Having a child with a chronic illness or a serious unexpected medical concern is an overwhelming experience. Parents frequently describe the isolation and fear they felt during their child’s diagnosis, hospital stay and illness. Parents facing long-term chronic illnesses with their children often mention how helpful it would be to speak with a family who has walked a similar journey.
Experienced parents are in a unique position to provide peer support to current OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois and St. Jude families. Through their experiences, they are able to empathize and offer hope to families just starting out on their journey.
Our Heller Center Mentors will provide the following support:
- Share information
- Orient patients to the inpatient world
- Facilitate family–centered care initiatives
- Model effective communication strategies in order to bolster parent confidence
- Promote self-efficacy
- Effectively involve parents in programmatic decisions
- Possibly host parent social hour “Mentor Mondays”
- Provide appropriate emotional support for patient/family
- Participate in Mentor meetings
- Interact with families at bedside, by phone or email
- Provide appropriate referrals to staff as needed
All Heller Center Mentors are oriented and trained by the Jim and Trudy Maloof St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois staff and will report to the Patient Services Coordinator.