In addition to the Pediatric Heart Program’s own staff, we work with the Family and Child Life Services Department, a team of professionals who strive to ensure the best physical and emotional care for patients and families facing difficult procedures and hospitalizations.
The Family and Child Life Services Department is home to many different disciplines who work together. There are Child Life Specialists who provide help to families and children trying to manage the hospital experience and Art and Music Therapists who together form the Creative Arts Department.
In addition, the Department of Family and Child Life Services runs the Family Resource Center, a multi-media library with information about a wide variety of medical conditions. And they manage the Pet Pals program that provides pet therapy for Rainbow’s patients.
They also support three on-site school teachers who can help our patients stay up to date with their school work. At the same time, they support The Rainbow Channel, the hospital’s own commercial free, interactive, television channel geared toward children and families.
Every patient of the Heart Center has a social worker as part of his or her interdisciplinary medical team. Social workers are experts in ensuring patients and families get the help they need when it is necessary, by identifying the strengths and needs of our patients and their families. Whether you’re expecting a new baby who is known to have a heart condition, your child has been newly diagnosed with a congenital heart condition, or your child is already an established patient, the Heart Center social worker will be there to provide emotional support, to help you manage stress, fear and grief – all of which are common – and to assist with adjustment to a new diagnosis and treatment. The social worker also acts as an advocate for the patients and families of the Heart Center, and will provide connections to community and financial resources.