Where Kids Can Just Be Kids
The Children’s Healing Center works to address key social determinants of health, including isolation and loneliness, by providing a safe, clean place where kids with weak immune systems and their families can gather, play, connect and shed the seclusion so often mandated by their diagnoses.
When a child or adolescent is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, lives often filled with social activities come to a halt. Instead, families have to shelter in place, watching the world move on around them. Everyone in the family is affected and, with no outlet, isolation and loneliness takes a toll on everyone’s physical and mental health.
But there is hope! The Children’s Healing Center supports 60% of overall Social Determinants of Health factors for members.
We recognize all families who come through our doors are dealing with trauma from a medical diagnosis and subsequent hospitalizations, surgeries, treatments and loss. We also recognize trauma affects the entire family and can manifest itself in different ways. We work to create a space for children and families that provides a refuge from worries and fear they experience. Our staff and volunteers are trained to understand and respond to the medical trauma children may experience.
The verdict is in: Good. Clean. Fun.® at the Children’s Healing Center reduces social isolation and loneliness in kids with weakened immune systems and their family members. From the day we opened our doors, we knew just how important the healing power of play can be. We now have proof! In partnership with Calvin University Center for Social Research, we set out to understand the measurable outcomes Center participation has on kids and families.We’re proud to announce our findings were published in the American Journal of Recreational Therapy. Dr. Laura Luchies, who was the lead researcher in our partnership notes:
“Social isolation and loneliness are not simply unpleasant, they are notable predictors of several mental and physical health problems, and even death. The assumption has been that individuals with weakened immune systems could either avoid exposure to pathogens OR socialize with others, but that they could not do both. Our research shows the Children’s Healing Center turns that assumption on its head.”
Dr. Laura Luchies
American Journal of Recreational Therapy
To request a copy of the findings, please contact using the form below.