Making a Difference

Charitable gifts help make care more accessible, more advanced, more comprehensive and more compassionate for individuals, families and communities across Chicagoland and in Central Illinois. The following are just a few examples of how philanthropy makes a difference.

Illness, hospitalization and painful medical treatments can be very frightening and confusing for a child. Child Life programs and activities benefit all young patients at Advocate Children’s Hospital—newborns through adolescents—and their families. Recently, charitable gifts were used to purchase bouncy seats for hospitalized infants, a portable fish tank to distract and relax patients, and “Brave Capes” gift boxes containing capes, stickers and a badge for kids. Donations were also used to fund a sibling support group, outings for teen oncology patients, and massages and gas cards for parents.

Some of the most common obstetric emergencies can and do occur in women who have shown no sign of being at high risk. Thanks to philanthropy, seven Advocate hospitals now have a Noelle® Maternal and Neonatal Birthing Simulator—a full-sized female mannequin that comes with a birthing baby, Hal. Caregivers including emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can use Noelle and Hal to prepare for obstetric emergencies, such as shoulder dystocia, breech birth and post-partum hemorrhaging.

Donors help Advocate’s Faith Communities Nursing program deliver holistic health services to the underserved by funding parish nurses in the Chicago neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Little Village, Logan Square, Roseland and Uptown. Inner-city nurses offer nutrition education, health screenings, support groups, flu shots, healing prayer—and more—to more than 14,000 residents a year.

Adults with Down syndrome are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, and at an earlier age, than the population as a whole. Advocate Medical Group’s philanthropy-supported Adult Down Syndrome Center recently started an Alzheimer’s support group for patients and their families that is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

Because a sexual assault can happen at any time, several Advocate hospitals have a specially trained and certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on call around the clock to guide patients through treatment. Charitable gifts cover the cost of special equipment and training for these nurses, who provide compassionate and specialized care for victims and also help law enforcement prosecute offenders by collecting DNA evidence and testifying in court.

One of the two biggest factors that cause patients to be readmitted to hospitals is inability to obtain medications and take them correctly. Advocate’s Medication Assistance Program matches patients who cannot afford much-needed medications with pharmaceutical programs that provide free or reduced-price prescription drugs. Charitable gifts support the staff time needed to run the program and to educate patients about proper medication usage.