Phoenix Children’s continue family care focus amid pandemic challenges

Aug 20, 2021, 12:12 PM | Updated: 12:39 pm
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)...
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Children’s focus is on family-centered care because when a child is ill, it is nerve-racking for everyone involved.

“We’ve always built our delivery system and kind of everything we do around the concept of family-centered care,” Bob Meyer, president and CEO of the hospital told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday.

“We realized a long time ago that illness in a child, particularly a severe illness, impacts the entire family.”

That holistic approach of family care looked a little different over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meyer said the hospital in the past has been very liberal with visitor policy, but that had to be cut back to two related adults or less at a time.

“It’s been challenging for our people because we really do want to address the family needs,” Meyer said.

Despite visitation needing to be reduced for the safety of staff, patients and their families, the hospital was able to continue providing aid for families in other ways.

The COVID Hardship Fund last year provided more than $387,000 in aid to patient families for rent or mortgage, hotel and lodging for families traveling from outside the area, utility assistance, gas cards and transportation.

“Obviously during the pandemic we’ve seen a lot of our patient families experiencing financial hardship,” Meyer said, adding the hospital accepts everybody regardless of their ability to pay.

Phoenix Children’s last year treated more than 175,000 patients and there were almost 500,000 outpatient visits and 55,000 emergency room visits.

Half of the patients seen at the hospital have little to no private medical insurance, Meyer said.

The hospital is able to that provide crucial assistance to families with the help of community donations.

“Small donations are as important to us as large donations,” Meyer said.

“We continue to see increasing support from the community year over year…because I think the mission is so critical to people and the need is really quite great.”

Donations are not only critical to the daily operation of Phoenix Children’s, which costs nearly $2.7 million per day, but it also helps support the hospital’s more than 60 programs and services that are funded entirely or partially by philanthropy.

This includes art therapy, music therapy, animal-assisted therapy and schooling for the children that all play a role in bringing normalcy to both the child and their family.

Even when the pandemic interrupted the daily life of many, the community support of the hospital never wavered.

The annual week-long Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s with KTAR News 92.3 FM and 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station last year raised a record-setting $1.9 million.

The largest radio hospital fundraiser in the country returned this week and has once again surpassed a million dollars in donations, resulting in more than $17 million for the hospital since the event began in 2009.

The hospital is looking for Champions of Hope to pledge $20 per month.

Those who do will have a teddy bear delivered to a patient in their name on the TRANE Teddy Bear Express. They will also receive a choice of a Papa John’s $20 online voucher or a $20 gift card to Super Star Car Cash.

Call 602-933-4567, text “GIVE” to 411923 or 620620, or visit here to donate and receive more details.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

PCH Giveathon 2021

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Phoenix Children’s continue family care focus amid pandemic challenges