Archive for March, 2012
While it’s not officially summer, it’s never to early to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. So mark your calendar for THIS Saturday, March 31st from 11am-2pm. LOVE FOR KIDS is sponsoring an “All Kids Count” picnic for chronically ill, medically fragile, and developmentally delayed children and their families. Best of all…. it’s completely FREE!! More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this event which has special entertain-ment planned for children with disabilities and their families. The activities include a petting zoo, bounce houses, pony rides, face painting, tractor rides, arts & crafts, lots of free food and games.
If you are planning attend, you MUST RSVP to <mailto:email@example.com or call 214 683-8506. The event will be held at Circle R Ranch - 5901 Cross Timbers Rd., Flower Mound. Hope to see you there!
Recently, my husband and I were lucky enough to jump on a plane for a relaxing vacation. I am always amazed at the cost of air travel and there are many times when we forego the expense of air travel and vacation locally. However, for some families’ air travel is a necessity - for example when they are flying to receive critically – needed medical treatment.
Fortunately, Epic’s commitment to giving back and helping others is shared by another well-known Texas company, Southwest Airlines (whose NYSE symbol is LUV). The NYSE symbol is certainly appropriate given the fact that for 5 years Southwest’s Medical Transportation Grant Program has reduced the burden of travel costs for families who are facing serious illness by providing free, roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations.
In February of this year, Southwest announced that more than 70 hospitals and charities, nationwide, were selected for this year’s program. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, in Dallas, is one of the proud participating hospitals that can provide free tickets to patients who must travel for treatment. According to the “LUV” airline, “for 2012, Southwest will provide more than $2.4 million in free transportation to patients seeking medical treatment. Now in its fifth year, the program has quadrupled the number of participating hospitals since its inception and has provided more than 18,800 tickets to organizations in 26 states.”
Marilee McInnis authored a Southwest Airlines blog entitled “Making a Difference in the Lives of Families Facing Serious Illness One Ticket at a Time”. The article is inspiring and includes some amazing photographs, such as the photo included in our blog. To learn more about this amazing grant program and the Dear World photography project, click here. And always remember to “share the love”.
At Epic, we have always been ”believers” in care coordination. By coordinating our home care efforts with our clients’ physicians, pharmacists, payers, and other service providers we believe we can develop and implement a more comprehensive, high quality plan of care while providing the highest possible level of service. Additionally, we have always believed in providing our families with around-the-clock access to our Nursing Supervisors who can address any emergencies that arise and offer peace of mind to our families. Our instincts - combined with the positive outcomes we see with our clients - tell us this is the best way to provide care.
Medical science – and one of our clients - are now reinforcing the fact that our instincts have been right! Ongoing medical studies in Texas show that better care coordination and access to 24 x 7 medical support result in better health care for medically fragile children, peace of mind for parents and significant cost savings.
Yvette Castillo (see picture on right) is the mother of 18-month-old Jesus Carstens. Jesus is a client of Epic’s Katy office and was fortunate to be enrolled in a local clinic that is part of a study being led by the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. One of the advantages of being enrolled in the clinic is that families have unlimited access to clinic physicians and nurse practitioners. The goal of the study is to determine whether expanded access to health care and support can help chronically ill children remain healthier, reduce their time spent in the hospital, and save money. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, “Health-care reformers often talk of better coordinating care to reduce the need for more expensive treatment later, a common-sense approach that is beginning to be borne out by research.”
For Jesus and his parents the benefits are obvious. From February 2011 – May 2011, Jesus was hospitalized three times at a total cost of almost $200,000. Since he was enrolled in the clinic in May 2011, Jesus hasn’t been hospitalized at all! Hopefully, the promising results of these studies will pave the way for more clinics and ultimately better healthcare for children like Jesus. To learn more and read the article from the Houston Chronicle, click here.
At Epic Health Services we are committed to supporting medically-fragile and special needs children and their families. If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, please mark your calendar for March 31st. Celebrating its ten year anniversary, “March for Respect” is a local event dedicated to raising awareness for those with developmental and physical disabilities. Last year, Epic had many families and team members show their support by participating in the “March”. This year, with your help, we are looking to set a new record! Festivities are scheduled to begin at 9:00 am at the Dallas West End. The march through downtown Dallas will begin at 11:00 am. We hope you will join us for this inspiring and heartwarming event. With your support, we can make a difference one step at a time. For more information on the “March”, please visit www.marchforrespect.org . We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, March 31st!
Each day medically fragile children face a variety of challenges. I imagine some of these challenges would bring adults to tears or make some people want to give up. Yet children seem to have an amazing ability to see the world from a different perspective – one that comes from the heart and finds the bright spot in any situation. I believe that very special quality is evident in the smiles of the Epic children throughout our website. Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most inspiring child based on stories that had been submitted. Below are two of the winning stories that exemplify the unbelievably positive outlook so many children possess. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did.
On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was. “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile. “Really,” I said. “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.” “Discouraged,” the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face … “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet.”
Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted, and then said those words that remain a lesson to me, “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”