The programs listed below are funded through philanthropy. We welcome your support and involvement to help continue to make Blank Children's a special place for our patients, families and community. Each and every gift makes a difference by touching lives and providing comfort and care to thousands each year!
Child Life Program
Being in a hospital can be very stressful for children and their families. To help ease their nerves, Blank Children's provides a special service called Child Life. This program is not paid for by insurance, so we rely on the generous support of individuals, organizations and others in the community to help us provide this valuable and important service for patients and families. Certified Child Life Specialists combine play with education to explain medical procedures and provide therapeutic opportunities to explore the hospital environment. As one parent put it, "The doctors and nurses saved my son's life, but Child Life saved his soul."
Child Life Music and Arts Therapy Program
To further support the needs of patients and families Child Life is planning the addition of an Expressive Arts Therapy program focused on Music and Arts Therapy. The program will provide children of all ages the opportunity to explore issues around illness and/or hospitalization, foster healing and engage in creativity - something most children have no shortage of! Similar programs are in place at children's hospitals across the country and have been a successful part of the coping process, promoting a sense of independence and control. Funding is needed to launch a program to serve patients at Blank Children's.
Pediatric Emergency Department
The Pediatric Emergency Department at Blank Children's Hospital specializes in meeting the unique needs of children and families during medical emergencies. We are dedicated to caring for babies, children and teens. Our emergency department is a verified Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and is open 24 hours a day to provide emergency care for the approximately 18,000 patients we treat each year.
Our emergency department consistently scores in the top 90th percentile in our patient satisfaction surveys - as compared to other hospitals across the country. The current space was last updated nearly 20 years ago, and we are currently seeking funds to renovate and redesign the pediatric emergency department to ensure our facilities match the outstanding care we provide!
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team at Blank Children's is dedicated to providing high-quality, family-centered care for premature and critically-ill newborns. Our NICU offers private rooms that can accommodate 44 beds and is a Regional Level IIIB unit offering the latest in technology. Blank Children's has been pioneering care for newborns since the unit opened in 1972. In 2001, we were one of the first units in the world to offer private-room care, and since that time, many NICUs across the country have followed our model.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
For children in critical condition, Blank Children's offers a state-of-the-art Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) under the medical direction of pediatric critical care physicians.
Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Blank Children's is one of only two hospitals in Iowa treating children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. The Blank Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, newly renovated in 2013 as a result of generous support from our community, provides comprehensive and coordinated medical care by a team of specialists. As a member of the Children's Oncology Group, the most experienced organization in the world in the clinical development of new therapeutics for children and adolescents with cancer, the Blank Children's oncology team works to create the best individualized treatment plan possible for patients and their families.
The center currently cares for up to 600 patients, with approximately 50 - 60 new cancer diagnoses per year. Our Survivorship Clinic supports 500 patient visits per year for long-term follow up care.
Adolescent Young Adult Program (AYA)
In response to a great need in our community, Blank Children's Hospital and John Stoddard Cancer Center established the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program to provide specialized care and treatment plans for faster diagnosis and improved outcomes for adolescents and young adults in Iowa. This program is the first of its kind for the state of Iowa and one of the first community-based programs in the nation.
Compassion Fund for patients of Blank Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Contributions to this fund provide additional support to patients and families beyond what the hospital is able to provide. Assistance is based on financial need and is designed to respond to the unique needs of patients and families, which can include meal cards or one-time prescriptions to help those we serve continue to recover at home.
Children's Developmental Center
The Blank Children's Developmental Center offers early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment for children with developmental disabilities. Contributions to the Center support specially-trained, multidisciplinary teams of medical specialists and therapists who work to develop a unique, personalized program for each child. Blank Children's has made a commitment that no child in need of care will be refused treatment because of the inability to pay. For this reason, donor support is needed not only to help grow the current programs available, but also to ensure each child has the chance to thrive.
Advocacy and Outreach
The Center for Advocacy and Outreach at Blank Children's Hospital is a statewide resource for education and information regarding children's issues. We use the expertise of our health care staff to enhance the development of safe and healthy children in our community. We also advocate on behalf of children with our legislators about what's right for children and families, and to ensure that the laws that are passed help prevent injuries or give all children access to health care.
The Just for Kids Care Cart is a pediatric and neonatal medical supply resource for rural hospitals, clinics, schools and other health care providers created to help ensure they have the right supplies - in the right sizes - to take care of all children. Sometimes these critical supplies are costly or need to be purchased in quantities too large to use, creating a difficult situation for our rural partners. The Care Cart was created not only to help distribute these supplies as needed, but also to provide education around usage.
Regional Child Protection Center
Victims of child abuse are either too young or too afraid to talk about the pain of abusive trauma. They need someone to help them start a process of healing. The professionals at the Regional Child Protection Center (RCPC) work closely with community organizations to protect children. The RCPC enables a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to work together in the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases in central Iowa. Contributions to this Center help support a team of specialists skilled in the medical and psycho-social assessment of abused children.
Meredith School Classroom
Blank Children's Hospital not only understands the value of education, but also the importance of stable learning conditions. For this reason, we partner with the Des Moines Public Schools to provide both inpatient and outpatient services for students during their hospital stay. Teachers work with students at their bedside or in our Meredith School Classroom. Funds are continually needed to support teaching services as well as supplies.
SHINE - Perinatal and Pediatric Palliative Care
The SHINE program (Sharing, Healing, Inspiring, Nurturing, Enduring) is the perinatal and pediatric palliative care program within Blank Children's Hospital. The Perinatal Palliative Care Team provides comfort and support to families facing a possibly life-limiting diagnosis in their unborn child. The Pediatric Palliative Care Team focuses on the care of children and families living with a serious medical condition that could shorten their life expectancy and affect quality of life.
Palliative care recognizes that everyone in the family is affected when one member is ill and care aims to improve the quality of list in physical, psychological, social emotional and spiritual ways.
Contributions to this fund provide additional support to patients and families beyond what the hospital is able to provide. Assistance is based on financial need and is designed to respond to the unique needs of patients and families, which can include meal cards or one-time prescriptions to help those we serve continue to recover at home. The ability to assist our patients and families that need extra assistance helps them to live the best quality of life while going through treatment. In addition, while much of the assistance is small, it helps to bring peace of mind during a time that is extremely stressful.
Area of Greatest Need
Contributions to this fund are important because they allow Blank Children's to be ready to meet immediate needs as they arise in order to provide the best possible care for our patients and families. Funds may be used to purchase essential new equipment, provide valuable programs and services to children and their families and support health and safety education programs.
Endowments to Support
Wishes Endowment - The Wishes Blank Endowment Campaign seeks a minimum of $50,000,000 through cash, pledges, planned gifts to invest in our children - a level of philanthropic support that is unprecedented in Blank Children's history. Private support has been the corner stone of Blank Children's since the beginning. This continued support of our friends and donors is key to the hospitals secure future.