“The greatest strength a children’s hospital has is its commitment to putting children first,” commented Leslie Wyatt, President and CEO, at Children’s Hospital’s annual Advocacy Day celebration. “That commitment draws strength not only from the children who are patients and their families, the physicians, nurses and staff but also from the community at large.”
To celebrate that commitment, more than 100 guests gathered in the hospital’s auditorium on Sept. 24 for a discussion, moderated by hospital Chaplain Rev. Dr. Cathie Stivers, with five parents of special needs children about how faith and spirituality have guided them in managing their child’s care. Following the program, the Spirit of Advocacy Awards were presented to Family Award winners Jamie and Kristie Lint and Community Partner Award recipient Jeff Kraus.
The Lints were nominated for serving as advocates and chapter Co-Chairs for the state of Virginia SOFT (Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13 and related disorders), where they help families find and obtain resources related to these disorders. The Lints, whose son, Zion, has Trisomy 13, are also serving as Co-Chairs for the 2009 International SOFT conference. They regularly make the 5 ½-hour trip from their southwest Virginia home to Children’s Hospital for their son’s medical care.
A former market manager with Walmart, Jeff has supported Children’s Miracle Network Richmond, which supports Children’s Hospital and Virginia Commonwealth University Children’s Medical Center, since 1998. He has developed partnerships with local radio and television stations to plan fundraising events including the Walmart Miracle Challenge.
Before retiring in May, Jeff led a statewide fundraising effort that raised more than $34,000 in less than eight weeks. In the last 11 years, he helped raise nearly $1.9 million in Walmart contributions.
The Spirit of Advocacy awards, funded through gifts from the hospital’s three auxiliary boards, recognize a family or family member of a Children’s Hospital patient and a community partner for advocating for the health care needs of their child or the broader needs of children in the community. Award recipients were selected by a group of employees recognized through the hospital’s service recognition program in the last year. All nine award nominees were honored at the celebration.
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