PATCHES is a not for profit pediatric nursing center, for children with extreme medical conditions, ages birth to 21.
Monday through Friday, 12 hours daily, we strive to make a difference in the lives of chronically ill children and their low- income families of South Dade. We deeply believe that every child, despite the challenges of illness, deserves to live free of pain and be as healthy as they can, to grow, play, learn and maximize their potential.
PATCHES center facilitates an early hospital release for many children. Rather than the isolation of home care, the medically fragile child spends the day in the care of the professional nursing staff at PATCHES in a safe, enriching environment where they thrive physically, developmentally and socially, and receive all the medically prescribed therapies they need under one roof. Parents are then free to continue to work and support their families, and are not economically destabilized by having to attend to the medical needs of a chronically ill child.
We strive to educate parents/caregivers on their child’s health care management. Parents are educated about therapeutic interventions to maximize their child's wellness and minimize unnecessary and unwanted ER visits that are stressful to the parents and traumatic to the child. No child is turned away based on the ability to pay.
This is an outreach video that gives an inside look at the center at work and at play. It does supply key facts about the mission of the center and the programs provided for low income medically fragile children. It also captures the heart and soul of the center and the devotion of the staff to all their children. Finally it talks about PATCHES's plans for future development; expansion of it's facilities and programs that it plans to house.
This video is the story of dearly beloved Lesley Juanchez, pictured below, who spent her entire short life at her "home away from home", PATCHES. The video tells her story, narrated by her mom, who was just sixteen when she was born and follows Lesley through various therapies during her day at PATCHES. By having a safe haven for Lesley, her mom Theresa, was able to graduate high school and college.
Lesly- the Princess of PATCHES- who was with us for 9 years was born with multiple medical conditions and mysteries. She recently lost her battle after a heroic fight. During her 'reign' she captured the hearts, love and admiration of all who knew her. There's a permanent hole in the hearts of nursing staff and therapists who knew and loved Lesly.
Edgar is walking with the help of a walker- His condition on arrival at PATCHES was bleak- little hope was given to his parents that he would survive- let alone thrive. Today he is a growing little boy with a love of Elmo, the Wiggles and his favorite nurse Lola (REAL name Laura)
Dr San Jorge with a group of medical students, examines a sick child. Not only do we care for pediatric patients in our facility but provide a venue to educate future nurses, therapists and doctors. We are one of a very few pediatric clinical educational site in Miami Dade County.
These two happy children on the PATCHES playground look like any healthy child. Both have serious life-threatening medical issues that require monitoring and therapy. PATCHES provides the nursing care with the necessary medically prescribed therapy, while also providing a stimulating, loving social environment so that these children can thrive and grow.
All children have the same desire- to grow, to thrive and to interact with their peers with as little restriction as possible.
Pictured below is super hero Khloe in her pink cape. Her desire for mobility prompted one of our therapists to build a cart so she could interact with her world until her new wheel chair was ready.
Respiratory Therapy program follows physician prescribed orders for each patient and PATCHES consults with the physician as needed. The Respiratory Therapist uses a program of Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Evaluation twice daily as prescribed by the physician. Each RT treatment is performed in different areas of the center, depending on the age group and condition of the child - some are preemies in cribs, others under 4, or pre-K, while others might be older. A specially designated RT therapy room is also available for the use of administering pulmonary therapy treatments to the children. By providing consistent respiratory evaluation and treatment each day, PATCHES saves many families the stress of emergency ER visits, and costly tax dollars, and the traumatic, disruptive effect on the stability of the child and its family. This program saves lives.
FEEDING FOR THE FUTURE
PATCHES is committed to the whole child concept. Pivotal to the concept is that sick children need and receive adequate nutrition in order to thrive, grow and battle illness.
Among the many diagnoses for children at PATCHES, failure to thrive is common. The families of PATCHES’ children are primarily under educated, low wage earners.
They are either Medicaid recipients or earn just enough to be disqualified from Medicaid reimbursement, and live in relative poverty.
As poverty is prevalent in this population and nutrition-rich meals critical to maintain normal growth and development, PATCHES provides breakfast, lunch and a healthy snack for those who are able to eat by mouth, with no compensation from Medicaid. Because the center lacks a full kitchen and cooking is prohibited, PATCHES contracts with a local restaurant to provide daily kid friendly, freshly made, nutritious, calorie packed meals which are individualized by a specially trained nursing assistant.
While PATCHES admits only on medically based illness, many children have resultant developmental impairments. Many children may have eating/swallowing disorders and eating becomes a therapeutic process. Children are taught how to manage their eating swallowing coordination through therapy. Each child’s diet and nutritional needs is supervised by a trained nursing assistant, as informed by therapists and nursing staff involved with the child, and assessed on an ongoing basis as their eating skills improve.
This fund was established after one of our baby's died. Ca'miya was 3 months old and died in hospital one weekend. Four days after her death her mom called to say she couldn't bury her baby because she couldn't pay for the funeral, which is a prerequisite to release of the body from the hospital morgue. We called every agency in Dade County to try to find funds to no avail. We sent out a plea for help and money came in and we were able to pay for the baby's funeral. Extra money was placed into an account called the Ca'miya's fund. Since that time... we've helped lay to rest 21 infants and children
University/college medical educational Clinical Site
University/College Clinical Site: There are an increasing number of nursing schools competing for clinical pediatric space. The directors at PATCHES recognized the value of clinical education and made the opportunity available for nursing colleges to participate/learn at PATCHES. Upwards of 15 schools of nursing, medical interns and therapy schools attend the PATCHES facility to gain the required amount of hands on clinical hours needed to sit state boards. We believe in engaged learning and offer a conference room for pre and post follow-up, access to staff, resources and patients.
Azona K. Smith, RN
Board Chair COO
Azona K. Smith, RN
Director of Nursing Staff
This organization's financial statements were independently submitted and have not been verified by The Miami Foundation.