Partners for Children launched

August 13, 2018  //  FOUND IN: News

Parker Schueller, left, and his mom, Nikki. The Schueller family participates in Partners for Children.

Michigan Medicine, in partnership with Hospice of Michigan and Michigan Health Endowment Fund, have begun piloting a novel home/hospital care partnership for children who have multiple medical problems and receive care from three or more pediatric specialists.

Under the new program — which was launched on Aug. 8 — a community team composed of pediatric nurse practitioners, social workers and support team professionals will work with supervising physicians and specialists at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to provide home-based care, symptom management, advance care planning and 24/7 phone availability for these children and their families.

Kenneth Pituch, M.D.

“Simply having a child with chronic, complex health issues is emotionally and physically challenging for families,” said Kenneth Pituch, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Mott and medical director of Partners for Children.

Pituch said the program’s goal is to limit the amount of stress the families of these children go through: “We are dedicated to reducing the stress families face and helping to enhance quality of life for these children by decreasing their emergency room visits and hospital stays.”

The Partners for Children program aims to enroll 100 patients in southeast Michigan who have conditions that do not fit into an existing comprehensive care program.

There are hundreds of Michigan children with complex conditions who receive care from neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, otolaryngologists, rehabilitation specialists, gastroenterologists, lung specialists, pediatric surgeons, urologists and mental health providers. Many of these children have limited mobility, take more than nine medications daily and depend on technology to help them to survive and integrate themselves into their families and communities. Many have a combination of feeding tubes, respiratory devices and mobility aids.

The new program is modeled after a successful experience in California, which had demonstrated high family satisfaction, as well as decreased family stress, depression and anxiety. The aim is for similar results in Michigan.