Reaching Out to Make a Difference


    Dr. Mark Drexler with Ben (left) and Christopher Georges

The physician or practitioner walks into the exam room to greet the toddler, in for a well-child physical. The patient is handed a bright shiny new book maybe Curious George or Clifford the Big Red Dog. The child smiles and his face lights up. The physician is taking it all in.

The gift, for children between 6 months and 5-years of age, also serves as a diagnostic tool at NorthShore’s Glenbrook Family Care Center. The physician residents are watching for age-appropriate signs of developmental milestones: Is the child able to grasp the book? Does he or she turn the book in the right direction? Does the child open it as if he or she has seen a book before? Has the child been read to? How is the child interacting with his or her parent or caregiver?

The Reach Out and Read program recently celebrated its first-year anniversary at the Glenbrook location. "The book sets the tone for the visit," said Ronna Jacobson, Coordinator. "The family practice residents understand the science behind the program. That initial interaction also gives the practitioner the opportunity to talk to parents about reading and how important it is to their child’s development."

Jacobson welcomes both monetary and book donations to keep the shelves stocked. She estimates that 1,000 new and gently used books have been handed out to children in the last year. "With this program, we’re able to pair fun with something important," she said.

The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem, a fundraising organization of volunteers who provide service and community awareness for NorthShore’s hospitals and programs, recently donated $800 to the Glenbrook program so that 200 new books could be bought for the program’s anniversary week.

Besides funding large-scale research projects and specialized programs through major benefit events held yearly, The Auxiliary also provided funding support for the following projects this year:

  • Child Life Services’ Keep the Magic! Program: This program offers hospitalized pediatric patients the opportunity to enjoy and learn tricks from magicians, which plays an important part in the healing process in a positive and therapeutic environment. ($2,500)
  • Pediatric FAST Program (Pediatric First Act Simulation Training Program): At Evanston Hospital's Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation, the new curriculum for responders will reinforce advanced life-saving skills when faced with cardiopulmonary emergencies in children. ($5,000)     
  • Karen Dove Cabral Foundation Fund at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center: The Fund provides financial assistance directly to young mothers with breast cancer. The support pays for therapies and services not covered by health insurance and aims to improve quality of life while the women are undergoing treatment. ($2,000)
  • Pediatric Endocrinology Diasend Integration for Improved Patient Care: This Internet-based software will allow children with diabetes to download data from their meters, insulin pumps and glucose monitors directly to their NorthShore Diabetes Team for continuous monitoring of their condition. ($3,600)
  • Prenatal Education Group for Teens: This Perinatal Family Support Center program provides educational training materials and resources for teenage mothers to prepare them for healthy pregnancies and responsible parenting.  ($1,900)

 

 

 

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