CoachArt Opens Doors
The world renowned Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is a colorful blur of balloons slipping past elevator doors, nurses and attendants wheeling patients across the floor, and the pitter patter of children’s feet lost in the general buzz of a busy day. For families who are new to the hospital it can feel overwhelming, especially as they meet with the myriad of doctors, healthcare professionals and social workers who walk them through the entire process of being hospitalized at CHLA.
Sandra Mintz serves as the Nurse Care Manager of the Rheumatology Department which treats children with juvenile arthritis and other conditions. Sandra and her colleagues work tirelessly to support patients and families, helping them get used to life in the hospital and making sure the children have access to engaging activities during their stay. She notes that while there are many people working with patients when they are residing in the hospital, when children are released to recuperate or continue treatment from home, they don’t have this layer of support. “A lot of our kids have socialization struggles and their families don’t have access to activities,” said Sandra. “I’ve always found that CoachArt has the resources and knowledge to connect people outside the hospital – CoachArt has truly opened up doors.”
CoachArt first started as a pilot program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and they have been referring families to CoachArt’s programs for many years. In addition, CoachArt provides coaches who lead recurring art clubs as part of the support group network sponsored by CHLA. These activities encourage relationship building and sibling engagement through transformational programming.
“Your activities break up the monotony of hospital life,” said Sandra. “You bring experience and creativity, and everybody appreciates what you do – I’m talking physicians, healthcare professionals, everybody.”
Both CoachArt and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles believe that health goes beyond basic physical needs, and that children need inspiration, joy, learning, and a thriving community to help them combat illness. Together, CHLA and CoachArt create a holistic community to support families affected by childhood chronic illness.