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The USA Children's & Women's Hospital Care Management Team has compiled a cook book for the 2014 holiday season! Proceeds from this hardback, binder-style recipe book will go to our hospital's Patient and Family Assistance Fund. To order, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on one of the "Buy Now" Paypal buttons.
What’s worse than not having the recipe for the delectable treat you sampled at the office holiday party?
Lots of things — among them, frustration, which is what a USA Children’s & Women’s social worker feels when she can’t provide the assistance that will make life better for a young patient leaving the hospital.
The Care Management team at USACWH has found a way to use the more trivial need — that longing for great recipes — to help meet the more serious needs of some of the region’s neediest youngsters.
The project started a couple of years ago when the Care Management team planned a covered dish meal for the holidays and requested that everyone who participated provide the recipe for their dish. Denise Anderson, who heads Care Management, says there were so many requests for recipes that the group began thinking of a cookbook.
Then came the brainstorm to use funds from cookbook sales to provide for the needs of patients.
Those needs are great, says Laura Anderson, who works with female patients, and Robyn Hamilton, who works with children and teens.
Often a family brings a child to the hospital for one thing and discovers that the real problem is quite different — achy limbs that have been attributed to sports bumps and bruises turning out to be cancer, for example. The family believes their health insurance will takes care of finances, only to discover that they have a $5,000 deductible or a need for $2,500 medications that aren’t covered. Even a middle class family will be battered by unexpected medical expenses, Hamilton says.
Funds raised by the cookbook sales will allow social workers to better help families meet their own basic needs.
Moreover, families are already coping with unbelievable stress. An injured child may be transformed overnight from one who’s happy and healthy into one who can’t move, talk or breathe. The family can barely cope with those problems, and social workers try to help ease the burden of the additional problems that pile on. Problems compound over time and become more serious: a loss of income while a parent stays with a hospitalized child eventually translates into no gas for the car to keep long-term rehab appointments and no money for the family's electric bill.
“Sometimes your resources won’t handle that sort of life-changing event,” says Laura Anderson.
Right now, two foundations provide much appreciated support for the needs, the social workers say. The Anna Todd Cheney Memorial Foundation and The Mystic Order of Gators, a neighborhood Mardi Gras association, help families meet unexpected needs through gas cards, food cards, and even emergency help with utilities, rent, or car repair – all to ensure the patients receive the care they need.
A third fund, established in memory of Hamilton’s father, has been added to the mix recently. But still, hospital staffers routinely reach into their own wallets when they see patients and families with needs far beyond their means.
“The needs are significant,” says Denise Anderson, “and they are growing. Every day at Children’s and Women’s, we have situations where we scramble for resources. In our hospital, we aren’t just caring for the patient, we are caring for the whole family. If the parents can’t meet the needs of the family, they can’t focus on the needs of the patient.”
“I think we are making a difference in the lives of our patients,” says Hamilton.
Laura Anderson added, “Sometimes just a few dollars is all it takes to make that difference.”
They’re hoping the cookbook can raise funds to supplement their ability to help. So far, response has been great, with staffers in all departments of the hospital contributing recipes.
Ordering and Shipping
Administrators expect to have the books in hand by November 2014, just in time for the holidays. For more information, call Care Management at (251) 415-1665 or Customer Service at (251) 415-8663.
Pick Up at Hospital (click button below)
If you live outside of the Mobile, Ala., area and would like your cook book(s) shipped to you, click the button below. Please note that the price of shipping (per book) is $3 and has been added to the price.
About USA Children's & Women's Hospital
USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is the area’s leading provider of health services for newborn babies and their mothers. The labor and delivery unit successfully delivers more than 2,800 babies each year, an average of five to 15 babies each day, which is twice as many births as any other hospital in Mobile. The unit also features 15 private birthing suites promoting family-centered care and three operating rooms for cesarean section deliveries and other obstetric procedures.
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