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Caring Circle Launches Specialized Pediatric Care Program

Caring Circle provides support to children who are grieving through Lory’s Place, a grief healing and education center. Now, Caring Circle is expanding its care to provide more comprehensive hospice and palliative services to children and their families in southwest Michigan through a new Pediatric Care Program. The program is designed to provide support to children and their families who are facing life-limiting illness, and offers counseling and support services to help children and families as they grieve.

As a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), Caring Circle has developed its Pediatric Care Program to comply with the NHPCO Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs. These standards guide hospice programs that provide care to patients in the perinatal period, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Using these standards as a model, and with specialized training from Hospice of Michigan, Caring Circle has developed partnerships to address challenges found in providing care to children and their families. By facilitating and supporting connections in their home community to established medical, emotional, and spiritual sources of support Caring Circle will address the fragmentation of care that can result when children and families travel far from home for treatment. Through specialized teams and training, families will know that Caring Circle can provide the care they need in their community.

David Collins, MD, will lead the Pediatric Care Team for this new program. His experience in family medicine gives Dr. Collins a strong background to provide oversight for the unique needs of pediatric patients and their families. Caring Circle has also arranged for expert consultation from Hospice of Michigan.

“Our mission at Caring Circle is to provide services to anyone who needs them in our area,” says Melinda Gruber, PhD, President and CEO. “With our expansion of pediatric care, we can do so without regard to a patient’s age. We also want families to know that we can support them even while they continue to seek curative therapy for their children.” Caring Circle has medical, social work, bereavement, spiritual, and volunteer resources that can address and meet the needs of these individuals and families. The Pediatric Care Program will also incorporate the existing services that Caring Circle provides to pediatric patients and families, including the Merlin and Carolyn Hanson Hospice Center, Lory’s Place, Camp Lifetimes, and onsite school peer support groups. With these collaborations in place, coupled with its 36-year history of providing hospice services to the community as Hospice at Home, Caring Circle will provide hospice interdisciplinary care and support to the children and families of our community.

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