Orlando, Fla. – Children and families of Nemours Children’s Hospital can now get comprehensive care in one place, at a state-of-the-art program-clinic specifically designed to lighten the burden of those seeking treatment for Juvenile Arthritis (JA) and other similar ailments, thanks in part to a generous donation by the Schott Family in honor of their daughter, Jennifer Lynn Schott.
Nemours actively sees over 200 children with JA and follows at least 2,000 kids with the condition. Many have many emotional and mental adjustment periods throughout their journey with the disease. Families, especially those with financial challenges, may struggle with basic needs, and as a result, are often not compliant with physician recommendations, in many cases, due to a lack of access to any means of transportation to appointments, therapy, infusions, or even to a pharmacy. These families would benefit from the support of social work, behavioral health, and child life services.
This new program, located at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona, supports families in need of specific types of support and resources in one convenient location. Such resources may include but are not limited to their Physician, Nurse, Behavioral Health, Social Worker, Child Life, Physical Therapy and School-based education through PedsAcademy (an innovative school program of Nemours and UCF, focusing on Precision Education in hospitals, and geared toward each child’s individualized needs).
Additional support provided can consist of: connecting patient families with other families using Nemours services, connecting patient families with community/family groups, educating families about the disease process, teaching patient families to organize medication schedules at home, and acknowledging and mitigating the emotional toll on affected children and their families. During clinic days, families have access to dedicated Nemours Associates and Affiliates to help those struggling with school issues, coping issues, and financial resources.
By providing patients and their families with this support, Nemours hopes to ease the burden that, in addition to the challenges of JA, can be overwhelming.
“This clinic hits really close to home for me because when I first started getting symptoms, there was only one place that was able to see me,” says patient Parker Lentini, who attended the unveiling late last month. “Then I had to wait six months just to get in. I think it’s an amazing gift George and Lisa Schott are giving to children and families to get the treatment they need.”