HYANNIS – HopeHealth’s Pediatric Palliative (PediPal) Care program has received an additional $150,000 in funding to allow for 20 additional youth to join their group of 30 children with life-limiting illnesses. The program offers children and their families services such as pain and symptom management, case management, spiritual care, social services and counseling, volunteer support, respite care, complementary services and bereavement care.
For the last five years, PediPal has supported 30 – 32 children on a $200,000 yearly budget. Its wait list holds approximately 40 – 50 children, with some waiting for two or more years to be accepted. The additional $150,000 in funding has allowed 20 of those children to be accepted into HopeHealth’s PediPal Care program.
“Children with life-limiting illnesses and their families deserve the utmost support and care. Our PediPal Care program aims to offer guidance during difficult times to these strong young people and their loved ones, and we’re working tirelessly to make our services available to more people who need it,” said Diana Francitto, president and CEO of HopeHealth. “This additional funding has helped change the lives of 20 more children, and that’s a great start.”
Advocates for the program – including families – have been working with legislation to release even more funding to eliminate the waitlists entirely statewide. This past July, Governor Charlie Baker released an additional $1.2 million for all Pedi Pal programs across the state for the 2019 fiscal year, which will give HopeHealth an additional $265,000 in funding for the program.
The PediPal Care program is now working toward hiring additional staff to manage the increased caseloads, particularly another massage specialist, child life specialist and part-time nurse and social worker.
“The ultimate goal is to cut down the waitlist as much as possible, and to be able to care for each of the many referrals that we’ve been receiving,” said Franchitto. “We thank Governor Baker and the many advocates who’ve stood up for this program – you’ve each made a big difference in our newest 20 program members’ lives.”
HopeHealth has been enhancing the quality of life for people experiencing serious illness and loss for more than 35 years. Today, the non-profit organization delivers a wide range of services for people with serious illness and their families. The HopeHealth family of services in Massachusetts includes: Hope Hospice; Hope Care for Kids; Hope Dementia & Alzheimer’s Services and Hope Academy. The Massachusetts Pain Initiative is an affiliate of the organization. Learn more by calling (844) 671-4673 or visiting HopeHealthCo.org.