BOISE, Idaho – St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital will launch new programs and purchase new supplies and equipment thanks to a $50,000 grant from Walmart.
Walmart officials presented the grant on Wednesday March 2, prior to the beginning of a Marti Gras celebration at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital. To see photos of the event click here.
The donation comes from Walmart’s State Giving Grant program. The grant is directed at the Children’s Hospital School. The school, the only one of its kind in the state, has a full-time teacher that provides instruction for patients being treated at St. Luke’s.
The goal of the school is to minimize the educational, social, and mental effect severe and chronic illnesses have on children at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital. The school serves an average of 150 children throughout the year for varying reasons depending on the stage of their illness. The grant will go toward the following items:
History of St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital SchoolSt. Luke’s Children’s Hospital opened in 2004 as a way to minimize the effect long term illnesses have on a child’s education. By bringing a comprehensive school program to a child, it’s easier to remain at grade level while improving health outcomes. In its first 5 years 100 percent of 750 children who have attended the school, have remained at grade level.
Public schools in Idaho are required to provide “homebound” services to students who meet criteria, however, state laws haven’t kept current with medical advances & the needs of chronically ill children. Attending school while in the hospital gives children & adolescents a sense of “normalcy”. Anxiety is decreased as children have support & structure to accomplish academic goals.
Key elements of a hospital school are flexibility, creativity, & cooperation. The school, students, & families set realistic goals. Diagnosis, treatment, & length of participation in the hospital school are considered when developing individual assignments. Medications & treatments have an impact & are considered when working with each child.
The teacher tailors programs to meet the needs depending on type of illness, treatment impacts on cognition, length of treatment and goals of each student. Child Life Specialists work to minimize psychological stress and pain related to hospitalization, & promote optimum development of children by helping maintain normal living routines.
The teacher continues to work with families well beyond their stay at the hospital by assisting in navigating school district requirements as they re-enter into the school setting. The Teen Room opened April 2010 and offers a special get-away, a place to meet friends and family.
The Teen Room was a dream of a young patient who spent months of his life in St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital fighting cancer and allows young patients to connect with friends & enjoy fun & games in a new, friendly environment outside their hospital room - the social piece of an adolescent’s daily routine.
Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.