Career Day: Child Life Specialists

Mar 31 2014

While many young children dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, ballerinas and astronauts, those who encounter people like Heather Kinney, CCLS, CPST during their stay in the hospital often develop heroes of a different kind. During March, we celebrate heroes like Heather, a senior child life specialist at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) who spends her time helping children and their families cope with the different health challenges and experiences they’re facing. Her passion for children and inspiring dedication is the reason many of her patients have decided they want to grow up and be a child life specialist just like Heather.Heather’s own desire to become a child life specialist developed in high school when her youth group worked... View Article

Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Dental Clinic

Mar 25 2014

When children and families enter the Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR’s) Brook Road Campus, they are immediately greeted by the receptionist peering out of the ‘submarine porthole’ window. The child-friendly Dental Clinic is specifically designed to make children feel as comfortable and safe as possible from the moment they enter, until to the moment they leave. “Our dental team works hard to calm children by explaining procedures in terms that they can understand,” said Donna Palmer, RN, dental services clinical coordinator on the Brook Road Campus. “Our little patients enjoy holding the ‘tooth mirror’ and learning the proper way to clean their teeth. Many of our patients have formed special bonds with the staff, and... View Article

Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Bon Air Therapy Center

bon air
Mar 25 2014

From the big bright physical therapy gym filled with colorful balls and weights, to the ladders and plush mats children can “play” on during fun physical therapy sessions, the environment at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Bon Air Therapy Center is welcoming, child-friendly and cheerful. The  Bon Air Therapy Center provides psychology services as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. Services range from voice therapy and the treatment of sports-related injuries to addressing gross motor skills. Children receive a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized treatment plan. “Treatment plans often require multiple therapy visits a week,” said Pat Stevens, Bon Air Therapy Center manager. “Community therapy centers like Bon Air provide a convenient neighborhood location for families. CHoR... View Article

Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Transitional Care Unit

Mar 20 2014

Sometimes a child’s ongoing health condition requires both medical and nursing care, and special equipment or services. The Tranistional Care Unit (TCU) at CHoR’s Brook Road Campus provides a friendly, supportive and comfortable environment for both children and their families. From the moment you enter the unit, you know this is a place just for kids! “Montana is 11-years-old and has been a resident at CHoR’s TCU for seven years,” said his mom, Mary Beth. “Montana has multiple medical needs that require the level of nursing care he receives in the TCU. Cognitively speaking he is at the level of an 8-month-old. It’s incredibly difficult as a mother to know that your child is receiving the best care by allowing... View Article

Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center

Mar 17 2014

From registered dieticians and interactive cooking classes to the exercise specialists and fun teen support groups, CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center, a comprehensive pediatric obesity treatment and research center, could easily be mistaken for a fun community recreation center. With 1 in 3 U.S. kids considered overweight or obese, childhood obesity is not only detrimental to a child’s health, causing issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but it can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression. CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center aims to stem the rising tide of childhood obesity by promoting healthy weight management, eating, exercise and lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime. “The longer unhealthy habits persist, the harder it becomes to change the behavior,... View Article

Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Children’s Feeding Program

Mar 14 2014

Follow 10-year-old Jake on a virtual tour of the Feeding Program at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR’s) Brook Road Campus. The bright and colorful spaces, ocean themed halls and pediatric focused equipment are specifically designed to meet the specific needs of children. Whether a child has a medical, behavioral or developmental problem that hinders their ability to eat normally, CHoR’s friendly interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists is dedicated to help each child overcome feeding issues and establish good habits. “The Feeding Program and the team at CHoR have been such a blessing in our lives. Learning to overcome food anxiety has changed my 5-year-old son Conor’s life both socially and emotionally,” said Shannon, Conor’s Mother. “With help from... View Article

Picky Eating Can Be the Pits

Mar 6 2014

Do you have a picky eater in your family? Specialists from Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Children’s Feeding Program are sharing their tips for helping children overcome picky eating and develop healthier eating habits. Carol Elliott, Occupational Therapist, Brandi Watts, Speech Therapist, and Tamara Neiderer, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, regularly encounter these issues at the Feeding Program, and suggest a few ways to get your picky eater enjoying every bite: Set an example by serving new foods to the entire family. Encourage tasting a bite and, if rejected, wait and try another time. Often 10 or more tries are needed for a child to become willing to accept a new food. Serve at least one food your child likes... View Article