The health system provides several facets of care including hospice services, long-term care at home, rehabilitation services, a children’s program and skilled nursing services, just to name a few, for babies on up to adults.
Its children’s program, aimed at assisting the families of their youngest clientele is the direct benefit of the fundraiser, being the most expensive of its endeavors.
According to Lisa Robinson, vice president of advancement for the health system, the organization services 26 counties in the metro Atlanta area. That accounted for more than 26,000 patients and families in 2012.
“The fundraiser is not only critical for money, but this story is helpful to have people better understand what we do,” said Robinson.
The pediatric program provides care for children through age 18, although Robinson said there are many patients who are considered “children” past the age of 18, depending on their care needed. Many of the patients are low-income and covered by Medicaid.
Britton McLeod, volunteer and event chair whose family benefited from the organization’s hospice care, mentioned the program serves about 300 children a year in its long-term and hospice care.
“The most expensive program is the pediatric care,” said McLeod. “Dying is one of the most important parts of life and should be talked about more. It’s important when someone has that in their family they know about this resource.”
To be held at Stone Mountain’s Snow Mountain for the second year, the fundraising event will feature several events for the health system’s families and the public. There will be s’more making, snow tubing, snowmen making, shooting snowballs, climbing through snow tunnels and more. It was held at Zoo Atlanta in previous years.
Sasha Stine and her husband Michael, who recently lost their 2-year-old son Liam in December, benefited from the home healthcare aspect of the pediatric program and said their nurse and social worker are part of the family now. Liam, who had cerebral atrophy – a steady deterioration of the brain – was fine up until he was 3-months-old, said Stine.
“When they talk about the hospice cure, they did that for Liam,” she said. “The last week of his life he was smiling and cooing and he hadn’t smiled since August 2011.”
Stine and her family will attend the fundraising event and added this event helps to provide essential items children need like medications, supplies and even food.
“Hospice covered Liam’s food when our insurance didn’t,” she said. “The more utilities that hospice team has, the better our children’s lives will be when trying to get their quality of life back towards the end.”
If you go
When: Feb. 10, 2 to 6 p.m.
Where: Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park
Cost: Tickets are $60, and children fewer than 36 inches are admitted free. The tickets include all events, free park entrance and parking, complimentary warm snack and hot chocolate, and indoor fun for the whole family with dancing and the Snow Angel.
In case of cancellation due to weather, the tickets will remain valid during regular Snow Mountain hours for the rest of the 2013 season.
For more information, visit www.vnhs.org/support-us/big-to-do.