Our Inspiration

Transforming medicine to help more children and their families

Philanthropy has never been more important at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, nor has the need been so great. Thanks to philanthropic events like Holiday Boutique, new diagnostic tests, innovative research and life-changing treatments are providing answers for families and changing the future for countless young patients we serve.

Many of our discoveries have profoundly changed pediatric medicine, while other game-changing projects are just getting started. Some of these programs and outreach opportunities are funded through the Women’s Committee grant process and supported by funding from the Holiday Boutique. Below are a few projects supported by recent funding from the Holiday Boutique.

Helping Children Find Their Voice

Helping Children Find Their VoiceWhen a child wakes up in a hospital, disoriented and unable to speak due to a medical procedure or trauma, the role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) becomes paramount. The SLP becomes a beacon of hope who helps bridge the gap in effective communication between the child, their family and care providers. Funding from Holiday Boutique helps CHOP’s Center for Childhood Communication to purchase advanced augmentative and alternate communication resources to improve communication with these vulnerable patients and support clinical trials to determine the most suitable long-term communication devices.

Meeting the Menstrual Needs of Teens in Homeless Shelters

Meeting the Menstrual NeedsCHOP’s Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) has been supporting teens and families in local emergency housing shelters since 1988. Staffed primarily by volunteers, the mission of HHI is to provide high-quality medical and dental care, deliver health education and advocate for children’s health in shelters. In 2021, HHI identified an unmet healthcare need – period poverty, characterized by lack of access to menstrual products and education. The CHOP Menstrual Health Equity Initiative was launched to provide “period packs” with menstrual supplies to teens. The packs allow individuals to attend school, work and activities with dignity.

Learning Through Play: the LEGO Robotics Education Program

Learning Through PlayThe Lego Robotics Education Program at CHOP offers programming to uplift the spirits of both patients and families during a hospital stay through science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education and hands-on LEGO experiences. The program enables children to build and program LEGO robots at the bedside, in group settings or as part of long-term projects. Since its launch in February 2023, the program has seen rapid grown and become a patient favorite. Funding from the Holiday Boutique will allow the program to expand and support more than 3,000 patients annually.

Baby Eagle Project Offers Early Access to Genetic Information in the NICU

Baby Eagle ProjectGenetic diagnoses play a significant role in infant morbidity and mortality – affecting as many as 3 out of 4 babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). While standard diagnostic testing for sick babies is often costly and time-intensive, rapid genome sequencing has emerged as a promising single-platform test to provide analysis for a wide range of genetic disorders. The Baby Eagle Project at CHOP draws clinicians from genetics, neonatology and genomic diagnostics together to offer rapid and targeted analysis of a sick baby’s genome. With more information about the baby’s condition, clinicians can offer targeted therapies and treatments.

Advanced Screening for Children with Food Allergies and Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Advanced Screening for ChildrenFood allergies affect 1 in 13 children in the U.S., leading to increased emergency room visits, higher healthcare costs and reduced quality of life for families. While some children may develop tolerance to their food allergens, many face persistent allergies and the risk of life-threatening anaphylaxis. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) at CHOP offers an alternative to strict allergen avoidance but is not appropriate for all patients. In some cases, OIT can lead to negative side effects including GI symptoms or eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). To address this, CHOP is planning a clinical trial to screen children for EoE before starting OIT, with the hope of enhancing patient care and clinical research in this area.

Create a Brighter Future

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