Monthly Archives: September 2011

Children’s walks for Light the Night

On Sunday night, members of Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Team joined around 4,000 walkers at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light the Night Walk.

Children’s was a sponsor of this year’s event, and also formed a team to show support. Children’s treats more than 70 percent of Minnesota kids that are diagnosed with cancer, so many of the families at the walk have been or are being cared for at Children’s.

The walk took place at Target Field and was led by Twins Hall of Famer Rod Carew. Each walker carried an illuminated balloon: white balloons for cancer survivors, red balloons for supporters, and gold balloons to remember those who lost their battles with cancer.

In all, the Light the Night Walk raised more than $540,000 to support research into cures for blood cancers.

See more of our photos on our Facebook page.

Therapy dogs help child with autism

Kadin, who was diagnosed with autism, struggled to communicate, would often have breakdowns and had trouble paying attention during his therapy sessions at Children’s. That’s where Sasha came in.
Sasha is one of our therapy dogs in our Pets Assisting With Healing program. At the suggestion of Nicole Linstrom, Kadin’s occupational therapist, Sasha began attending Kadin’s therapy sessions. Kadin immediately bonded with Sasha, and having her there helped him pay more attention during his sessions.

Therapy dogs worked so well for Kadin that his family even adopted a therapy dog of their own, Truman, from Can Do Canines.

Our Pets Assisting With Healing volunteers help patients with development and rehabilitation and brighten their stay in the hospital.

Learn more about our Pets Assisting With Healing program, and see Sasha and others in action working with patients here:

Free flu shots for kids at Kohl’s

Influenza prevention education is an important step to keeping kids healthy during the flu season. That is why the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program awarded Children’s a $441,259 grant in 2009, a $422,000 grant in 2010 and a $483,230 grant in 2011 to create the Kohl’s and Children’s Influenza Prevention Project for Kids. The project offers free vaccination clinics and educational assemblies in schools to teach children about flu prevention.

On Sept. 9 and 10, several Kohl’s locations will offer free flu vaccines for kids. Get full details on times and locations for the clinics.

Talking to your kids about the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, many adults and older children and teens may experience heightened emotions. We know there will be a great deal of media coverage before and on Sept. 11 this year, with pictures and video replayed over and over.

Children who were born after 2001, or were just toddlers at that time, may be frightened by the images in the media. They will not know that what they are seeing on their TV screens and hearing adults talk about happened years ago – they will likely think this is happening now.

We asked one of our Child Life Specialists for tips on talking with children about these images and the event, and for providing them with the sense of safety and trust they need.

  • Reassure them that you love them and will do all that you can to keep them safe.
  • Limit television viewing before and on Sept. 11.
  • Remind children that what they are viewing is something that happened in the past. Children as old as age 6 may believe what they’re viewing is happening right now.  They need you to assure them that the attacks are not occurring as they watch TV
  • Acknowledge their fear and take it seriously. Don’t try to talk children out of their fears – talk about them instead, clarifying misunderstandings, answering questions.
  • Understand that reactions will vary depending on age. Younger children are affected by the emotional reactions of adults as well as to visual images; older children may need to talk about what happened and how they feel about it.
  • Answer their questions directly. Don’t give more information than they are asking for, but don’t be afraid to share the truth and talk about it with them.
  • Encourage them to express their feelings – sadness for the people who were killed, worry about what may happen now, happiness about the way people have reached out to help one another, etc. Talking, writing, drawing, playing are all ways children express themselves and thus gain a sense of control in their lives.
  • Remember the value of kind and loving touch. An extra hug, kiss, shoulder rub, time on a parent’s lap or snuggling in bed or on the couch can have a big impact on a child’s sense of security
  • Again, limit the amount of news coverage and special “anniversary coverage” children watch.  Limit other violent TV shows. Protect them by watching a video, looking for a non-Sept.11 related program, or turning off the TV and playing a game, reading a book, or taking a walk or wagon ride instead

Children’s, St. Cloud Hospital expand cancer and hematology partnership

Through our expanded partnership with St. Cloud Hospital, doctors like Joanna Perkins, MD, are now able to provide cancer and blood disorders care closer to home for more kids in the St. Cloud area.

For more than 10 years, St. Cloud Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota have worked together to provide Pediatric Cancer and Hematology Services in St. Cloud. This expanded partnership allows both organizations to build upon the success of this collaborative care model. More children in Central Minnesota needing pediatric specialty care for cancer and blood disorders will now be able to stay closer to home through the expanded partnership between St. Cloud Hospital and Children’s.

The partnership will keep children closer to their family, doctor and home when possible, and provide a continuum of care to Children’s – Minneapolis campus when specialized care is required. The partnership gives St. Cloud Hospital expanded access to Children’s treatment guidelines, protocols and recommendations and allows us to co-manage care at the site that is most appropriate for treatment. Oncologists and hematologists from Children’s will also be more available at St. Cloud Hospital, scheduling outpatient visits several days each month.

“This partnership is important as it allows us to meet the growing and evolving medical needs of communities throughout Central Minnesota,” said Phil Kibort, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. “Improving access to high quality, family-centered care for kids fighting cancer and blood disorders is only a starting point.”

Both hospitals have Magnet designation and just last month Children’s Hospital was again recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country for cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, pulmonology and neonatology by U.S. News & World Report.