For many of our patient-families, Lurie Children’s becomes a second home, an extended family. This is especially true for our Heart Center families. When inpatient, patients often form bonds and friendships with one another.
To celebrate these special relationships, the Heart Center hosted its first annual Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) BBQ on September 23, 2017. “We’re so lucky to take care of such amazing patients and families,” says Genny Frey, RN, MSN, Director of the Cardiac Care Unit. “It was one of our patients, Cordelia, who had the idea for this celebration. She asked, ‘Is there ever a time when the doctors, nurses, staff and patients can get together outside the hospital and just have fun?’”
Thanks to Meghan Matlin, RN, Clinical Education Specialist for the CCU, Cordelia got to see her vision come to life. 700 Heart Center patients and families and Lurie Children’s Heart Center physicians, nurses and staff came together for a day of fun, good food, music and most importantly reuniting and celebrating Lurie Children’s heart warriors. “It was great to come together outside the hospital and celebrate with other heart warriors and all those who take care of us,” says Cordelia, 14.
“It was such a pleasure and privilege to see so many of our Heart Center families, who in some cases have spent many weeks and months in the CCU under quite challenging circumstances, smiling and having fun,” says John Costello, MD, Director of CCU.
The CCU hopes to make this an annual event. “We started the CCU BBQ to celebrate the relationships built in the CCU, but we ended the day with new relationships made between families. It was powerful for the families to see kids with the same congenital disease as their child running around and enjoying life,” says Meghan. “This event was as much fun for the staff as it was for the families. Being able to see these patients outside the hospital reminds us all why we continue to do the work we do, to make memories like the BBQ possible.”
Special thanks to Patrick Ryan from Related Reality and James Burke from 5/3rd Bank for their sponsorship of the event and Gordon Biersch – Bolingbrook for the raffle prize donations.
Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU)
Our Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), which opened in June 2012, is a state-of-the-art 36-bed unit devoted to the care of young patients with cardiac disease.
The Regenstein CCU is one of the few cardiac units of its kind in the nation, allowing each child to stay in the same private room from admission to discharge. The high-tech rooms adapt to the level of care the patient needs, and eliminates the need to transfer the patient to other units in the hospital. Our rooms are technologically equipped for intensive care while providing the family amenities of a regular acute care patient room. Cardiac patients have the same healthcare team throughout their hospital stay.
Research shows that this unique model of care greatly improves patient and family comfort and satisfaction, as well as patient safety.
Lurie Children’s Heart Center is ranked #3 among pediatric hospitals according to the 2017 U.S. News & World Report