The Center for Coordinating Action for Children's Health Respite House Overview
Programs: Medical Respite and hospital-to-home Transitional Care are CoACH Care Center?s major operating programs. CoACH was conceived and founded by two mothers of children with significant medical needs. They met in 1991 and collaborated throughout the long process to create a respite program. Through their diligent efforts with the State, the doors were opened in 1999 and they began providing the continuum of quality education and exceptional respite care for medically fragile children and youth. Today, this program welcomes children for up to two weeks each year, providing a fun-filled and stimulating time away from home in a safe and loving setting. This frees the parents from intrinsic care-giving and allows them a much-needed break from the daily demands of parenting these special children. This program also functions as a safety-net for families in crisis, providing emergency respite care, when needed. Referrals to the Respite Care Program can come directly from the family, a physician, a hospital, or a State agency.The Transitional Care Program is for children who are ready to be released from hospital intensive care units and are in need of services to ease them into life at home. With the goal of successfully transitioning the child from the hospital to their own home environment, CoACH provides 120 days of highly skilled medical, therapeutic, and nursing care. In this four-month period, the parents are taught the skills needed to care for their children, home-health nursing is arranged, and care coordination is established to insure that all recommended support services for the child are forthcoming. In addition, the parents and siblings are provided with educational and social services support to help with the adjustments to new roles and responsibilities. It should be noted that every day a child spends at CoACH in transition care represents one less day the child is in a hospital intensive care unit, and an overall shorter timeframe is realized to establish them in their own homes. Referrals are frequently from hospital intensive care units. Currently 26 hospitals refer cases to CoACH.In addition to the direct care we provide for these children and their families, CoACH Care Center also serves as a training ground for nursing students from three area universities and for pediatric residents on rotation from the University of Chicago. Emergency Medical Technologists from area ambulance and fire stations are given instruction in caring for these medically complex cases. CoACH is licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health to care for 10 medically fragile, technology dependent children per day. In a 4,000 square foot home, situated on 2
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