“CHI’s ultimate goal is to so ingrain the hospice concept into pediatrics that it isn’t considered a separate specialty, rather, an integral part of health care for children and adolescents.”
- Congressional Record – Senator Bennett
- Congressional Record – Congressman Moran
- Glossary of Key Hospice Terms
- CHI Awards
- CHI Achievement Award Winners
- CHI Pro Bono and Volunteer Staff
- Kirby Hospice Journey
- Kirby and Tutu Scholars
Meeting the Needs of Children and Families Worldwide
Children’s Hospice International (CHI) is an award-winning non-profit organization established in 1983 that has pioneered and promoted the idea that critically ill children should have access to hospice/palliative care along with curative care from the time their life threatening illness has been diagnosed. Back in 1977, when CHI was conceived, there were no hospice care programs available in the world. In 1983, when CHI incorporated, only 4 of the 1,400 hospices in the United States were able to accept children. Today, thanks in part to the efforts of CHI, most hospices are willing to consider accepting a child as a patient, and most hospitals are considering hospice & palliative care.
The Problem We Are Trying to Solve
Current Medicaid and hospice/palliative care models don’t work well for critically ill children since hospice/palliative care services are not provided until patients are in their last six months of life. That’s a problem because
- Serious childhood illnesses are unpredictable, with patients moving in and out of terminal phases
- Hospice/palliative care services may be required multiple times during a child’s lifetime
CHI believes critically ill children and their families should have access to hospice/palliative care along with curative care from the time their life threatening illness has been diagnosed. CHI has developed a treatment model (Children’s Program of All-Inclusive Coordinated Care, or ChiPACC) which provides a blend of curative and hospice/palliative care services for critically ill children from the time of diagnosis.
Why Coordinated Care is Important
We know that the most critical time for children and family members – when they need the intensive support and guidance that hospice and palliative care programs provide – is at the point of diagnosis. Children diagnosed with serious illnesses – such as muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis – may live for decades but they can face life-or-death situations every day. They also may frequently go in and out of terminal phases.
This affects the entire family.
CHI’s Coordinated Care Program (ChiPACC) provides early and continual intervention and case management so families and health care providers can promote the best support for the patient. Family-centered care is delivered by an integrated team with the goal of improving the quality of life for everyone. The child is able to grow and develop while fighting their illness. Parents are better able to understand the treatment options, goals, and the range of services available. Additional support is available to help siblings and even friends and classmates cope with the ongoing stress of the illness.
In an ongoing effort, CHI provides education, training and technical assistance to those who care for children with life-threatening conditions and their families.