Teen Undergoes Amazing Transformation with Good Fit Clinic

With the help of the Children’s Medical Center’s Good Fit Teen Weight and Wellness Clinic, Shrewsbury teen, Lacey Tomaiolo, lost more than 100 pounds after undergoing bariatric surgery. The Good Fit Clinic, which was specifically designed for teens who are struggling with obesity and its side effects, helps teens create and reach their own personal goals while decreasing their risk for developing health problems. In a recent interview with Baystate Parent, Lacey shared that while the surgery has been life changing, her success wouldn’t be possible without the behavior and lifestyle changes she learned through her work at the clinic. Read the article.

Oncology Patient Treated to the World Series

Clinical social worker, Claudia Neithercut surprises oncology patient, Ryan Doyle, with tickets to the World Series courtesy of Walsh Brothers Construction. (Photo courtesy of Telegram & Gazette)

As if being discharged from the hospital wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, Children’s Medical Center oncology patient, Ryan Doyle, was presented with four tickets to game two of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers! Claudia Neithercut, pediatric clinical social worker, had the pleasure of presenting the tickets to Ryan on behalf of Walsh Brothers Construction of Boston. Ryan says his favorite player is Red Sox catcher, Sandy León! See the story in the Telegram & Gazette.

Race Car Drivers Visit Young Patients; Wish Speedy Recoveries

Two-year-old James Landry Jr. checks out a race car at the Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette)

Children’s Medical Center patients and their families recently were treated to a visit by race car drivers from the New England Race Car Association. Children were invited to meet the race car drivers, including Formula Vee class driver Bryan Rogers; put on a helmet; sit in the driver’s seat; and participate in crafts and driving games. Check out more fun photos from the event in the Telegram & Gazette. The New England Race Car Association’s Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Foundation supports hands-on education and safety programs, recognizes excellence in automotive engineering education, and promotes the SCCA’s heritage and club history.

Group Sets Sewing Goal for Our NICU Babies’ Comfort

Pictured from left are Marilyn Sinibaldi, Dianna Peterson, sewing group members; Alice Miller, NICU team member; and Sue Smith, librarian of Beaman Memorial Library.

Special thanks go out to a group of sewers and quilters from West Boylston who create and donate burp cloths and quilts for babies in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The group, which meets Wednesday nights at the Beaman Library, has made about a dozen quilts to date and has a goal of making “a couple hundred” burp cloths for the NICU in time for the holidays, but they could use help. They are in need of materials including clean, soft cotton, non-pill flannel or jersey materials; batting for the quilts; and, of course more sewers and quilters! For more information, read the article in the Telegram & Gazette, email Sue Smith at the library or call 508-835-3711.

Five-year-old Requests NICU Donations for Her Birthday

When Charlie Audet was born, she spent some time in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Fast forward five years, and Charlie decided to give back to the place that helped her get a good start in life. She asked her family and friends to help her raise money for the NICU in lieu of gifts for her fifth birthday. Charlie recently visited the unit and delivered her donation of $460 to Lawrence Rhein, MD, MPH, chief of neonatology and NICU director. “She’s a pretty special girl,” said Charlie’s mom, Jen. “She always hears us talking about the NICU because it was a pretty big deal to us.” In addition to being covered on Worcester News Tonight (watch video below), Charlie’s story appeared in the Telegram & Gazette and on channels 5 and 7.

CuddleCot Donation Gives Grieving Families the Gift of Time

Jillian Santom with the CuddleCot donated to our Medical Center by the Loud family. (Photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette)

When an infant dies at birth or shortly after, families often don’t have much time to bond with their baby and say goodbye because the newborn’s appearance begins to change within hours. The CuddleCot – a bassinet that cools and preserves an infant’s body – gives parents the gift of time and allows them to spend hours to days with their child. About supporting parents who have a stillbirth or a baby who dies shortly after birth, Jillian Santom, clinical social worker and care coordinator, said, “We really encourage parents to spend time with their babies, to name their babies. We never force parents into anything they’re uncomfortable with, but it does help with the connection.” After experiencing the stillborn birth of their own son, Landon, the Loud family of Sandwich began fundraising to help other grieving parents by purchasing CuddleCots and donating them to hospitals. Our Medical Center is one of two hospitals to receive their generous gift. The family will be recognized at a reception later this month. See Telegram & Gazette article.

Donation Aims to Reduce Anxiety for Pediatric Patients

Our Children’s Medical Center recently received a donation of four weighted blankets from the Todorov family in memory of their mother, Elizabeth. The blankets serve as a wonderful tool for our pediatric patients who have autism or anxiety. The hospital is such an unfamiliar and often scary place, and weighted blankets help some patients feel more secure and less anxious. The blankets will be available to caregivers of patients on the pediatric floor, in our pediatric clinics, in the emergency department and in the surgical areas. Pictured from left: Kris Bruneau and Trish Jonason, Child Life Services, with the new weighted blankets that were generously donated to our Children’s Medical Center by the Todorov family.

Family Nominates PICU Nurse; Earns DAISY Award

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Ally Harris, RN, receives DAISY award.

Congratulations to Ally Harris, RN, a caregiver on our pediatric intensive care unit, who was recently presented with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Ally was nominated by the family of one of her young patients, who described her as “gentle,” “attentive,” and always available to answer their questions. This international award program was established by the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation that was created by a family in gratitude for the care and compassion they experienced from nurses during their son’s illness. The award is designed to reward and celebrate the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care nurses everywhere provide every day. Nominate a nurse today.

Patriots Players Score Touchdown with Our Pediatric Players

Pediatric cancer patients at our Children’s Medical Center were treated to a special visit last week from New England Patriots players David Andrews, Joe Thuney and Deatrich Wise, who stopped by to deliver hats and footballs, sign autographs and play for a while! “Any chance you get just to give back and put a smile on a kid’s face just means something,” said Andrews. The event was widely publicized in the media with stories appearing on Worcester News Tonight (see video below), Channel 5, Channel 7, MassLive.com, Telegram & Gazette and Worcester Magazine.

Learn How We Support United Way All Year Long

Guests at the “Power of the Purse” event included UMass Memorial Health Care representatives, from left: Marifel Ocasio, manager, population health; Viola Zhuri, population health intern; Kate Behan, director, clinical affiliations; Sharon Cormier, practice administrator, Community Medical Group; and Tracey Wilkie, population health director.

Our annual United Way employee campaign isn’t the only way our organization supports United Way of Central Massachusetts. We engage with United Way all year long and recently sponsored its inaugural Women’s Initiative “Power of the Purse” event at the Mercantile Center in Worcester. The Women’s Initiative is a volunteer-based organization that delivers a lasting impact on the community with programs and services that help end violence against young women. You may recall that a portion of our United Way campaign’s Summer Strong and Beyond match was dedicated to the Women’s Inititave Dollar $cholar program that helps young women gain financial literacy and independence.