Children of Our Patients Program
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To serve the needs of patients who have children, CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center (Southwestern) developed the Children of Our Patients Program.
The program provides psychosocial resources and tools, age-appropriate activities, support groups and childcare to help reduce patient stress during treatment and improve quality of care.
The program offers a variety of resources and supportive services:
Talking to Children about Cancer Classes
Each month, the hospital offers a Talking to Children about Cancer class. The class helps answer questions such as:
- When and what do I tell my children?
- What resources are available for talking to my children?
- What support resources are available for my children?
Each child visiting the hospital will receive a backpack complete with age-appropriate activities to occupy them during their visit.
The hospital’s Library offers information for parents about talking to their children about cancer, books designed for children and teens about cancer, and entertaining children’s books.
CLIMB Support Program
The CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) Program is a support program designed to help children cope with a parent or loved one’s illness.
Developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation and led by trained facilitators, CLIMB aims to ensure that every child whose parent is diagnosed with cancer is given age-appropriate tools and emotional support to cope.
The potential benefits of the CLIMB Program include:
- Increased knowledge about cancer and its treatment
- Normalization of feelings of sadness
- Better able to identify strengths and normalize anxiety
- Better equipped to express and manage anger appropriately
- Improved communication about feelings
- Facilitated communication with the parent
Overall, children learn that cancer is not their fault and they are not alone, so they are better equipped to cope in the new unsettling environment.
For patients who need care for their children while undergoing treatment at the hospital, Southwestern works with SeekingSitters, a Tulsa-based firm that provides childcare five days a week at the hospital.
Patients can drop off their child with one of SeekingSitters Certified Professional Sitters between 1 - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. During this time, children enjoy crafts, games, movies and more.