Mission: The foundation is dedicated to the enhancement of health, safety and quality of life for children with special needs.
Programs: Grants made to fund rehabilitative and other programs for the benefit of the children at st. Mary's hospital for children, inc. , and its affiliates. - see schedule opalliative care: over 25 years ago, st. Mary's pioneered this country's first pediatric palliative care program that manages symptoms and relieves the pain and suffering of children facing serious or life-limiting conditions. St. Mary's was recognized with the prestigious 2004 circle of life award for excellence in end-of-life and palliative care from the american hospital association for its innovative, caring spirit and outstanding and life affirming program that improves the care and quality of life for even the sickest children. Additionally in 2004, st. Mary's received the department of health recognition award for best practices in pain and end-of-life care; and, in 2006 was recognized by children's hospice international for its extraordinary efforts. St. Mary's palliative care team frequently shares their knowledge by actively participating in key international conferences and training organizations throughout the world. Feeding disorders program: one in four children suffers from a feeding disorder. Children who are born preterm and children with complex health problems are at risk for feeding disorders and many do not learn to eat normally until they have suffered long-term damage to their physical and mental growth. It is well documented that children who fail to benefit from early good nutrition are at risk for poor growth and development throughout their lives. Because children learn healthy feeding skills early in life, the best time to begin treatment for pediatric feeding disorders is when children are very young, preferably as infants or toddlers. Early intervention is the best way to avoid long-term damage associated with poor early nutrition. St. Mary's center for pediatric feeding disorders, one of only nine in the us and the only program in new york state, is dedicated to helping children with feeding disorders thrive. Well documented evidence shows that the most effective treatment model for pediatric feeding disorders is a family-centered, interdisciplinary, behavioral approach. Treatment and evaluation of pediatric feeding disorders require the expertise of a team of professionals trained in the medical, nutritional, oral-motor, psycho-social and psychological aspects of these complex conditions. Traumatic brain injury program: st. Mary's traumatic brain injury program (tbi) uses aggressive therapies to reduce the risk of secondary complications that may be caused by immobility; helps to improve alertness in patients who may be in a vegetative state; and provides physical motion to reduce spasticity. The intensive training sessions are designed to promote faster recuperation from the insult. For children who have neurological deficits or have recently been in an accident that has impacted their ability to walk, lite-gait training provides fall-free supported walking either on a treadmill or over the ground; assists with posture and balance; and, helps the child go from sitting to standing. St. Mary's healthcare system for children was the first certified pediatric traumatic brain injury program in new york. Healing arts program: there is clear evidence that a child's physical wellbeing is fundamentally linked to his emotional and spiritual wellbeing and that the expressive arts can play a critical role in promoting overall health. With participatory programs as those provided to the children at st. Mary's, the children learn to express themselves, participate and enjoy a variety of programs, and feel the relief of pain and stress. St. Mary's provides art, music and movement therapies that provide life-enhancing and healing activities that can reap emotional, spiritual, and even physical benefits. They help our children and adolescents increase their awareness of self, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences, enhance cognitive abilities, enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of artistic creativity, and express themselves, both through the art itself and by using art as an impetus for meaningful dialogue with a therapist, making art therapy one of the best ways to help children deal with anger or depression.