How Your Donations Help The Treatment of Patients at UPMC Children’s Hospital

Community support impacts every aspect of the patient experience.
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AS VICE PRESIDENT OF MEDICAL AFFAIRS AND A PRACTICING PEDIATRIC DENTAL SURGEON, DR. BRIAN MARTIN SEES EVERY DAY THE TREMENDOUS IMPACT OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT IN HELPING UPMC CHILDREN’S PROVIDE THE BEST POSSIBLE CARE.

When Dr. Brian Martin forgets to remove his badge after work, people notice. As soon as they see “UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh,” they want to share with him how the renowned institution touched the life of someone they love.

Each story was made possible by the team who supports the care and treatment of each patient and their family – a team that includes donors to UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Martin says.

“We are fortunate to have incredible support from members of the Greater Pittsburgh community and all the areas our UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation touches to assist us in the care of children,” says Martin, Vice President of Medical Affairs. “This is a tremendous show of support for the work that we do and not something we take for granted.”

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DUE TO HER COMPLEX MEDICAL NEEDS, ERIN VISITS UPMC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PITTSBURGH SEVERAL TIMES A MONTH TO BE SEEN IN MANY DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS. HER MOM, NELVIA, IS GRATEFUL TO LIVE SO CLOSE TO ONE OF THE TOP CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS IN THE COUNTRY.

Community support impacts every aspect of the patient experience, Martin says, from the hospital’s renowned work in cardiac care, cancer treatment, and transplants, to primary care prevention through its Children’s Community Pediatrics group.

Because UPMC Children’s serves such a wide range of communities in Pittsburgh and beyond, investing in ways to provide access to everyone, everywhere is crucial, Martin says. Foundation efforts have supported the development of digital healthcare initiatives including telehealth via its app and access initiatives such as a mobile safety center and mobile clinic. Community-based services at UPMC Children’s six Family Care Connection centers include everything from CPR training to parenting classes to school violence prevention efforts.

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ADVANCES IN PHILANTHROPY-FUNDED CANCER RESEARCH LEAD TO NEW INNOVATIONS THAT HELP CANCER PATIENTS LIKE COLIN.

“All of these areas might not necessarily be understood as the primary purpose of a children’s hospital,” Martin says. “We are constantly being thoughtful in evolving our focus in terms of what it means to have healthy kids and families.”

The stories Martin hears often highlight the work of Child Life, a team of child development and education experts who help patients and families understand and cope with their experiences.

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WALL WRAPS AT UPMC CHILDREN’S AID IN DISTRACTION THERAPY, WHICH HELPS CHILDREN COPE BY ENGAGING THEM IN AN INTERACTIVE ADVENTURE AIMED AT DECREASING ANXIETY AND STRESS.

Support has also led to the installation of room wraps, elaborate wallpaper used to transform any space into an engaging, comforting setting fit for a child such as a treehouse or an aquarium, in preoperative areas and radiology suites leading to decreased need for sedation.

“Our staff is able to interact with the child, distract them from some of the medical stuff that’s going on, and provide a more holistic childhood experience. All of that is powered by the philanthropy we’re proud to be associated with,” Martin says.

Support also has contributed to staff training in areas such as interacting with patients with special needs and language barriers. Each member of the Children’s team­—from medical staff to IT personnel to dietary aides—contributes to the institution’s mission of providing the best care for the most kids, Martin says. He is grateful for and humbled by the community’s support of each team member’s effort to provide the most innovative, equitable, and cutting-edge care.

“We take our commitment as a top children’s hospital in this nation incredibly seriously,” Martin says. “We will continue to innovate, to be here for our patients and families, and continue our tradition of excellence.”


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