JACKSONVILLE, FL (November 16, 2021) – Nemours Children’s Health announced today that they have joined Hidden Helpers, a collaboration of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project. As one of the nation’s largest pediatric health systems, Nemours Children’s joins the partnership to ensure that physicians, nurses, mental health, and allied health professionals better understand and address the unique challenges faced by military children who care for wounded parents.
“We appreciate that every member of a military family serves our country by supporting their soldier in their own way,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, president and CEO of Nemours Children's Health. “The resilience of military kids is inspiring, but the challenges of a military lifestyle can create high levels of anxiety and depression. At Nemours Children’s Health, we’re focused on whole-child health and look forward to bringing our unique perspective to create a healthier future for our country’s military children and families.”
Children of wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans, also known as caregiver children, often face unique psychological stress. The Hidden Helpers initiative, launched in April 2021, is focused on uplifting the voices of the more than 2.3 million military caregiver children and youth, better understanding the unique challenges they face, and enhancing the support services available to them.
“We are honored to have Nemours Children’s Health join Hidden Helpers as our first pediatric health system,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “Along with more than 60 public and private sector organizations, we will be working with Nemours to increase access to vital mental health services and resources for our country’s military kids and youth.”
As part of the coalition, Nemours Children’s will work with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to create a toolkit for pediatric primary and specialty care providers to help them address the unique mental health needs of military caregiver children and youth. The toolkit’s workflows, tools, and implementation advice will be pilot tested in Nemours Children’s clinics in the military communities of Dover, DE and Jacksonville, FL.
“Since I have become a caregiver to my husband, so many things in my life have changed, both positively and negatively. And the same can be said for my children, who have had to grow up way too fast and sacrifice so much,” said Silvia Lopez, Elizabeth Dole Fellow 2020 and Delaware resident caregiving for her husband, five children, and one grandson. “I am grateful to Nemours Children’s Health for all they have done to help my children and grandchild. And, I am thrilled they are now partnering with the Hidden Helpers initiative working to improve the mental health and well-being of all military kids.”
Once completed, the toolkit will be freely available through Nemours KidsHealth and other partner organizations across the country.
About Nemours Children’s Health
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, including two free-standing children’s hospitals and a network of nearly 75 primary and specialty care practices. Nemours Children’s seeks to transform the health of children by adopting a holistic health model that utilizes innovative, safe, and high-quality care, while also caring for the health of the whole child beyond medicine. Nemours Children’s also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, Nemours KidsHealth.org.
The Nemours Foundation, established through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to the children, families, and communities it serves.