Health Care

Akron Children’s Brings Pediatric Palliative Care to Valley

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Akron Children’s Hospital is expanding its pediatric palliative care program to the Mahoning Valley to serve children with complex or chronic health conditions.

“We’ve always served patients in the Mahoning Valley through our Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center in Akron — both at the center and through home visits,” said Sarah Friebert, director of pediatric palliative care. “As Akron Children’s presence in the Valley has grown, so has the need for our program. It’s much easier to care for our patients and their families when we’re in their own neighborhood.”

Akron Children’s pediatric palliative care program works with children and their families to enhance quality of life and minimize suffering for patients with serious illnesses. It provides not only medical care, but also support for any psychological, emotional, social, spiritual and educational issues that may contribute to suffering or interfere with healing.

Local families like the Daprile family of Canfield, are looking forward to having palliative care services closer to home. Seven years ago, their son Nathan, who was born with a genetic disorder, experienced a near-death emergency after surgery. The palliative care team became a permanent part of Nathan’s care from that point forward.

“We had no idea of the depth of services the palliative care program provides,” noted Amy Daprile, Nathan’s mother. “They guided us every step of the way, from emotional support and financial counseling to preparing us to care for Nathan at home. It will be wonderful to have the program in the Mahoning Valley where they can reach more families more efficiently.”

Akron Children’s pediatric palliative care program is funded almost solely through donor support. Additional funding is still needed to fully implement the program and help it grow and expand. The following donors have donated nearly $450,000:

The Haslinger Family Foundation – $200,000 (challenge match)

  • Kathy Kennedy – $100,000
  • Hine Memorial Fund – $50,000
  • Meritage of Miracles event proceeds – $34,500
  • Holiday Hopes and Wishes event proceeds – $25,000
  • Hospice Trust of Trumbull County – $25,000
  • NY Life “Good Mourning” Grant – $15,000

For more information, visit the program’s website.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.