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The Catalyst

YES Family Fund aids in staff purchasing items for PCICU families

By Emily Upshur
Public Relations

Children’s Hospital’s PCICU staff includes Amanda Schubert, R.N., from left, Casey Page, Shelley Grosso, R.N., Lauren Ruthven, R.N., Dr. Jason Buckley and Kelly Allen, R.N.  To learn more about the YES Family Fund, visit photo by Mary Ellen Dudash, Public Relations

Thanks to the generosity of MUSC employees through this year’s Yearly Employee Support campaign, $2,500 will help meet a need for the patients and families of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

“The YES campaign, which runs from April through June each year, is MUSC’s internal fundraising campaign that allows faculty and staff to make charitable contributions to support funds right here at MUSC. The YES Family Fund is one that receives support during our YES campaign,” said Whitney McLuen, the campaign coordinator.

The YES Family Fund in particular is special, McLuen said, in that it provides grants to MUSC programs that receive little to no funding from other sources. Each grant can total up to $2,500 in funds toward a specific program. Since its introduction in 1999, the YES Family Fund has provided more than $300,000 toward MUSC projects.

One of this year’s projects was designed to promote infant development and family bonds in the PCICU. Led by Child Life specialist Casey Page, the program caters to PCICU patients and families.

The grant money will allow Page to purchase necessary items such as sound machines, recordable storybooks, digital voice recorders, and mechanical swings called mamaRoos® that will be used exclusively for this program in the PCICU.

These valuable resources are intended to help the disrupted relationship between PCICU infant patients and their parents.

“These infants get diagnosed either in utero or after birth with severe, congenital heart defects that often require immediate surgery during their first few days of life. The PCICU environment, diagnosis and treatment can potentially interrupt the natural caregiving relationship between parent and child. Sometimes the parent can’t even pick up the infant and it makes him or her feel at a loss as to what to do. When parents are unable to successfully act as caregivers their confidence drops and so does their desire to engage their child. This can sometimes lead to a disrupted attachment between parent and child,” Page explained.

This absence of confidence and attachment can lead to problems in the infant’s future development, Page said, especially in cases where PCICU admissions are expected to be lengthy ordeals in the child’s life. However, with the grant money provided by the YES Family Fund, the items will be available in the PCICU to help strengthen and maintain the bond between parent and infant.

“I wanted to bring in some materials that would meet the needs of those high-acuity patients, but wouldn’t overwhelm the patient’s sensitivity to sound and touch. These materials would meet the patient’s needs as far as development is concerned. It also allows the parent a very specific role that would be familiar to them as a parent taking care of their child,” Page said.

Page described how parents could use the digital recorders to record their voices sharing messages of love or reading storybooks to their children.

This would enable those parents who are separated from their child to still be involved in the recovery process. She also said that once the infant is healthier and more aware, the mamaRoo® swing can be used to mimic a parent’s natural movements such as walking and swaying. It also emits familiar noises, producing the sound of a heartbeat or swishing to reflect what the infant heard in utero. The digital recorders and the swing serve to lower the stressors of hospitalization and ease the parents and infants back into that natural parent-child relationship.

“As a child life specialist, my background is heavy in child-development and promoting coping and resiliency in children during hospitalization. I understand how important creating a strong bond during infancy is to healthy development. This project is intended to promote interactions between an infant and his or her parent while in the PCICU that are as typical as possible,” Page said.

The 2014 YES Family Fund received 38 applications and was able to award more than $32,000 to 16 different projects. They are:

  • Lifts for Little Brains, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology – $2,500
  • Dynacleft for Cleft Children, Craniofacial anomalies and cleft lip and palate clinic — $2,225
  • Therapeutic Listening Program, Rehabilitation Services – $1,291.95
  • Increasing Access to Dental Care in an Underserved Population, clinical Neuroscience — $2,500
  • Centering Pregnancy, Department of OB/GYN – $2,445.97
  • Development and Preliminary Reliability Study of the Pediatric Sensory Modality Assessment and Rehabilitation Technique (SMART), physical therapy- CHP – $1,158
  • Can–Teen Support Group, Pediatrics-Child Life/Oncology – $2,500
  • Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Psychosocial Program, Child Life – $2,500
  • EMPOWERR, IOP – $2,500
  • Children’s Hospital Bereavement Program, Children’s Services – $2,500
  • Ozzie’s Project, Child Life-7East – $2,500
  • Little Tykes Buggy/Tricycles, 7B-Pediatric Subspecialty – $300
  • Vecta Distraction Station, Child Life Services — $2,500
  • Children’s Day Treament Urban Farm Satellite, IOP – $250
  • Sickle Cell Sisters, Child Life Services – $2,500

To learn more about the YES Family Fund, visit

July 18, 2014



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