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What We Do
Hope for Henry empowers children with cancer and other serious illnesses to actively participate in their own care. These children and their families love the fun we bring, while leading hospitals partner with us because their experience confirms that our innovative approach leads to better health outcomes. Since 2003, Hope for Henry has improved the lives of more than 18,000 children at Children’s National Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in our hometown of Washington, D.C., Sinai Hospital in Baltimore; and other hospitals around the country.
Hope for Henry collaborates with doctors, nurses, child life specialists and social workers on events and activities that advance medical care for children. Customized for infancy through adolescence, our programs alleviate the boredom and stress of long hospital stays, encouraging patients and their families to comply with treatments that can be uncomfortable or even painful. Our strategies complement and enhance medical treatment.
Three Ways Hope for Henry Helps Kids
- Build Trust. To help pediatric and adolescent patients and families to cope with stress and anxiety associated with health care experiences, we embed full-time, year-round Child Life Specialists. These professionals provide therapeutic activities and psychosocial and developmental support. They help explain diagnoses to children and families and accompany them to surgical procedures or tests to help allay fears and smooth the often-overwhelming transition from home to hospital.
- Make Healing Fun: Young patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation are immunocompromised. They can’t be around their friends, classmates, and other children. They miss out on everyday childhood activities like going to the movies, attending sporting events, celebrating birthday parties and trick-or-treating in their neighborhood. That’s why every week throughout the year, Hope for Henry hosts events to ensure that the kids experience wonder, even while in the hospital. To date, we have hosted special events for more than 15,000 patients and their siblings, including Halloween parties, superhero celebrations, birthday parties, book parties, movie days, spa parties, visits from professional athletes, and much more.
- Empower Patients: It’s hard to stick to therapeutic regimes and take medicine. Our innovative patient incentive program engages patients positively in their own care on a daily basis. “Hope for Henry’s Super Path to Super Duper Better” program provides incentives – Hope for Henry Bucks – for compliance with treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and other painful but necessary procedures. Patients exchange their Bucks for gifts off their personal wish lists which provides motivation to get better and stay that way.
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