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Pediatric Home Service teams up with Faith’s Lodge to heal hearts and minds as well as bodies

St. Paul, Minn. – Each day the staff at Pediatric Home Service (PHS) provides seriously ill children with specialized and sometimes highly complex health care so they are able to lead ordinary lives at home with their families, rather than in a hospital.

But the company’s mission to “take care of the child” has always gone well beyond medical treatment—including everything from helping parents deal with insurance paperwork to offering a simple hug of support when families find themselves simply overwhelmed by stress or grief.

Now, thanks to a new Sharing Care partnership with Faith’s Lodge, PHS employees are extending their helping hands even further—by donating volunteer time and raising money for the unique family retreat.

The lodge, which is located on 80 picturesque acres in the North Woods of Danbury, Wisconsin, offers families with seriously ill children a temporary escape from the stresses of their healthcare experience, and provides grieving parents with an opportunity to seek comfort, peace and healing after the death of a child.

“Although PHS provides healthcare for medically fragile children, it has always been our mission to do much more than treat an illness,” explained company founder and president Susan Wingert. “Our staff is dedicated to doing everything in our power to improve the quality of life, not only for the children in our care, but for their families as well. We look out not just for their medical needs, but for their emotional needs as well. Faith’s Lodge is a perfect partner in helping us do that.”

As a health care organization PHS will be referring families and caregivers to this unique retreat experience. The retreat offers all the usual lodge amenities and activities, but is also geared to accommodate the needs of seriously ill children.

“At Faith’s Lodge, our goal is to refresh both mind and spirit,” said Susan Lacek, one of the retreat’s co-founders, “and to provide hope for the long journey ahead. We’re very excited to be working with PHS, which is such a well-respected organization. Together, we offer families a complete circle of care.”

Hands-on giving

“PHS has always had an active giving program,” said Wingert, “but this partnership with Faith’s Lodge goes beyond monetary donations and is unique in the level of involvement on the part of our staff.” Activities that have already taken place include:

  • PHS held an internal event that raised $4,000 to pay for a three-day, two-night weekend away at the lodge for eight PHS families. Said one family member whose child had passed away, “A big thank you for the wonderful gift. I was always amazed with the service at PHS…. for them to think about us after our child died…. I am so thankful. This trip is so needed.”
  • A group of PHS clinicians and their families visited the lodge for a weekend to see for themselves what it was like, and give them more insight when speaking with patients who might be candidates for referrals to the retreat. “After being here,” said Faith’s Lodge Executive Director, Anna Stier,” they can speak from the heart about their experiences.”

The enthusiasm for the partnership among PHS staff has been phenomenal, says Dana Akerson, PHS Program Coordinator, and she sees the potential for many giving opportunities with PHS staff, including:

  • Additional fundraisers to send PHS families to the lodge
  • Gathering toys, games, movies, books, canned goods, and other supplies and materials to be used at the lodge
  • Sponsoring a bench or a birdhouse on the property
  • Trips to the lodge for grounds cleaning
  • Preparing frozen meals to have available to families staying at the lodge

Sharing Care corporate giving program

While philanthropy has always been part of the PHS tradition, in 2008 the organization created the Sharing Care program to encourage hands-on volunteer activities and to more closely align its charitable giving with its mission to care for the child. Sharing Care provides PHS employees the opportunity to donate time to programs and events in the community that are directly associated with serving medically fragile children. In addition to the time that PHS employees provide, PHS makes donations and/or sponsors events that benefit children.

About Pediatric Home Service

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Pediatric Home Service is an independent pediatric homecare company that helps medically-complex, technology-dependent children live safely and successfully where they’re most comfortable, at home with their families, rather than in a hospital. Pediatric Home Service has been partnering with healthcare professionals and family caregivers for more than two decades to deliver compassionate, specialized, high-quality care to children with special medical needs.

Originally published: May 26, 2008