Philanthropy News from Hasbro Children's Hospital
Celebrating the Hasbro Children's Hospital Open House and Ribbon Cutting
Donors and hospital leadership gathered outside in the healing garden on June 1 for a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the completion of extensive renovations to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The state-of-the-art upgrades were funded by the Every Child, Every Day campaign, which raised more than $41.2 million – making it the most successful campaign in the history of Lifespan.
Attendees listened to a brief speaking program before embarking on small group tours to get a first-hand look at the refreshed lobby, emergency room, patient floors, ambulatory clinic, and other areas.
In his remarks, Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital President Saul Weingart, MD, noted his appreciation for the many generous donors who supported the campaign. He also thanked Dimeo Construction, which completed the renovations on time, without interruption to patient care, while dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Meet Arianna: Our 2022 Champion Child
On a typical spring Wednesday in 2020, Ryan Taft’s 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter Arianna woke up complaining about a lump on her side. Thinking it might be something minor, such as a hernia, the family brought her to the emergency room at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to get it checked. Later that day, Ryan was shocked when Arianna was diagnosed with the pediatric kidney cancer Wilms tumor. Doctors found a 13-centimenter tumor on her right kidney and spots on her left kidney, lungs, liver, and lymph nodes. The cancer was stage 5.
“The whole world just crashed down on us,” Ryan says. “At first, I thought the doctor was in the wrong room, but that wasn’t the case, unfortunately.”
Two days later, Arianna had her first surgery, a six-hour procedure to remove her right kidney and the tumor attached to it. A couple of days later, she began nine months of chemotherapy, and then started receiving radiation therapy as well.
For the better part of a year, they were in and out of the hospital. “We met so many doctors and nurses and child life specialists and social workers – everybody was just fantastic,” Ryan says. “They made it a much less horrifying experience than it could have been. And for that, we are eternally grateful.”
Ryan especially recalls how Arianna’s nurses and the hospital’s Child Life specialists made the experience easier for her. From her hospital bed, she enjoyed math games, coloring, and visits from a therapy dog. She also had “tea parties,” played with her favorite “Frozen” toys, and painted her nurses’ nails.
“They’d have one finger pained pink and the other painted blue, because she’s four and a half, and to their credit, they came back in the next day with those same painted nails,” Ryan says. “It was really special, and it makes you realize what kind of a person it takes to work in an environment like Hasbro Children’s.”
In February of 2021, Arianna received her last treatment. She now returns to the hospital several times a year for screenings. Otherwise, she’s living like a typical 6 year-old – filling her days with schoolwork, dancing and cheerleading lessons, and time with friends.
“Looking at her today, you’d never know about the cancer, unless she told you her story,” Ryan says.
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.”
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.