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Advances in Care During the Pandemic and Beyond

Philanthropy has never been more important at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, nor has the need been so great. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on patients, families and staff at CHOP – and in our community. And while many of the projects supported by the Holiday Boutique over the past few years have been directly connected to CHOP’s COVID-19 outreach, we are now able to shift our focus to support deserving new programs and address new patient/family needs through the Women’s Committee grant process. Below are a few projects the Holiday Boutique supported.

Creating New Diagnostic Tools for Lupus Patients

Lupus is a multisystem autoimmune disorder that can affect any part of the body, but most commonly causes inflammation of the kidneys, known as nephritis. Diagnosing lupus nephritis early – and treating it promptly – is critical in preventing the long-term and permanent loss of kidney function. Funds raised by the Holiday Boutique helped CHOP’s Lupus Program, the Division of Rheumatology, and the Lupus Integrated Nephritis Clinic to develop a state-of-the-art diagnostic test and identify potentially harmful substances that may cause or worsen symptoms.

Supporting Teens with Autism

To better serve teens and young adults with autism, the Center for Autism Research at CHOP has created a Transition to Adulthood Program to support teens and increase their chances of achieving their goals and a high quality of life. Experts at the Center for Autism Research designed a multifaced program to include cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art clinical care and education programming to target key issues and challenges faced by many teens and young adults with autism. This work is supported by the Holiday Boutique.

Improving Poison Control Offerings

CHOP’s Poison Control Center (PCC) offers a 24-hour emergency hotline for poisoning incidents and poison information. In 2020, nurses and pharmacists at PCC provided expert information, poisoning management guidance and reassurance in 62,000+ calls – including more than 54,000 human poison exposure cases. The Holiday Boutique is helping to purchase new software so the PCC can improve its service offerings; offer new communication modalities for detailed case documentation and information sharing between departments; and provide more robust surveillance and sophisticated tracing. The new software will also add additional functionality including text messaging for more efficient follow-up communications.

Building Knowledge & Mastering Skills

Learning how to properly care and maintain central lines to prevent infections is a primary goal of both inpatient and ambulatory caregiver teams at CHOP. Funds raised by the Holiday Boutique are helping to train caregivers to improve their knowledge and mastery of skills to prevent central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), create updated educational materials, develop in-person didactics, step-by-step procedures and repeated opportunities for skill demonstration.

Helping Families Create Memories

The Pediatric Advanced Care Team at CHOP works with families dealing with the possibility their child will not outlive their illness. One area of bereavement support is legacy-making activities with the goal of creating memories and keepsakes for the family. Legacy-making is a therapeutic activity designed to improve both child and parent psychosocial distress during a child’s treatment and end-of-life care. One specific keepsake the Holiday Boutique sponsors is heartbeat recordings of patients.

Creating Space for Staff to Recharge

Taking care of children and their families while keeping a vigilant eye on new viral threats such as COVID-19, is an all-consuming challenge. A new Emergency Department Staff Lounge at CHOP’s recently opened hospital in King of Prussia allows our dedicated clinicians the time and space to decompress, recharge and regroup — so they are always working at their best for every patient and family in their care. The project is funded by the Holiday Boutique.