Funding Focus Unites Guilds to Meet Critical Needs

Beneficiaries of this year's Funding Focus efforts say "thank you"

Ben Danielson Guild News Fall 2013 Feature

Part of the Funding Focus will help Odessa Brown Children's Clinic better integrate early childhood mental health care with primary care at regularly scheduled "well child" visits.

Each year, a portion of the funds guilds have raised for uncompensated care is directed to the Funding Focus, a program that targets a priority funding need selected by the Guild Association Board of Trustees. Since the Funding Focus was launched in 1994, it has made a tremendous impact at Seattle Children's, accelerating cutting-edge work in such areas as cancer research, cardiac care and autism services.

The fiscal year 2014 Funding Focus will provide $1.5 million to be allocated across three areas: early childhood mental healthcare; a fellowship to train physicians to provide care for victims of child abuse; and construction of a rooftop terrace at the hospital. Below, Children's leaders in each area express their thanks for your exceptional support of the patients and families they serve.

Thank you for keeping families strong

"When we heard we were selected to benefit from the Funding Focus, we were astounded by the Guild Association's generosity," says Mark Fadool, clinical director of mental health services at Odessa Brown Children's Clinic (OBCC). With $525,000 from the Funding Focus, Fadool and the team at OBCC will be able to better integrate early childhood mental healthcare with primary care at regularly scheduled "well child" appointments. "We want to provide the highest level of service as early as possible," says Fadool. "We don't want to wait for kids to be preteens or teens to address mental health problems, especially when we have the knowledge and skills to prevent them."

Support from the Funding Focus will provide the additional staff needed to screen young children for risk. It will also provide training for all OBCC providers to better coach parents and caregivers to attend to their children's emotions and improve the overall quality of the parent-child relationship.

"Early mental healthcare is about building on the strengths we see in families every day," says Fadool. "We can help build their skills, build trust and create a pathway to further services if needed."

Thank you for growing needed expertise

Nationally, about 325,000 children a year are reported as victims of child abuse and need expert medical care. However, there are only 264 pediatricians certified in the care of abused children in the country - and only two in our state.

"There is a critical shortage of child abuse experts," says Dr. Fred Rivara, division chief of general pediatrics at Children's. "Thanks to funding from the Guild Association, we are taking an important step toward changing that."

Through the Funding Focus, Guild Association trustees dedicated $625,000 to Rivara's establishment of a child abuse fellowship program. The funds will allow him to create the program, apply for accreditation, hire staff and recruit fellows to start in July 2014. "Our goal is to train fellows to provide the expert care kids deserve and to become national leaders in the field," adds Rivara. "We are deeply grateful to the Guild Association for making this possible."

Thank you for comforting patients

Can you imagine if your child were undergoing cancer treatment and could not go outdoors? This is the reality for many cancer patients who can't risk infection by traveling through the hospital. The new rooftop terrace - made possible by $350,000 from the Funding Focus, an additional gift of $500,000 from June Boeing and support from other individuals as well - is being constructed adjacent to the teen cancer wing; it will open in spring 2014.

The rooftop terrace will include beautiful landscaping, a deck, benches and private areas. "Spending time outdoors promotes a healing environment and sense of normalcy," says Bonnie Fryzlewicz, director of the Cancer Care Unit. "Everyone in our unit is so thankful to our generous donors and guild members."