power of Mission Critical Funds



No day at a CMN Hospitals is ever the same. The needs of patients, new research, emerging technology and growing programs all mean one thing: our hospitals are constantly changing. The number one way Extra Life impacts CMN Hospitals is through the power of mission critical funds. The $30 million you have raised has given our hospitals the flexibility to meet and fund these changing needs as they arise.


“Some of the most valuable gifts we receive are those that are unrestricted and can be applied to the areas where the need is the greatest.” - Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas.


Thank you for saving the lives of sick and injured kids in your community!


Mike, Liz, Jeromy, Julie, Brooke & Cindee
Team Extra Life
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

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