A child is sick, and now the family needs to relocate near the hospital where their little one is being treated.
Enter the Ronald McDonald House - an incredible organization surrounding families with the support they need to be near or care for their seriously ill children being treated at area hospitals like Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, University of Utah, or Shriner's Hospital for Children.
Ronald McDonald House Charities was created in 1974. Today, there are more than 360 houses across the world.
At the downtown Salt Lake City house, a new program offers palliative care to those families caught in the worst case scenario.
"I look at the families that are here, they're in the most vulnerable states, you know, many of them are, you know, their lives have been shaken upside down, and, they're really looking for resources and how to cope," says Jim Swayze, President of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
Swayze says together with Cambia Health Foundation, Regence is providing on-site palliative and behavioral health specialists at the Ronald McDonald House where these families are staying.
Palliative Care and Behavior Therapist, Hannah Wilde, witnesses first-hand every day what these families go through. She says empathy is key. "If we can just put ourselves in the position of the families, where often they are living out a parent's worst fear, where one day their child becomes critically ill or injured," she says.
Swayze says together with Cambia Health Foundation, Regence is providing on-site palliative and behavioral health specialists at the Ronald McDonald House where these families are staying. It's a service that Swayze says will grow in the years to come.
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