Located at the intersection of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology treats children from diverse backgrounds. A majority come from underserved communities, in particular East and Central Harlem and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. For decades, Mount Sinai has had an especially close relationship with East Harlem, serving as a trusted provider of inpatient, outpatient and outreach services to neighbors struggling with poverty, unemployment, single-parent households, less than average formal education, language barriers to accessing healthcare and services and among the worst health indices in New York City. The majority of the families seen in our clinic are also Spanish speaking and they confront daily barriers to accessing healthcare and services due to these language barriers.
Families who confront the above mentioned problems are at even greater risk of being overwhelmed by a child's illness than those with more external resources to fall back on. In this environment, the caring services provided by the division's social workers and parent advocates help to support these families and expand their support systems during and after treatment.
Since 2001, Lainie's Angels has supported the CURE Childhood Cancer Association, founded in 1987, to assist parents and other caregivers of children diagnosed with cancer. The parent advocate provides peer support for parents in both the inpatient and outpatient services of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. Golisano Children's Hospital & CURE Childhood Cancer Association, provide services to all families with a child diagnosed with cancer or a chronic blood disorder in Rochester, NY and the surrounding 14 counties. At any given time there are approximately 500 children in treatment who are receiving CURE services. Over the past 34 years, CURE has touched the lives over 6,000 family members.
Lainie's Angels newest grant has allowed for the establishment of a Parent Advocate Program at HSC in Toronto, providing opportunities for families to access information and resources , provided by OPAAC (Ontario Parent's Advocating for Children with Cancer). The creation of, and participation in, the parent advocate program, raises support and awareness for families experiencing the childhood cancer journey.
Lainie's Angels has provided the seed funding required to make parent to parent support and advocacy available as part of the Bridges Palliative Care program.
Bridges was launched at CMH in 2006 to provide physical, psychosocial, social and spiritual support for families coping with decisions and feelings relating to a child's life-limiting medical condition. The program staff consults with other care teams, and also assumes care coordination responsibilities for some patients. Lainie's Angels was the first philanthropic organization to provide funding for the Bridges Palliative Care Program.