Little Jim Club has funded children’s hospital programs in San Francisco for over 100 years. The men and women of the LJC choose to donate their time and effort to raise funds for experimental, under-funded or non-funded programs so that needy families receive critical care for their children. Currently the money we raise helps children with diagnosis such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Speech and Language Delay, Down Syndrome, and chromosomal abnormalities. We are the oldest children’s charity and host the oldest black tie Ball in San Francisco.
The Kalmanovitz Child Development Center at California Pacific Medical Center is the largest facility of its kind in Northern California providing assessment and treatment services for children with medical issues and developmental problems. The need continues to grow and the current national statistics report that 1 in 150 births will be a child diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.
Last year our organization helped to fund the following programs which served over 16,000 visits. A new clinic was opened at St. Luke’s Hospital in 2006 and in 2007 services also became available through CPMC Pediatric Clinic in Bayview Hunter’s Point. However, there are currently over 300 families remaining on the waiting list.
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Project Jason Overview
A home based program for infants who were extremely premature at birth (under 1000grams or about 2 lbs.) or severely ill. An Infant Development Specialist makes home visits to anticipate issues early in the infant’s life and suggests specific interventions to facilitate development. The visits begin soon after discharge and may continue until age 3 if needed. In 2006 Project Jason provided home-based services for 141 children.
This program is totally dependent on Little Jim funds. Because of the increase in premature births, funds are desperately needed to expand this program. The CDC has requested an increase in staffing that LJC funds will provide.
Developmental Feeding Clinic
This program is a collaboration of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and CDC to assist children from birth to 6 years who have difficulty swallowing, feeding, reflux and have medical conditions that make feeding a challenge, particularly premature babies. Through these services the children are evaluated and recommendations for treatment and follow up are provided. LJC funds staffing and training to support this program.
Autism Program Resource/Referral & Autism Program Parent Support Group
Because of the rise in Autism, the CDC supports families with critical support, resource and referrals. Staffing 2-days-a-week provides intakes and individual parent counseling and also facilitate a weekly therapy group for parents.
Since 1985, California Pacific Medical Center has participated in summer camp at St. Dorothy’s Rest in Camp Meeker, California. The Episcopal Diocese generously provides a free summer camp experience for each child attending health camp. Funding from The Little Jim Club provides full time nursing and Child Life staff.
Each 7-day, Hematology Oncology camp session averages 30 children allowing siblings and patients from this growing department an opportunity to participate in a wonderful camp experience.
St. Dorothy’s is a warm and comfortable environment that fosters and strengthens personal growth, friendships and fun. Kids are involved in numerous summer camp activities such as archery, crafts, swimming, berry picking, evening camp fire singing and drama, group games and dances. Children with cancer as are able to come together for a “normalizing” experience that under other circumstances may not be possible. Every parent has said they would never have allowed their child to attend had it not been for the familiar CPMC staff attending.
Autism Play Group
The Play Groups at the Child Development Center serve children who have a variety of psychosocial, sensory-motor, and communication issues. The purpose of the groups is to improve the psychosocial functioning of the participants through an inter-disciplinary approach. Typically, two therapists from occupational therapy, speech/language pathology, or psychotherapy facilitate the groups. The treatment plan is individualized for the specific needs of the participants. With Autism diagnosis on the rise, this is an area of acute need.
A donation of $85 pays for one session. A child may attend up to two full years of playgroup sessions. There are five, 15-week sessions per year. CDC currently provides service to 58 children with 118 children on the waiting list.
Child Life Program
Child Life staff use distraction materials, DVD’s, toys, art supplies and teaching videos to assist children and their families in orienting and adapting to outpatient surgery, emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalization. The staff uses LJC-supplied puppets, medical play, and games to help children understand procedures and treatments. LJC also funds memory kits for terminally ill children to make for their family.