Posts Tagged ‘PHS’

Attending Thursdays on First

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Last week, a few PHS staff were able to get down to Rochester to visit Thursdays on First (a weekly summer outdoor market with over 100 art, craft and food vendors and live entertainment), and put together some best tips for travelling to this event, with the focus on wheelchair accessibility needs or special considerations. Here are the details to ensure you have a great day on First!

Thursdays on First_7.29

Stay Safe Outdoors

When you’re spending an extended period of time outside, it’s important to ensure you and your group are staying hydrated. Make sure you check out the signs and ways to make sure you’re staying hydrated in this video by our medical director, Roy Maynard, to make sure you’re staying safe. There are plenty of food and beverage options at Thursdays on First, so make sure you’re taking in fluids throughout the day.

If it’s sunny outside, be sure to bring the sunscreen and apply regularly to avoid sunburn. The sun is powerful this time of year!


PHS Research Study: Central Lines in Children

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Maynard, Roy 2Roy C. Maynard, M.D., is the Medical Director for PHS. He serves as PHS’s clinical leader, working with the team to provide consultation and advice to ensure quality and effective care to children and their families in their own homes. He also leads implementation of clinical policies, procedures and programs to further enhance the best possible care for each child. He is a Neonatologist and Pediatric Pulmonologist, and serves as a staff physician at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, Minn. 


Therapy at Home for Infusion Needs

BC1_9322 - CopyLong-term intravenous access is often needed to manage pediatric patients with chronic diseases. Cystic fibrosis patients will often require multiple courses of intravenous (IV) antibiotics to treat worsening symptoms of their underlying lung disease. Children with short gut syndrome may require years of parenteral nutrition or IV hydration for nutritional support. Gamma globulin infusions may improve the health of patients with selected immunodeficiency or autoimmune disorders. Infectious diseases such as osteomyelitis may require weeks of IV antibiotics to be curative. The common denominator for these patients is home IV therapy through central lines.

Tracking CLABSIs for Safety

Central lines include peripherally inserted central venous lines (PICCs), Port-a-Cath®, Broviac and Hickman lines. Consistent monitoring is needed to help identify potential risk factors for infections and complications associated with central venous lines. The majority of studies published to date involving pediatric patients focused on inpatients or on outpatients with PICCs.

_T6K8916Pediatric Home Service has been tracking the incidence of central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in referred outpatients and has demonstrated a consistently low incidence of these infections. However, very little is known about the incidence of complications associated with central lines in pediatric outpatients and the success or failure rate of interventions. A specific example would be documentation on the incidence of line occlusion and the success of altepase (Cathflo®) to restore line function.

Clinical Study to Answer Questions

Starting September 1, PHS infusion nurses will embark on an observational prospective clinical study to answer some of these questions. An Institutional Review Board approved study will be initiated tracking complications such as CLABSI’s, line occlusion, thrombophlebitis, leaks, wound dressing issues, and the success or failure of interventions to treat these complications. Patients referred to PHS for infusion services and who give informed consent will be followed for the duration their line is present during the 48 month long study period. PHS hopes that information learned from this study may help with further efforts to prevent and treat complications of central lines while taking care of the child.

Calling all Chronically Cool Kids

Friday, July 18th, 2014

chronically_cool_logoFor children with chronic illnesses (and their siblings), finding peers who are going through the same situation as them can be a really empowering and meaningful thing. Chronically Cool was created to do just that. We recently heard about this website, and wanted to pass it on for families to check out.

Started by 11-year-old Gwen (who has lived with Mitochondrial Disease her whole life), Chronically Cool is a website where kids with chronic illnesses – or their siblings, who are also affected by an illness in the family – can support each other.

CC_gamesOn the website, kids can find organizations and articles relevant to themselves, their siblings, transplants, and parents, and most importantly – have fun playing games. And with options from The Diabetic Dog Game to Elmo Goes to the Doctor, kids will enjoy the chance to make long doctors visits or infusions go quickly.

You can learn more about Gwen and how Chronically Cool was started here, or just head to the website and explore the resources, games and blog.

Do you or your child have any favorite websites for kids with medical complexities or chronic illnesses? Share them in the comments!

Tips and Tricks for Tubes

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

On our Facebook page recently, we asked parents and caregivers how they keep their kiddo from pulling out their tubes or buttons. So when we saw that the parent of a kiddo getting a g-tube soon is looking for advice in this topic, we went to our most reliable experts – PHS clinicians – and posed this question to see what they suggested, in addition to the great advice we saw on the Facebook page .

We learned about a few products and tricks that can make tube and button life easier for you and your kiddo – any other advice to parents in this situation? Share the tips here!

Keeping Kids From Pulling on Buttons_7.15.14


Recreational Activities for Your Kiddo

Friday, July 11th, 2014

July is National Recreation Month – not that Minnesotans need a specific reason to spend as much time as possible outdoors and being active during the summer. Soccer and baseball teams are running up and down the fields, golfers are working on their swing, and beaches are home to sandcastles or wave jumping. Let’s face it – we love our summer.

But summer is only fun if everyone is able to participate in the activities – so we searched out some recreational activities designed specifically around people who have additional physical or developmental needs. Is your kiddo participating in an activity with a program that isn’t listed here? Leave a comment with the name or the organization, park, or playground and we’ll add it to our list.


Miracle League

IMG_7594The Miracle League is a charitable organization that provides children ages 3-19 with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league, regardless of ability. They promote community support and sponsorship of Miracle Leagues in Minnesota, and promote the construction of special facilities that meet the needs of their players and families.

To find the contact person in your area, visit their website:


Special Olympics Minnesota

special_olympicsSpecial Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) trainings and competitions happen all year in locations across the state. Through sports, athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Their world opens with acceptance and understanding, as they become confident and empowered by their accomplishments.

SOMN offers 17 Olympic-style sports for a variety of age or skill levels. Traditional athletes must be 8 or older, or there is a Young Athlete Program for children ages 2-7. For more information about becoming a traditional athlete, contact Kelly Monicatti at or 612.604.1264.


MAAAMinnesota Adapted Athletics Association

Students with varying types of disabilities compete co-educationally while representing their school district or combination of school districts. Visit the Minnesota Adapted Athletics Association website to learn more, and then find the appropriate location for your child to participate at. Sports include floor hockey, soccer, and softball.

For more information, contact Jim Muckerhirn at 651-324-0420.


Adaptive Recreation and Learning Exchange (AR&LE)

AR&LEThe cities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield each have programs that are specifically designed for people with disabilities of all ages. These programs include: softball, bowling, swimming lessons, fitness programs, skiing/snowboarding, basketball, as well as a number of social activities for both youths and adults.

Individuals need to fill out a participant profile, so program staff can get to know the participants and be aware of any needs they can expect. For more information, contact Kristin Aarsvold, Recreation Supervisor, at 952-826-0433 or


Red Wing Universal Playground

Universal playgroundThe vision for this playground, located in Colvill Park (510 Nymphara Lane), was created when two Red Wing residents were playing with their children – both who have cerebral palsy – at a playground, and began considering the possibility of building a playground in the area that meets the needs of disabled children as well as adults. Colvill Park is also home to Discovery Park, a wheelchair-accessible raised bed garden.

For more information and directions to the park, visit the City of Red Wing website or the Discovery Garden website.


Madison’s Place – coming soon

madisons placeThe Madison Claire Foundation has partnered with business and community leaders to build our first project – Madison’s Place –the Twin Cities’ East Metro’s first completely handicapped accessible, “inclusive playground” where children with and without disabilities can play together side by side to foster friendships, understanding, and acceptance.

Every facet of the 16,000 square foot structure located on the perimeter of the Bielenberg Sports Center Complex in Woodbury has been designed to optimize accessibility for individuals of all capacities. There will also be an addition of an accessible splash pad to the project and accessible bathrooms.


Parents Helping Parents: What Do You Wish People Knew?

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Being the parent to a child with medical complexities can bring an abundance of rewards and joy – but it can also bring stresses or situations that parents wouldn’t otherwise encounter. We wanted to know what parents wished other people knew about taking care of a child with medical complexities, so we posed the question on our Facebook page and got some great responses.

What would you add to the list?


I Wish People Knew_7.4.14

Summer Craft: Paper Flower Bouquets

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Keep your flower bouquets fresh and low maintenance with this kiddo-friendly summer craft we found and tried out! Follow the steps below and before long, your kiddos will each have their own personalized bouquet of flowers that they made themselves. If you do this craft, snap a photo and share it on our Facebook page so we can see the flowers!

Do you have any favorite summertime crafts that are a family favorite? Share the link in the comments section!

Paper Flower Bouquet_6.24.14

Thriving is a Meaningful Thing

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Ask any employee at PHS what our company’s vision is, and they will be quick to tell you – to make a difference in the life of every family we serve by taking care of the child. And for every employee, that is a meaningful thing.

TWP_Top100_Minneapolis_2014_VThere is a constant dedication to and focus on helping kiddos thrive in their homes from billing and human resources to home care nursing and infusion pharmacy, which is why we were so honored when the Star Tribune named PHS the third best mid-size company to work for in and also gave us the Meaningfulness Award.

Each person leaves work every day knowing they’ve played a role in helping kids thrive at home, and that is the most motivating purpose of all. But with a wide variety of comprehensive roles at PHS, our employees find meaning and drive in the different tasks they carry out daily – so we asked our staff, ‘why do you feel your job at PHS is meaningful?’

Know the Nurses: Rebecca Hamilton

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

If you have a private duty nurse in your home, you already know what an important part of your life they become. Today in Know the Nurses, we’re introducing you to one of our private duty nurses, Rebecca Hamilton, RN, who has been with PHS since January. We already know these nurses provide comprehensive, round-the-clock care for patients in their homes every day, but here are a few fun facts about Rebecca you might not know.

  • 037I’ve been taking care of kids since I was 8! My mom did daycare and foster care while I grew up and I always loved having kids around.
  • I owned my own daycare for 12 years and recently started my new career as a nurse.
  • I’m married with two beautiful daughters.
  • We have two dogs and a hamster. One of the dogs likes to give kisses to the hamster.
  • I love camping with my family – we are taking a trip to Yellowstone this summer.
  • 2013-06-08 21.04.50I absolutely love pediatric nursing. Kids bring so much joy! (Even when they don’t feel so well)
  • I am crafty! Scrapbooking is one of my favorites. I also knit, sew and do kneedle work.
  • I love gardening…not a huge fan of weeding though.
  • I actually enjoy cleaning! My kids tell me I clean too much.
  • There are many, many nurses on both sides of my family!
  • I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.
  • 032We have had some odd pets, including a baby bunny my daughter caught with her hands in our yard and two baby squirrels my husband brought home (I got up every 4 hours and fed them.) All the critters are back in the wild!
  • My husband and I enjoy hunting for wild mushrooms and other edible plants.
  • My favorite treat is cupcakes! I never turn them down. Ice cream is a close second.
  • I like working out. Right now I am a member of a kickboxing gym!


We love learning more about private duty nurses and hearing their stories. Do you know a PHS nurse who you’d like to see highlighted? Leave his or her name here or on our Facebook page and we’ll take it from there!