Patience, patients: Child care may open at hospital
Solution - Two women suggest hospitals offer clients low-cost child care
By, Jenn Director Knudsen
Amy Paterson endured 140 doctor visits in 2007 as she battled breast cancer. As a parent, she struggled to find care for her toddler son. "The medical system is not designed for patient flexibility," says Paterson, 35, now healthy. "My grocery store, my gym and even my furniture store have child care. So should my doctor's office." So Paterson, of Raleigh Hills, and parent Melissa Moore, 41, of Southwest Portland, came up with an idea: My Little Waiting Room, a program to offer low-cost child care at hospitals while parents and siblings attend appointments.
They received a $5,000 check this month from the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund to pay for child-care providers in a pilot project. They haven't settled on a site yet. Next, they plan to meet with administrators with the Legacy and Providence health systems and with OHSU Hospital.
Selma Annala, a supervisor with Legacy Good Samaritan Cancer Care Resources who participated in Paterson's care, tested the My Little Waiting Room concept this month during a free event for breast-cancer survivors and their children. While patients and partners attended an information session, kids worked with an art therapist. "This is kind of the first step," says Annala, who's helping Paterson and Moore. "We want to do as much exploring and, possibly, solving as we can."