All posts by Judith McLean

Save the Date for our annual Share the Care Ball on October 27th at 6:30 PM at The Drake.

Our annual Chicago gala features a sumptuous dinner, fabulous dancing and an awesome auction at the iconic and historic Drake Hotel.

Co-Chairs Suzi Bramson Brooks and Jen Horsley are bringing some exciting changes to this years event – we will be posting the updates very soon!

Contact Liza Larsen or call 630-786-1763 for more information regarding AHK events and sponsorship opportunities.

There are regular on-site presentations for nurses by medical experts on various topics that are pertinent to the care of the children in our care at Almost Home Kids. Teaching sessions focus on topics pertinent to children currently staying at Almost home Kids, and those that are anticipated and are scheduled by our Clinical Educator.

The nurses in the photo above are learning how to perform Peritoneal Dialysis in a training session lead by DaVita. They have to go through intensive training sessions to ensure they are competent in this type of care, so that they can impart this knowledge on to the parents and caregivers as part of their training to assist with their child’s successful and safe transition home.

We currently have the following employment opportunity at AHK available, if you are interested in this position, or learning about more clinical openings, please email April Alexander, AHK Director of Nursing

Job Description
Almost Home Kids (AHK) cares for children with complicated health needs by providing short-term transitional care in a home-like setting, family training and respite care. With locations in Naperville and at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s, AHK is staffed with medical professionals and volunteers to make sure every child and their families are prepared for the return home.

As a Resource RN, the nurse will support both the Chicago and Naperville AHK locations, and if not needed, then will work resource at the Lurie Children’s Hospital location. Resource RN’s receive an extra premium in addition to their base pay rate.

General Summary of Position Responsibility:
The Registered Nurse delivers patient care in a home-like setting by performing patient assessments and documenting medical histories and vital signs. This role utilizes the nursing process and performs responsibilities in five areas of nursing practice: clinician, clinical inquiry, teacher, professional development and leadership. Responsibilities also include patient/family education and instruction during visits, performing telephone triage and other activities as assigned. Understands and integrates into the delivery of patient care the needs of neonatal, pediatrics, adolescent and adult patients in regard to their growth and development process

Essential Job Functions:

  • Performs nursing assessments utilizing a variety of assessment methods and/or area-specific tools.
  • Individualizes existing plans of care and develops goals relative to family needs. Evaluates and documents changes to the plan.
  • Develops or individualizes teaching plans/protocols to meet patient and family learning needs. Identifies patient preferences and needs including motivation to learn. Evaluates and documents changes to the plan whether that be in the Electronic Medical Record or in the paper chart.
  • Performs nursing care according to procedures/protocols. Anticipates impending emergent situations and intervenes effectively.
  • Communicates with the family and members of the multidisciplinary team to identify health care needs. Communicates changes in patient status. Utilizes appropriate resources for referral or consultations.
  • Keeps up to date in nursing practice by utilizing current nursing and healthcare literature for information and problem solving.
  • Incorporates current hospital and departmental quality initiatives into daily activities.
  • Adheres to communication, service excellence and professional image standards that support the hospital mission and philosophy.
  • Identifies learning needs and seeks resources to advance nursing practice and achieve professional goals.
  • Performs job functions adhering to service principles with customer service focus of innovation, service excellence and teamwork to provide the highest quality care and service to our patients, families, co-workers and others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Nursing required.
  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in the State of Illinois and
  • CPR/BLS certification required.
  • At least 1 year nursing experience required, but pediatrics preferred.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with patient/families, physicians and hospital staff.
  • Basic computer skills required.
  • Flexibility is required with scheduling.

Job Location
Rotates between Naperville and Chicago location, Illinois, United States

Position Type

Salary Grade

FTE Status

Work Days
Monday thru Sunday, every other weekend rotation

Shift Hours
Day/Night rotation every 6 weeks (12 hour shifts)



April Alexander, MBA, BSN, RN
Director of Nursing
Almost Home Kids
7S721 Route 53, Naperville, IL 60540
t 630.786.1751
f 630-271-9186

We are thrilled to announce the re-launch of our Child Life Practicum at Almost Home Kids and are very excited to have this unique experience available for students pursuing a Child Life career.

This practicum opportunity is intended to introduce students to the Child Life field and provide a unique perspective of Child Life.

The practicum at AHK will follow the six standards held by the Association of Child Life Professionals. Practicum students must complete 8-12 hours per week for a period of 14 weeks, with a minimum of 120 hours.

If you are interested in this program, please download the application: AHK Child Life Practicum Application, plus you can always contact our Child Life Specialist Kari Bartleson at for any additional questions.

Application Postmark Deadline                                       Practicum Dates

March 27, 2017                                                                      May 8/15-August 14/21*

All required material must be postmarked by the application postmark deadline. Hand delivered applications will not be accepted.  An application is not a guarantee of acceptance to the AHK Child Life practicum.

Kari Bartelson, MS, CCLS, Child Life Specialist | t 630.271-9155  f 630.271.9186

The great January thaw is upon us, and the un-official start of Spring will be here before you know it.  Are you ready for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k on April 2, 2017?

Running for a cause is a great way to get your motivation and mojo going…join Team AHK for the Shamrock Shuffle once again this year and enjoy the benefits of being part of something bigger than yourself. Registration for our team is FREE, as long as you raise a minimum of $40 from friends, family and personal donations.  All Team AHK members will receive:

  • A super cool, dri-fit orange AHK running shirt
  • Moral support (and competitive spirit) with a group of like-minded individuals of a variety of skill levels
  • Pre-run photo-op at The Bean and post-run celebration
  • Special incentive for stellar fundraisers – a half zip pullover (perfect for layering) for anyone who raises more than $250
  • The satisfaction of making a difference for the children with medical complexities and their families at Almost Home Kids

To join our Team, first you need to register for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K at (if you haven’t already).  You must register on this site in order to get your bib and be included in the run.

Almost Home Kids is transitioning to new technology for our Friends Asking Friends site, so stay tuned and we’ll send you the link to register for Team AHK soon.

Can we count on you once again to make a difference for the children at AHK? (CLICK ONE)

YES!! Count Me In!
NO THANKS, but I’ll support the Team!

Join us for an elegant evening of western-themed festivity on Friday April 21, 2017 at the Esplanade Lakes in Downers Grove.

Enjoy live music, dinner and dancing as well as live and silent auction, and new this year, a Wine and Whiskey Grab! Tickets are $125 through March 1, 2017, when the price goes to $150.

All proceeds benefit the children and families of Almost Home Kids Naperville. Cocktail Attire/Boots Optional!

Tickets are available at an early bird rate of $125 now:

For sponsorship information, please contact Liza Larsen at

We have received several requests from our donors and supporters about AHK branded gear. We now have two very cool options for anyone that might be interested in purchasing them. It’s a great way to spread the word about Almost Home Kids and look super cool in the process.

Please email Lisa Snow for more information – we have a t-shirt ($15) that was designed by Nikko (AHK RN) and Kari (AHK Child Life Specialist) and an orange 1/4 zip pullover ($25).

Almost Home Kids strives to understand the outcomes of its programs in order to better serve children with medical complexities and their families.  For the last three years, AHK has partnered with Sarah A. Sobotka, MD MSc, Instructor in Pediatrics, Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics  at the University of Chicago, to survey families who transition from hospital-to-home through the AHK Transitional Care program. Working together with  AHK Staff, Dr. Sobotka gives surveys to parents during admission, discharge, and 2, 6 and 12 months after transitioning home.

The main purposes of her  study were to describe parents’ skills and training with managing medical equipment, their experiences with connecting to community resources, and the  impacts of having a child with complex medical needs on parents and family overall, and note how these skills, resources, and impacts change over time.

This  data is crucial in shaping how Almost Home Kids can better serve the children that benefit from the transitional care program, as well as understanding  the challenges that face their parents and caregivers.

Photo shows Dr. Sobotka (right) explaining the survey process to DeShawn’s grandmother Phyllis.

We recently cared for a beautiful little girl with an amazing family, her name is Angeria.  Angeria was just five months old when we welcomed her to Almost Home Kids from the neonatal intensive care unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Angeria, has a twin sister, Cindy, and her parents Zhen and Hongfang, needed to be trained on her home-medical equipment and her medications.

Our Case Managers arranged for a translator to attend their meetings and training sessions as the family only speaks Mandarin. Mom and Dad quickly mastered the required care techniques. Our Child Life Specialist was able to support twin sister Cindy, while Mom and Dad completed their training. Volunteers were a huge help, because they spent countless hours holding, rocking and playing with the twins while Mom and Dad learned to navigate government agencies and secure home nursing.  During Angeria’s two month stay, our Social Worker helped identify and secure all the resources they will need in the community.  We are thrilled to report that Angeria transitioned home safely and the family is doing well.

Can we count on your financial support so that we can continue to improve the quality of life for children like Angeria and her sister Cindy? Please send a donation to Almost Home Kids. AHK operates at a deficit of $250 per child, each day and thus we turn to philanthropy to bridge the gap. We simply can’t do it without you.  Your support will make a real and lasting impact in the lives of children with complex health needs and their families.

A gift of any size will really make a difference – please click here to include Almost Home Kids in your end of year plans.

“We were able to help Angeria’s family with home health nursing and coordinate services with DSCC (Division of Specialized Care for Children)” said Molly Kim, AHK Social Worker.“Mom and dad did a fantastic job learning Angeria’s care, and they are so happy to be reunited at home as a complete family for the first time.”