If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital, the thought of sending flowers may have crossed your mind.
One group of volunteers at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital understands the power of flowers particularly well, and takes the sentiment to a whole new dimension with their flower therapy program.
Every other week, from September through May, a group of dedicated volunteers known fondly as the Flower Ladies fills the hospital’s Family Center with the delightful sights and smells of fresh flowers.
What the Flower Ladies know, that many families are surprised to learn, is that flowers can be a lot more than decoration for a hospital room shelf.
When Anna Dai and Efrain Segarra signed up to take an entry-level computer engineering course at University of Michigan, they expected to learn about game software development.
What they did not expect was to find themselves taking gaming to a whole new level through a massive project at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Thanks to their efforts – along with the generosity of dozens of other individuals and groups – patients at Mott will now find their room equipped with an Xbox 360.
Out of the classroom, into the real world
Efrain Segarra was a freshman when he took Professor David Chesney’s course.
“Dr. Chesney calls it Gaming for the Greater Good,” says Segarra, referring to the course’s focus on developing software that can benefit children with disabilities.
Every morning at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 40 to 50 people gather for our 15-minute safety huddle. It’s an opportunity for staff to share safety concerns that can range from equipment issues to challenging family situations with the potential to cause safety issues. It’s not the place where we solve the concerns, but it’s a place for concerns to be voiced and connections to be made so issues can be addressed. After the huddle, a quick email recap is sent out to more than 250 staff members.
Being in the hospital is a little more fun for kids at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, thanks in part to the generous support of Gamers Outreach Foundation and the Mott Family Network. And, it’s about to get even more fun!
Gamers Outreach was founded by 25-year-old Zach Wigal. When Zach was in high school, he enjoyed a wide variety of activities, but playing video games was a favorite. So much so that he decided to organize a video game tournament in his hometown of Saline, Mich. Part of his goal was to have fun, but the other part was to help dispel the negative connotation that often accompanies gaming. More than 300 people registered for that first tournament and the event raised $4,000 for the Autism Society of America. It was through that event that Gamers Outreach Foundation was born.
When someone is ill, they typically seek medical care. Usually simple enough, but there are those complex situations where medical care also involves making decisions about ethics.
I first became interested in medical ethics during my pre-med undergraduate studies. I took an ethics course and thought it was the most important part of being a doctor. That drove me to pursue additional education in medical ethics as well as my training as a pediatric plastic surgeon.
I always knew I wanted to work with children, I just wasn’t sure what avenue that would take. During one of my school breaks my sophomore year at Central Michigan University, I did what is called an alternative break. I joined a group volunteering at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I fell in love with the Child Life profession while I was there.
I love my job. I first interned at Mott about five years ago and then joined the team as a Child Life Specialist. Today, I work with pediatric patients in our radiation oncology unit. Before I started here, there was not a Child Life Specialist on this unit and about 40 percent of the patients had to be sedated for their radiation treatment. Because most of the kids receive radiation multiple days in a row, sedating them so frequently was a concern. We’ve been able to reduce that to about 2 percent.
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