SUPPORTING CHILDREN AT VIRTUA

Thank you for your interest in supporting the children that Virtua serves! If you would like to contribute goods or services for our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Early Intervention program, Pediatric Mobile Services program or CASTLE (Children Achieving Success Through Therapeutic Life Experiences) program, please contact Virtua Foundation at VHF@virtua.org or 856-355-0830.

All other donations in support of children are covered by Virtua’s Child Life Program.

CHILD LIFE AT VIRTUA

The hospital can be a very stressful place for kids. Pediatric patients are often confused by the large new environment and scared of what might happen to them. Children whose siblings or parents are hospitalized or in the emergency room face these same fears; as we all know, worry about loved ones can be intense. Child Life Specialists recognize the psychosocial impact an injury or illness can have on the pediatric patient and their entire family. Their goals include minimizing stress and maximizing development, which is accomplished in various ways including but not limited to:

-Developmentally appropriate preparation and distraction for procedures

-Therapeutic play to normalize the environment and medical play to familiarize patients with medical equipment

-Preparing children and siblings for visiting someone in the hospital

-Education and teaching about a new diagnosis

-Memory making keepsakes

Virtua’s dedicated team of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) work throughout Virtua – in Pediatrics, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the Pediatric Emergency Department, Pediatric Diagnostic Imaging and Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Pavilion – to support children and reduce their fears. Child Life specialists also serve non-pediatric units, including adult surgical, intensive care and emergency departments, to assist children there in whatever way is needed, including bereavement and visitation support, education on a loved one's illness or hospital stay, and more. They are integral members of the care team, working closely with physicians, nurses and other clinicians to create a safe, emotionally supportive environment. Virtua’s Child Life Specialists are certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals and recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Virtua Foundation proudly partners with philanthropic advocates who support Child Life at Virtua, helping us provide compassionate care for the children and families we are privileged to serve. Our premier donor, Spirit Halloween, has raised more than $330,000 since 2011 through their Spirit of Children campaign. These proceeds have enabled the Child Life Program to add an additional position within the department, as well as provide resources to “make the hospital a less scary place for kids.” We are also grateful to the Joseph Lacroce Foundation, whose gift to create the Pediatric Family Zone has made a tremendous difference for “Virtua’s kids.”

WANT TO HELP?

Virtua is proud to partner with community members who want to make a difference for children. Please use the following links: