Backus Children’s Hospital Is Caregivers Program Winner

(January 18, 2007) - The George & Marie Backus Children's Hospital (BCH) at Memorial Health University Medical Center was recognized for its commitment to caregiving by the Johnson & Johnson/Rosalynn Carter Institute (J&J/RCI) Caregivers Program at a recent awards ceremony. In addition to a two-year $40,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson, technical assistance, and evaluation services provided by the Rosalynn Carter Institute, BCH was awarded a J&J/RCI Caregivers Crystal Award. The J&J/RCI Caregivers Program annually recognizes organizations that serve as national models for quality caregiving services. Backus Children's Hospital was selected as one of five winners by a panel of national experts in various caregiving disciplines, including gerontology, pediatrics, cancer, nursing, hospice, mental health, and disabilities. With the grant, BCH has implemented a program called Success with Sickle Cell. Children with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder that affects the blood cells, often fall behind in school due to frequent hospitalizations and episodes of pain. The goal of Success with Sickle Cell is to provide education and information to the caregivers, school officials, and teachers of children with sickle cell disease. "Education is the passport to the future," says Trib S. Vats, M.D., chairman of the Department of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology at BCH. "Through our Success with Sickle Cell program and support from the J&J/RCI program, we now envision a future with increased understanding of the disease, increased compliance to scheduled clinic visits, fewer emergency room visits, improved school performance, and a better overall quality of life for children with sickle cell disease." Vats also says to further increase an understanding of sickle cell disease BCH has formed a partnership called SSTEPS with the Chatham County Health Department and the Sickle Cell Association of Savannah. The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving was formed in 1987 in honor of First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who serves as president of the Institute's board of directors. Through research, education, and training, RCI promotes the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers; delineates effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities. Johnson & Johnson is the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of healthcare products serving the consumer, pharmaceutical, and professional markets. Memorial Health is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship, Memorial Health University Medical Center, a 530-bed tertiary medical center; CareOne, its two-state home care division; Memorial Health primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. Memorial Health has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates three years in a row. We are also one of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For.