Category Archives: Family Voices News

Halloween, Happy Hour, & other fall fun

October is one of the most beautiful months here in Colorado. The British novelist George Eliot once wrote, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” We hope you are finding moments of beauty and joy in the midst of whatever stress and busy-ness may also fill your life.

martini glass on a platterAt Family Voices Colorado, we’re celebrating our recent office move to the Anschutz Medical Campus with a Fall Happy Hour at the Cedar Creek Pub, next Thursday, October 25, 5:00 – 7:00pm. Come meet the “new kids on campus,” and we’ll buy the first round!  RSVP to Chrystal at 303-733-3000, or on our Facebook event page.  Hope to see you there!

National Family Voices is holding a Fall Costume Contest for families of children and youth with special health care needs.  From their website:

Many cultures include children dressing up in costume at some time during the year as part of their tradition, and often these celebrations take place in the fall. This practice can be ceremonial or recreational – it is always exciting and often meaningful for both children and adults.

Family Voices’ costume contest will begin on Monday, October 15 and the last day for submission of entries will be Monday, November 5. Winners will be announced by Friday, November 9. A $100 Target gift card will be awarded to the winner in each of three age categories: 0 – 7 years old, 8 – 14 years old, 15 – 21 years old. To enter go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FVcostumecontest.

Painted wood stump Jack-o-lanternFinally, if your child’s special needs include sensory challenges, you might find these tips on navigating Halloween helpful. Or, if you’re looking for more costume ideas, especially incorporating a wheelchair or other equipment, try this Huffington Post article or these suggestions from the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

Happy Fall!

Family Voices Colorado 4.0: Together on the Journey

Greetings from Tom Rose, new Executive Director

Tom & Ileana at our new office
Tom Rose, Executive Director, and Ileana Perez, Provider Recruitment Coordinator, at our new office.

Excerpted from our Fall NewsletterClick here to join our email list

Dear Partners, Friends, and Supporters,

We have had a summer of change and transition here at Family Voices Colorado. The biggest change, which most of you already know about, is that Christy Blakely retired as Executive Director at the end of May, after 12 years of dedicated service and passionate advocacy on behalf of children with special health care needs. The Board appointed me to be the new Executive Director, effective June 28.

I am deeply committed to the mission of Family Voices, and I believe my background leading health and human services agencies has prepared me well for the particular opportunities and challenges we face right now. Over the past three months, I have met with dozens of partner agencies and professionals across the health care and disability fields to deepen my understanding of the landscape of the field, and to develop a vision for Family Voices’ unique niche in the rapidly changing health care arena in our state. I look forward to sharing that vision with you in the coming months.

In addition to the executive transition, we have had several staff change roles or move on to other opportunities in the past few months. A complete listing of current staff is below for your reference, and you can find contact information for our new office space here.

As always, we remain absolutely committed to our mission of improving access to and quality of health care systems for children and youth with special health care needs. We are thankful for your interest in our work and for your support, in whatever form that takes, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Sincerely,

Tom Rose
Executive Director

Staff List:

Name

Title

Email

Direct line

Tom Rose Executive Director tom@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0338
Dina Castro Family-to-Family Project Coordinator dina@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0328
Susan Cassell Health Care Transitions Navigator scassell@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0331
Suzette Elledge Medical Home Project Coordinator suzette@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0337
Ileana Perez Provider Recruitment Coordinator ileana@familyvoicesco.org 720-940-6969
Colleen Roahrig Western Slope Coordinator colleen@familyvoicesco.org 720-319-6102
Sam Murillo Family Navigator at Children’s Hospital sam@familyvoicesco.org 720-301-7705
Susana Herrera Medical Home Navigator susana@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0336
Anne Patton Operations Manager anne@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0318
Kerry Greenhill Communications Manager kerry@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0329
Chrystal Ferber Development Associate (AmeriCorps VISTA) chrystal@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0319

National Family Voices announces the Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide

Excerpts from National Family Voices press release; read the full story here.

This 164-page book was developed for families by families, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other professionals, and based on the AAP’s Bright Futures: Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (3rd ed.). Bright Futures was recognized as the gold standard of pediatric care in the Affordable Care Act.

“The Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide puts highly relevant health promotion material in an easy to use, accessible format. The guide facilitates communication between families and providers and strengthens parent-provider relationships.”

Judith S Palfrey, MD
Mother of three children
Co-author, Bright Futures Editions 1 and 2
Former President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Former Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Initiative

National Family Voices Executive Director Lynn Pedraza commented:

“Our work is all about families helping other families and professionals get the most useful information to best serve children with special health care needs and disabilities, and all children. The Pocket Guide is a great support in that effort: any family can use it to help their children be healthy and well at all stages of development. So, we hope to get this little book into the hands of as many families as possible to promote health and wellness for children everywhere. We have plans for translation, so stay tuned!”

Developed for families by families, the Pocket Guide provides families with:

  • Information and encouragement for the roles families play every day in the health and well-being of their children
  • Information about the importance of well child visits for all children, including children and youth with special health care needs
  • Encouragement to speak up to take active roles in their children’s care
  • Encouragement to form partnerships with other families and with professionals to improve policies, care, services, and support for all children and families
  • An overall framework for children’s good health and insight into all those who contribute to it
  • Current, comprehensive, succinct information about child development
  • Links to resources and further sources of information for children’s good health

Health care professionals as well as parents are finding the Pocket Guide to be a valuable reference:

“I believe this is the standard for how we need to be promoting health and wellness, as health professionals and as families. The Pocket Guide makes a family’s questions the #1 priority at each visit with a physician – and this is such a helpful approach for both the physician and the family. And it has the kind of resources at the back that physicians and families both tell me they need, very comprehensive, and right at their fingertips. All in all, it is fabulous little book with fantastic information.”

Dennis Kuo, MD
Father of two children, including one with juvenile arthritis
Pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Steering Committee Member, Arkansas Disability Coalition

For more information and to order copies of the Pocket Guide, go to http://bit.ly/BrightFuturesFamilyPocketGuideorders, or call Family Voices Colorado at 800-881-8272 and we will order copies for you.