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It’s been an exciting year of fundraising, planning and growth for the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program Fund. Thanks to the generosity of Roku and other generous donors, we’ve been able to raise funds to support many of our Phase One projects.
This past year has seen lots of exciting changes, including:
• Hiring our third full-time Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Physician, Dr. Teddy Yip, who bolsters our inpatient consult service at UNC Children’s, is providing ultrasound guided injections to manage our patients’ spasticity and is working to develop a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for pediatric brain injury survivors.
• Opening our new multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy led by Dr. Elizabeth Barton.
• Opening a new multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for children and adolescents with congenital and acquired limb differences (amputees) led by Dr. Elizabeth Barton.
• Receiving approval to establish and hire our first pediatric rehabilitation nurse coordinator who will help coordinate care and provide education and support to families of children with disabilities. We are currently interviewing several candidates for this position.
• Developing the UNC Pediatric Rehabilitation Family Education And Support Team (FEAST), a dedicated multidisciplinary inpatient group composed of a physician, a case manager, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist, a neuropsychologist and a child life specialist. FEAST works within UNC Children’s to identify, educate, support and coordinate care for families of children admitted to the hospital with disabling conditions like brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, cancer, muscular dystrophy and more and is scheduled to formally begin in February 2023.
In 2023, we plan to operationalize our inpatient FEAST program and connect it with our outpatient care coordination to ensure continuity of care and support. Future funding in Phase Two will be used to invite national experts to visit and offer their recommendations on best practices in the design of a successful acute inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program and day rehab program. This also offers us the opportunity to potentially recruit and retain national experts in the field to join our program!
We are grateful for your support and thankful especially to the Fitch Family who have dedicated so much time and effort to make sure that families of children who need pediatric rehabilitation services at UNC Children’s will one day be able to receive ongoing, seamless, coordinated multidisciplinary rehab care and support from the day they are admitted to the hospital until the day they return safely home and beyond.