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January 2018 Edition
Love is in the air with annual Valentine’s Day card drive

This Valentine's Day our friends at WSHE Chicago have teamed up with Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets and Ray Auto Group to make sure the kids at La Rabida know that they are thinking of them! They will once again be collecting hand made cards for our kids. Help us spread the word by telling your friends, students, and businesses to gather and make some cards. Drop them off in the Valentine's Day Bins at any Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market or Ray Auto Group location.


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Being Strong
One Family’s Battle with Sickle Cell Finds Comfort at La Rabida

The Strong family has five children and three of them were born with sickle cell disease. Each of their children receives primary care and treatment from La Rabida with Dr. Radhika Peddinti, Pediatric Hematologist, as their general practitioner.

Makayla, 3 years old, has sickle cell disease and recently boarded the S.S. La Rabida Inpatient Unit after being diagnosed with RSV. Makayla’s mom, Martha, shared that Makayla is in good spirits and recently Facetimed with her brother, Marrion, to tell him that she is “on the ship”. Marrion, 7 years old, had an overnight stay in January as well for one of his monthly sickle cell transfusions. “Usually hospital stays are not viewed as fun, but La Rabida does its part to make children and families feel at home,” Martha said. Their three month old daughter, Monye, has sickle cell disease as well.

Martha added that she, her husband and children absolutely love La Rabida. Not only do her three children with sickle cell come to La Rabida for care, all five of their children receive their primary care through La Rabida's medical home program. “La Rabida does not compare to other hospitals. The staff is personable, remembers our names, and makes us feel like a family – it’s a second home! Dr. Peddinti is great and Becki Logan (Child Life Specialist) is one of our best friends here. It is also extremely convenient that we can bring all five of our children here for care.”

To learn more about sickle cell and La Rabida’s approach to care, click here.

Big impact on little patients with generous Morgan Stanley Foundation grant

La Rabida is very grateful to our friends at the Morgan Stanley Foundation for its longtime support of the Premier Kids program and its Chicago Grow Clinic, which cares for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable children and their families. Currently marking its 11th year of service to our community, Premier Kids offers outpatient, primary care for infants and children under the age of six who are at-risk due to developmental problems and/or medically complex conditions. The Morgan Stanley Foundation’s most recent two-year, $100,000 grant to La Rabida truly makes a positive difference in our ability to provide the best of care for these young children.

First and lasting impressions: La Rabida front desk volunteers

“Visiting the hospital is not on anyone’s wish list,” volunteer Karen Paillon says, “It can be stressful for parents and scary for children. I greet everyone with a smile and always give the kiddos a little extra.”

Information Desk volunteers like Karen are often the very first people that families and visitors encounter at La Rabida. “I consider it a privilege to be the first point of contact in welcoming families and guests,” volunteer Gladys Smith says, “It is gratifying to have the tools and resources to assist patients, families and others to their destination in the hospital.”

Information Desk volunteers greet visitors, respond the questions, answer phones, direct parents and children to the Acute Care Clinic and the Inpatient Unit, inform staff that scheduled appointments have arrived and dispense passes to those going beyond the lobby area.

As Smith says, “The Information Desk is a place where connections are made with a smile.”

Dennis Caldwell, who supervises the Information Desk volunteers reports that, “The compassion that the volunteers show to the people we serve is an inspiration for us all. They treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter what the situation is.”

Karen Paillon shares this story from one particularly inspiring day volunteering at the Information Desk:

“A whole kindergarten class came in at Christmas. They had just gone shopping for hats and gloves for patients and families. They sat on the floor in the reception area and there was an impromptu question/answer session. A little girl said her big brother had been a patient once and that this was a good place because her brother was better. The tears were falling down my cheeks.”

If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming an Information Desk volunteer, please contact Adam Spencer, Manager of Volunteer Services, at Email: or 773-256-5985.