Philanthropy News from Hasbro Children's Hospital
At the Heart of Everything We Do
Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Child Life is an essential piece of the program, funded entirely by philanthropy.
I had no idea I was in a helicopter,” recalls Lara Andrade, reflecting on that fateful day in March 2021 when she was airlifted to Hasbro Children’s from a hospital near her family’s Massachusetts home.
It all began a week prior when Lara, now 17, was complaining about headaches that wouldn’t go away. Her mom, Karine, and dad, Avelino, took her to the local emergency department, where she was diagnosed with an ear infection. A few days later and not yet feeling better Lara started struggling to breathe.
She was rushed back to the nearby hospital and a barrage of tests came back normal. But Lara’s sudden, odd, and confused behavior alarmed doctors, who wanted her to go to Hasbro Children’s immediately.
“I didn’t even know where Providence was,” says Karine, who grew up in Cape Verde. “I started to wonder if she was going to survive, that’s how scared I was.”
More than a decade ago, Hasbro Children’s tapped Fran Pingitore, PhD, PCNS-BC, to lead its Patient- and Family-Centered Care initiative. The model aimed to redefine relationships in health care by emphasizing collaboration to plan, deliver, and evaluate care among providers, patients and families. It would later be instrumental to Lara’s medical journey.
“As providers and as a hospital, we do a lot to and for our patients, but this was about partnering with our patient families, amplifying their voice in the care of their child, and meeting them where they’re at,” Dr. Pingitore says.
‘Meeting families where they’re at’ is a mantra you’ll hear frequently at Hasbro Children’s. It’s the hospital’s commitment to getting to know and understand each family’s individualities and where they may be with their anxieties and fears—which, ultimately, supports care delivery and leads to improved outcomes.
Mancini Foundation Gift Bolsters Work of Health Clinic
Increasingly, Rhode Island children, particularly those from lower-income communities, are struggling with weight-related conditions and seeking care at Hasbro Children’s Primary Care Clinic. In response, one of the clinic’s programs is making great strides in treating this vulnerable population.
Called Healthy Eating Active Living Through Hasbro (HEALTH), the program is directed by Celeste Corcoran, MD, and aims to reduce the issue of childhood obesity in kids and young adults through education. Participants learn about reading nutrition labels, sugar-sweetened beverages, exercise, screen time, and much more.
Recently, a generous gift from the Raymond T. and Ann T. Mancini Family Foundation helped the HEALTH program expand its important mission. The gift has funded the hiring of a part-time clinical care coordinator who serves as a liaison to patient families in Providence and other nearby urban core cities, providing educational outreach, programming, and follow-up care.
Donating to the HEALTH program was a perfect fit for the Mancini Family Foundation as the family specifically looks to support causes related to widening access to education of all kinds, according to Deborah Mancini Morrocco. Her parents, Raymond and Ann, started the Foundation as a way to use some of the profits from their flooring and beverage distribution businesses to help those in need.
“The way the program engages families on healthy eating is very impressive,” Deborah says. “It takes a lot of time and energy to deliver the education piece around what and how to eat. This program will help kids live happier, healthier lives, and it was an honor to be able to support the hospital in this way.”
Annual Radiothon leads to $453,151 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Held on May 13, the annual Hasbro Children’s Hospital Radiothon saw the community come together with an outpouring of generosity, raising $453,151 for the area’s only pediatric hospital. The funds will support patient care, research, and programs like the Healing Arts, pet therapy, and Child Life.
“The way Radiothon brings thousands of people together to make an impact in the lives of our patients and their families is absolutely incredible,” said Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD, president of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals. “We are fortunate to have not only dedicated partners in Cumulus and its talent, but also an extremely generous community of donors. Thank you to everyone who helped to make Radiothon a special day for Hasbro Children’s Hospital.”
During the 12-hour event—which was broadcasted simultaneously on Cumulus Providence stations 92 PRO-FM, Lite 105, News Talk 630 & 99.7, and Hot 106—Hasbro Children’s patients, families and staff took to the airwaves to share their inspiring stories of hope and healing.
“We are proud to continue our longstanding commitment to Hasbro Children’s Hospital and to the families that depend on its world-class care,” said Holly Paras, market manager for Cumulus Providence. “Radiothon always brings out the best in our community and this year was no different. I could not be more grateful to our listeners for their incredible generosity or to the Cumulus team for the way they embrace the day.”
As listeners across Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts were introduced to patients and their journeys with rare blood disorders, aggressive cancers, cerebral palsy, and life-threatening heart conditions, volunteers manned a socially distanced phone bank on the hospital’s campus, answering calls to accept donations throughout the day.
Radiothon donations do a world of good for kids, because they support the hospital’s ability to provide our region’s children and their families the best care possible. Over the years, these funds have helped to purchase medical equipment and support programs that rely heavily on philanthropy. Since its inception, Radiothon has raised more than $9.2 million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Among the sponsors and supporters of this year’s Radiothon, many of which matched gifts during special “power hours” and volunteered to answer calls, were Mi-Box Moving & Mobile Storage of RI; Alexander’s Uniforms; Jordan’s Furniture; Dunkin’; Walmart; Mr. David Schuller; Shaw’s; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI; DAI Restore; Nathan Clark and Associates; Providence Auto Body; Marshall; and Cox Business.
Meet Izzy: Our 2021 Champion Child
It was 2007, and Daisy and Sam Mirzaei were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child. But what should have been a joyous time was interrupted when they learned their daughter would be born with a life-threatening blood disorder called beta thalassemia major.
“She wasn’t even here yet when she was diagnosed,” Daisy says reflecting back on those dark days. “Our hearts just dropped into our stomachs when we realized we could lose our daughter. I still tear up thinking about it.”
Also known as Cooley’s Anemia, the severe condition is marked by red blood cells’ inability to form properly, therefore being unable to carry sufficient oxygen to support normal body function.
As health care professionals themselves, Daisy and Sam both were acutely aware of the journey Izzy was to embark on. They also knew the consequences and risks. Regular blood transfusions and extensive, ongoing medical care would be required almost immediately following Izzy’s birth to ensure her survival.
Fortunately, Hasbro Children’s Hospital was with them every step of the way.
At just one-month, Izzy made her first visit to our hematology/oncology center, The Tomorrow Fund Clinic. And at 11 months old, she had her first blood transfusion. For close to the next decade, Izzy would repeat this transfusion every three or four weeks, while also receiving other types of care.
By 2018, Izzy became a good candidate for a bone marrow/stem cell transplant and, that September with her sister Lillian as the donor, she underwent the procedure at another hospital.
The surgery was successful and, today, Izzy’s care has been scaled back to an annual follow-up, allowing her to spend her time just being a happy-go-lucky kid. She enjoys reading, ballet, watching Marvel movies, and playing with her sisters.
Although Izzy’s road to good health hasn’t been an easy one, she’s risen to every challenge with a positive attitude and fighter’s spirit. Demonstrating such attributes in the face of adversity makes Izzy special – and is one reason she is Hasbro Children’s “Champion Child” for 2021. As such, she’ll spend the next year as an ambassador for our hospital and all the young patients we care for.
“I’ve been going to Hasbro Children’s since before I could remember,” Izzy says with a huge smile. “Everyone is so nice and there is a lot you get to do, like arts and crafts and playing with therapy dogs. They do everything they can to make you feel like you’re a kid.”
Mom also shares strong feelings. “My daughter has such a bright future ahead of her now because of the people at Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” says Daisy. “They became our second family – we were definitely in this together, and that’s something I’ll never forget.”
Grant News from Hasbro Children's Hospital
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge and Bridge Foundation has awarded the hospital with a grant of $3,000 with the proceeds generated from the Citizens Pell Bridge Run. This grant will support the Healing Arts Program.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital has received a $10,000 grant from the Billy Andrade-Brad Faxon Charities for Children to support Healing Arts programming for children in the Medical-Psychiatric Program and Partial Hospital Program.
The Rhode Island Sickle Cell Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital has been awarded a $34,344 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation’s Special Medical Funds. These funds, and grant awards from three additional foundations, will enable the clinic to bring on a pair of dedicated Sickle Cell Community Health Workers improve outcomes and reduce barriers to equitable care by providing families with resource navigation, education, and transition assistance. In addition to the Rhode Island Foundation, this project is supported by a $75,000 grant from the E.J. & V. M. Routhier Foundation, a $50,000 grant from the Shriners of Rhode Island Charities Trust, and a $10,000 grant from the John Clarke Trust.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital has received $9,000 to support artist Michael Bresler’s Music on Rounds programming for behavioral health patients. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The CharterCARE Foundation has awarded the HEALTH Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital a grant of $13,947 to address the underlying causes of childhood obesity in Rhode Island. These funds will help to create a series of informational videos to parents of infants and toddler at the Hasbro Children’s Primary Care Clinics, filling a gap in nutrition education.
The TB Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital received an award of $12,376 from The Emilie Luiza Borda Charitable Fund to assist patients with the resources they need to better care for themselves and their families while undergoing treatment.
The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC) at Hasbro Children’s Hospital has been awarded a grant of $26,800 from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to help create a fun and empowering prom event for teen patients.
Vigneron Memorial Fund awarded a grant of $8,000 to support patient- and family-centered education in the pediatric intestinal failure clinic to help new patients and their families manage the complexities and challenges of their disease.
The Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation awarded a grant of $2,000 to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in continued support of providing restorative yoga to children in our Medical-Psychiatric Program’s inpatient unit and Partial Hospitalization Program.
One Mission, Inc. awarded a grant of $27,422 to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in continued support of healing arts programming and other activities in the Tomorrow Fund Clinic. The One Mission Creative Arts and Healing Program is dedicated to lifting the spirits of children with cancer and bringing smiles to their faces.
(Above) Hasbro Children’s Hospital has been awarded a grant of $5,000 from the Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation to provide nutritional assistance for families in the Cystic Fibrosis Center who are experiencing food insecurity.
The Ida Ballou Littlefield Memorial Trust awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Every Child, Every Day campaign in support of much-needed renovations to Hasbro Children’s ambulatory and primary care clinics – a project that will transform this high-impact area of the hospital and improve the experience for thousands of children and families.
Advocates and coordinators from Hasbro Children’s Connect for Health Program will have a lot more hunger-fighting power at their disposable thanks to a recent $100,000 grant from Shaw’s and the Albertsons Companies Foundation’s Nourishing Neighbors program. The funding will be used to help screen thousands of patients to identify food-related needs and increase families' access to the resources they need; for example, government food assistance, including SNAP and WIC, as well as school programs (e.g. free and reduced-price lunch, free breakfast, and summer meals).
Food security has been a huge struggle for families, especially since the onset of the pandemic. So, the Shaw’s/Albertsons Companies Foundation grant will have an enormous – and very direct – impact on our hungry patients and the Connect for Health program.
The van Beuren Charitable Foundation generously awarded a grant of $800,000 to the Every Child, Every Day campaign in support of crucial renovations to Hasbro 5 – the inpatient medical surgical and oncology pods on the hospital’s fifth floor. Our young patients and their families, as well as doctors, nurses, and all staff members, will benefit from an improved treatment and revitalized healing environment.
BankNewport has awarded a Hasbro Children’s a grant of $25,000 to help transform the hospital’s Ambulatory and Primary Care Clinics.
The Roy T. Morgan Foundation awarded a grant of $10,000 to Hasbro Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center. Funding will help families ensure that they have the appropriate supplies and equipment, not covered by insurance, to help their child stay healthy and control symptoms.
The Coventry and Westerly Walmart Stores have awarded the hospital with Walmart Community Grants totaling $1,750 to support areas of greatest need.
(Above) The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation has awarded Cali, Nemo, and their handlers a Cooper’s Birthday Mini-Grant of $2,500.
Roddy Holden Kintzel Charitable Fund awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Every Child, Every Day campaign for the renovation and modernization of Hasbro Children’s ambulatory and primary care clinics, providing an enhanced healing environment for patients, families, and clinicians.