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Children’s Hospital of Illinois, the only hospital in central Illinois to offer comprehensive pediatric specialty and subspecialty medical services, understands children are unique and have special needs. We care for more children in Illinois than any hospital outside of Chicago. We see the impact each child’s illness has on their entire family. Every aspect of Children’s Hospital is driven by our Mission to serve these young patients and their families with the greatest care and love. Our caregivers use every resource available to provide the highest quality of health care, including state of the art technology, equipment designed specifically for children, and world renowned training and education.

Our Care Centers allow you to support these resources in areas where you are most passionate, ultimately helping children and families requiring care through your Care Center of choice. Your passion, your gift - put into action by Children’s Hospital - will create miracles for children and their families.

Neonatal Intensive Care

Pediatric Critical Care

Congenital Heart Center

Pediatric Surgical Advancement

Pediatric Diabetes Resources

Pediatric Simulation & Innovation

Patient & Family Centered Care

Pediatric Healthy Living

Neonatal Intensive Care

=Images=|Care Center Neonatal StockThe smallest and sickest newborns require special care to grow and become healthy. Our state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is designed to create a healing environment centered around the needs of these tiny babies born prematurely or with serious medical conditions, and includes 60 private rooms with sleeping areas for our families to remain close. With full-time neonatologists, our unit is ranked as one of the best in the country. Learn more about the NICU

Funding Priorities: 

-Nearly one-third of our NICU patients are transferred from other hospitals. Transport isolettes will provide a mobile neonatal intensive care system to accommodate our most critical infants during the transfer.

-There are many benefits for preemies when their mother practices kangaroo care, which is resting the baby on their chest. This contact not only provides comfort to the baby, but also helps to regulate body temperature and breathing. Kangaroo chairs will help make this most comfortable and effective for mother and baby. 

-Specially designed beds, called Giraffe Beds, will eliminate the stress of moving sick and tiny babies from one bed to another allowing them to stay in one warm, quiet environment.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

When Sage was born five weeks early at 2lbs 15ozs, his parent knew he was tiny but thankful his vital organs and breathing were strong. After seven days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Sage was diagnosed with a life threatening intestinal infection and given a 50/50 chance of survival.

Due to the quick response of the staff in our nationally-ranking NICU, his parents were able to take him home at 32-days-old. Sage is now a healthy, energetic seven-year-old who joins many other NICU babies at the NICU Small Wonders Walk each year to celebrate the miracles created by the healing environment centered around the needs of the smallest and sickest newborns. 

Hear Alexis' Story

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Pediatric Critical Care

=Images=|Care Center PICU Stock

Children facing life-threatening illnesses, suffering severe trauma or injuries in need of surgical procedures are cared for in our 32-bed Pediatric Critical Care Unit. Here, specially trained staff care for the sickest of children including those who depend on technology, such as mechanical ventilation, to live. Rooms with special air flow for children with immune-compromised medical conditions are located within this unit. Learn more about the Pediatric Critical Care Unit

Funding Priorities: 

-A large warm blanket is an ideal way of warming our patients and providing them a sense of comfort by being enveloped in warmth. This also helps with stress and pain management. A blanket warmer will allow us to offer this comfort to our patients.

-It is extremely important to get out of bed following surgical procedures. A multi-position recliner will make this easier for our patients.

-A new transport monitor that combines measurement flexibility and portability will be helpful to meet the unique needs of the intermediate care environment. This easy-to-use monitor can be configured to fit department protocols, specific procedure requirements, and each patient’s needs.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Four-day-old Ella arrived at Children’s Hospital via Life Flight with a critical heart condition. For the next nine months Ella was cared for in the 32-bed Pediatric Critical Care Unit, where our specially trained staff care for the sickest of children who are facing life-threatening illnesses, or suffering severe trauma or injuries in need of surgical procedures. Like Ella, some of the children in this area also depend on technology, such as mechanical ventilation to live. Our goal is to ensure each patient can one day grow and thrive just like little Ella.

Hear From Dr. Benson

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Congenital Heart Center

=Images=|Care Center Congenital Heart Stock

Our Congenital Heart Center brings together knowledge, equipment, and care to help our cardiac children and adults lead healthy lives. From outpatient to inpatient services, our specialists deliver quality care with outstanding results. Our surgical program, the only Illinois program outside of the Chicago area, provides a full range of surgical interventions for those with congenital heart disease. Patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team during the critical phase of their surgical recovery, which is one of the reasons for a survival rate of greater than 97 percent. Learn more about our Congenital Heart Center

Funding Priorities: 

-A stressful situation for parents and their child can be made a little easier with the purchase of the Transportable Echocardiogram. This technology will allow our cardiologists to fully evaluate and monitor pediatric patients in their own communities eliminating unnecessary travel to Peoria. 

-To offer a healing procedure for some children with rhythm disorders, x-ray equipment is typically used to image the heart. The latest electrophysiology (EP) equipment will decrease radiation exposure and the risk of the long term, adverse complications it can cause, which is especially important in children.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Hours after Hannah was born, her family learned a heart murmur was detected by one of the nurses. The Congenital Heart Center determined she had a condition known as Aortic Stenosis, which is a thickening of the aortic valve. Hannah needed a Balloon Angioplasty at just 36-hours-old followed by double valve replacement surgery at five months. In June 2012, Hannah underwent open heart surgery to replace the pulmonary valve. Due to the full range of cardiothoracic surgical interventions available through the center, she’s made a full recovery and is able to enjoy softball, dance, and the junior high pom squad. With an overall survival rate of more than 97 percent, the Congenital Heart team puts all its heart into caring for the hearts of children like Hannah.

Hear Dylan's Story

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Pediatric Surgical Advancement

=Images=|Care Center Surgical Stock

Children hospitalized benefit from 24-hour physician coverage and the immediate availability of pediatric specialists for urgent or routine pediatric consultation through our Pediatric Surgical Program. The Pediatric Surgery Center is a primary teaching facility for the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, fully integrated with Children’s Hospital of Illinois. This partnership is the ONLY comprehensive facility covering a wide spectrum of surgical care for children in central Illinois. Learn more about our Pediatric Surgical Advancement program

Funding Priorities: 

-Equipment to preform single incision laparoscopy will allow us to continue minimally invasive surgeries, creating shorter recovery periods and hospital stays.

-Support for cutting edge research in liver failure and diabetes could ultimately impact the lives of not only children in central Illinois, but could have a positive global impact.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

The surgeons at Children’s Hospital are trained in innovative surgical techniques that lead to the best outcomes for young patients. When it was determined eight-year-old Jadia had a pancake-sized tumor on her spine that was compressing her spinal cord and causing pain, special training allowed her surgeon to remove the tumor using mini-instruments inserted through small incisions. With minimally invasive surgery, Jadia experienced less scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and a faster recovery which allowed her to return to school about 3 weeks later.

Hear From Dr. Pearl 

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Pediatric Diabetes Resources

=Images=|Care Center Diabetes

The Pediatric Diabetes Resource Center (PDRC) promotes the health and well-being of children with diabetes and advocates for their needs. When a child is diagnosed with diabetes the entire family must absorb a lot of complicated information. The PDRC team meets with each family and communicates with them daily to help them make the necessary changes to care for the special medical needs of a child with diabetes. The PDRC offers classes for caregivers, including grandparents, siblings, sitters and teachers. Learn more about our Pediatric Diabetes Resource Center

Funding Priorities: 

-New Patient Kits ensure each child will receive all the necessary care items on the first day of diagnosis.

-Support groups will continue to provide the ongoing education and encouragement needed for children and families.

-PDRC sees more than 800 children each year. Funding for additional medical professionals will allow the program to provide assistance to even more children and families.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Parents have many hopes and dreams for their children, and Mike & Elaine Fitzgerald are no different. They noticed their daughter, five-year-old Sophie, had lost weight and was drinking continuously. Sophie’s pediatrician confirmed her blood sugar was extremely high and immediately contacted our Pediatric Diabetes Resource Center (PDRC), who diagnosed her with Type I Diabetes. The doctors, nursing staff, dieticians and a social worker helped the family learn how to physically manage Sophie’s care with shots and blood sugar monitoring, and cope with the emotions of the situation. With their continuous support, what seemed like an overwhelming time slowly melted into a new norm and soon became comfortable for the family. Mike & Elaine hope Sophie, now a 10-year-old who enjoys dance and basketball, will grow up to care independently for herself and take responsibility for her health and medical needs through the continued support of the PDRC.

Hear Payton's Story 

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Pediatric Simulation & Innovation

=Images=|Care Center Simulation Stock

We live in a world that is ever changing with new technological and scientific advancements made each day. The Pediatric Simulation & Innovation Fund enables us to support the most current and critical needs of Children’s Hospital with the ultimate goal of providing world class medical care to every child who comes through our doors and invest in ongoing research, education and innovation that will continue to advance the way we care for our patients and treat medical conditions.

Funding Priorities: 

-Continuing education and skill practice offered at the new, world-class Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center is essential to improving patient and family care. The learning center and its educational program will improve patient outcomes, lower health care costs and attract physicians, nurses and other clinicians of the highest caliber allowing us to provide the highest quality care for individuals far beyond the geographic boundaries of our service area.

 -Ongoing research will continue to advance the way we care for our patients and treat medical conditions.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Years ago a preemie baby would leave a hospital in a car seat too large to adequately protect him or her. Over time, new technological and scientific advancements allowed the production of car seats specially designed to fit and protect these tiny babies. The Pediatric Simulation & Innovation Fund enables us to support similar important advancements ensuring the most current and critical needs of Children’s Hospital are met through unparalleled medical research, education, and care.

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Patient & Family Centered Care

=Images=|Care Center Supportive

Patient & Family Centered Care meets the non-medical needs of children and families. Rehabilitation offers physical assistance, while Child Life focuses on the psychosocial well-being of a child while hospitalized, and an in-hospital school offers academic support. Our Supportive Care Team provides comprehensive support to children facing a life-limiting illness and their families through care coordination and emotional, spiritual and mental health resources. All of these impact the quality of life for the patient and his or her family. 

Resource Link-Parenting a child with mental health issues can be difficult. With few child psychiatrists and a complicated mental health care system, many parents turn to their primary care physician (pediatrician or family physician) for help. Resource Link helps equip primary care physicians to treat mental health troubles safely and effectively and links families to counseling and other needed services. The main services the program provides are training and psychiatric consultation for physicians and care coordination for families. Ultimately, Resource Link provides access to mental health care for families in need with the goal of helping children thrive at home, school and in the community. 

Advocacy-Preventing injuries is an important part of keeping children healthy. The Advocacy program serves families, organizations and community members through hospital-based and community-based injury prevention programs. The program’s main focus areas are child passenger safety and bicycle safety. As the only special needs child passenger safety program in Illinois, our Advocacy program provides hundreds of car seats every year for children with special health care needs along with low cost car seats for families who otherwise could not afford one. Our bike safety program provides safety education and free bicycle helmets through programs at schools, in the community and in hospital emergency departments.     

Pediatric Support Care Team-You can imagine that one of the most difficult situations we see at our hospital is when a child has a life-limiting or life-threatening illness. The needs of these children and their families go beyond physical care. They need a comprehensive support system that stretches across the life course.  In 2011, the Pediatric Supportive Care Team was established at Children’s Hospital. The team consists of one APN, two counselors and a part-time perinatal support coordinator. Additionally, a pediatric intensivist, pediatric hematologist/oncologist, and neonatologist volunteer their time in the program.    

Child Life/ Pediatric Rehab-Sometimes children need a little extra help to get back to their old self or learn how to do everyday tasks in a different way following an illness or accident. Our team of speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists at the Department of Pediatric Developmental Rehabilitation provide the evaluation and treatment of a variety of diagnoses in the areas of neurological, developmental and orthopedic disorders.

Pediatric School Program-A five year old kindergarten student is hospitalized for nine weeks due to a car accident. A sixth grader with an eating disorder is required to enter two months of extended care. A high school senior with medical complications due to cystic fibrosis will be missing preparation for his final exams. Hospitalizations and health concerns can affect and disrupt children’s school attendance, literacy and connection with their school communities placing children at academic risk. Children’s Hospital of Illinois looks beyond meeting the medical needs of our patients and continues to be proactive in providing comprehensive care. Our onsite Pediatric School Program has two full time teachers and several volunteers to help reduce the worry of missed school.

The new overarching goal of the program is to provide fully integrated, family-centered supportive care to children and families across the more than 35 counties served by Children’s Hospital of Illinois.  These ongoing supportive services to families have a positive impact on the quality of life not only for the patient, but for the family as well.

Funding Priorities:  Additional contributions to the program would be used to expand support services by hiring a full-time physician to direct programming.  Additional counselors to manage counseling needs, and a care coordinator to ensure seamless care delivery. Contributions would also be used for educational and training opportunities to teach medical professionals, non-medical professionals such as teachers, and the general public about pediatric supportive care.

The hospital and procedures a child has to undergo can be scary for them, and for their families for that matter.  Children’s Hospital of Illinois has individuals called Child Life Specialists to help children and families through these stressful times by helping them better understand illness, hospitalization and outpatient procedures. Research has shown that children who know what to expect are better able to cope with the stress of hospitalization. Our specialists help decrease stress and anxiety related to procedures, separation from home and family, and changes in routines.  The team is able to accomplish this by giving tours before surgery, play that allows a child to interact with medical instruments, staying with a child during their procedure, and providing special support to their families. 

Funding Priorities: Donations have helped to purchase Dental Hygiene Kits for patients receiving public aid which allows us to support important dental hygiene and helps with the child’s rehabilitation. A stationary bike has also been added to our Pediatric Rehabilitation Department to help with the physical therapy of children.  Funding has also supported our Stories of Hope program which takes pictures of our brave patients and shares them with their families to give them peace of mind while they’re waiting.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Eight-year-old Zanna was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, a disorder which can cause intense pain, infection, and complications like organ damage and stroke. The disease ultimately caused severe damage to Zanna’s arm requiring 17 surgeries since November 2011. She is just one example of how our Patient & Family Centered Care supports our patients and their families. During five months of hospitalization, she spent a great deal of time with our child life specialists playing games and working on art projects. She stayed up to date on all of her schoolwork with help from our in-house school program and regained her strength through rehabilitation services. Our Supportive Care Team provides comprehensive support to children, like Zanna, who are facing a life-limiting illness and their families through care coordination and emotional, spiritual and mental health resources. All of these impact the quality of life for the patient and his or her family.

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Pediatric Healthy Living

=Images=|Care Center Healthy Living Stock

Statistics show 30 percent of Illinois children are overweight. Unfortunately, 70 percent of these children will remain overweight into adulthood. We address this issue through our Pediatric Healthy Living initiative, which will treat overweight children and educate families and the community about childhood obesity. Our trained clinicians will complete assessments consisting of screening, therapy, exercise and family training to help children understand this issue and become healthy adults.

Funding Priorities:

-Our goal is to reduce the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases in children through early identification, preventive education and healthy lifestyle intervention for overweight and obese children. Funding will support two services offered to children along with their families who are seeking help to improve their health and weight.

-Exergaming for Health is a 6 month group weight management program which includes exercise, instruction of healthy nutrition and behavior change, and maintenance meetings.

-Healthy Kids U Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic which teaches healthy eating habits, portion control, planning meals, and developing healthy levels of activity and exercise.

Who Will Your Gift Impact?

Obesity can have difficult effects on the life of a child. Aside from the low self-esteem and social discrimination, obese children are more likely to have Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and joint pain. Statistics show 30 percent of children in Illinois are overweight, and this number continues to increase. Unfortunately, 70 percent of these children will remain overweight into adulthood. Support and care through programs such as the Pediatric Healthy Living program can help to change this outcome for children by appropriately treating overweight children and educating families and the community about childhood obesity.

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