The Chronic Illness Program at Children's Specialized Hospital is a comprehensive inpatient program for adolescents who have demonstrated an inability to manage their condition. It provides the child and family with a structured, comprehensive service plan to address the medical, nutritional, psychological, and family communication issues that can impact a child's health and wellness. This program is especially for adolescents with conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer, blood disorders, cystic fibrosis, or following an organ transplant.
During the admission process, our medical director and Chronic Illness Team review each child's medical and psychological information. An interview with the child and family is conducted to determine the appropriateness of the child for the program. We realize parents and caregivers have a crucial role in their child's health and lifestyle, and require parental participation for each child in our program to ensure a family-centered approach and the greatest success.
The duration of the program is 4-6 weeks. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach to care that addresses the physical, emotional, and psycho-social needs of each patient. The goal for each adolescent is always to increase adherence and better self-management of their condition. In this comprehensive inpatient stay, the program is 24/7. Our staff takes every opportunity to provide ongoing education, medical management, and transition each patient to independent care.
A typical inpatient stay includes physician and nursing care, psychology, and the following services:
At the conclusion of an inpatient stay, our expectation is that each patient is significantly more independent at managing his or her medical condition. This means each child is more involved in collaborative decision-making with his or her medical and health professionals, more compliant, and adept at making choices for a healthier lifestyle. Another principal goal of the program is to ensure a healthy transition back into the community. This means we help patients work with medical personnel, health professionals, their schools, and community-based agencies, to ensure each child's success once they return home. Plans for outpatient care and follow-up are integral as well.