Providing a home to medically fragile children

How you can help
The foundation needs to raise $2.5 million to offset the high annual cost of caring for residents of the Center for Medically Fragile Children. Medicaid pays for 86 percent of the children’s care. For the remaining costs, Providence relies on the generosity and support of donors.
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When a child has profound disabilities and complex medical needs, providing the necessary around-the-clock care can be exhausting and overwhelming for parents and families. For four decades, families have turned to the Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Child Center. The center is the only pediatric skilled nursing facility in the Pacific Northwest that provides 24-hour care for medically fragile children.

Who we serve
We serve medically fragile children from infancy through age 21. Our residents have profound, complex disabilities that stem from birth defects, birth trauma, accidents, genetic abnormalities, rare diseases and/or neurological disorders. Due to the severity of their disabilities, none of our children can walk, many cannot move on their own, and most can’t communicate with words.

Why it’s needed
Being unable to continue caring for a child at home undoubtedly is one of the most difficult decisions parents face. At the Center for Medically Fragile Children, parents find that their profoundly disabled child is cared for by a highly specialized, compassionate, loving team of experts. The center’s staff members become an extension of the child’s family – allowing parents to be parents and remain highly involved in their children’s lives, instead of being exhausted as 24-hour caregivers.

Why Providence
The Providence Mission is to care for the poor and vulnerable. “I think these children completely embody the Providence Mission,” says JoAnn Vance, the center’s nurse administrator. “They are very vulnerable, and we need to protect them in every way – medically and emotionally.”

Children who live at the Center for Medically Fragile Children live in a setting as “home like” as possible and enjoy many of the same experiences as other children. If it weren’t for Providence, families would have only two choices – continuing the difficult task of caring for their children at home, or placing them in a general nursing home that doesn’t have a pediatric focus or specialty.

How you can help
Providence Child Center Foundation’s goal is to raise $1.5 million to offset the high annual cost of caring for residents of the Center for Medically Fragile Children. Medicaid pays for 86 percent of the children’s care. For the remaining costs, Providence relies on the generosity and support of donors:
*$2,000 helps pay for a week of summer fun for our residents through the unique Camp Play program.
*$356 covers the unreimbursed cost of care for one child for one week.
*$90 pays for field trips for center residents for a week.

Financial gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated. Support helps bridge the gap (about $1.5 million to $2 million a year) between what Medicaid pays and the actual costs of providing care for these medically fragile children. Medicaid for example pays for basic care but does not pay for “extras” such as continuing aquatic and augmentative communication therapies, field trips, and transportation costs associated with taking children out into the community or to special events.

Learn more
See what makes us unique
Meet one of our residents

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