Category Archives: Uncategorized

Please join Top Chef competitor Carlos Gaytan at our first ever Almost Home Kids Summer Tasting Soirée – A Top Student Chef Culinary Competition and gourmet event at Kendall College benefiting the programs and children at Almost Home Kids. Senior Students will create hors d’oeuvres inspired by the cultural backgrounds of AHK families, while attendees will have the chance to select the winner of the AHK Top Student Chef Scholarship.

THURSDAY, JUNE 15
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
KENDALL COLLEGE – 900 N. Branch Street, Chicago
Complimentary Parking will be available in the parking lot north of Kendall College

Click Here to purchase tickets: $125

 

We currently have clinical employment opportunities at AHK available, and recently hosted an Open House that was sponsored and organized by our friends at Titus Talent Strategies.

The Open House was a great way for people to get a better understanding of our programs, and learn about the various employment opportunities we currently have available – RN’s, Resource Nurses and CNA openings at both locations.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply, please email April Alexander, AHK Director of Nursing.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Naperville gala and wore western gear and fabulous jewelry at our Boots n’ Bling; a Western Fling event on Friday April 28th. Over $150,000 was raised at the event, plus with many new attendees in the room we were able to reach lots of new friends and tell the all about Almost Home Kids.

Michelle and Jon Freeman gave a very heartwarming parent testimonial about their son Peter, who came to us for transitional Care that truly touched everyone in the room.

Thank you to Patti Vasquez (from WGN radio’s Pretty Late) who was our awesome host for the evening, and Marion Valle for raising the gavel as our auctioneer.

We broke some impressive fundraising goals by doubling the usual amount raised at the Fund a Need and the auction, plus the attendees had a very fun time dancing to the live music of modern country band Lincoln Don’t Lie, who rocked the night away. The night kicked off with some great fiddling from the violin group from String Serenade.

We recognized two very special awardees, Carolyn Johnson (Volunteer Extraordinaire) and Mullarkey Associates (Share the Care Champions) – great ambassadors of AHK, and amazing supporters is so many different ways.

ATI, Neuco, UPS, JMG Financial, Mullarkey Associates and The Meeting House were our corporate sponsors – Thank You!!

We are thrilled to be recognizing two wonderful awardees on Friday at our Naperville Gala “Boots & Bling” a Western Fling. Hope you can join us to recognize their amazing support of Almost Home Kids over the years.

Mullarkey Associates
Share the Care Champion
Mullarkey Associates, Inc. was founded by Martin Mullarkey, Sr. and Barbara Mullarkey in 1971 in the basement of their home. Mullarkey Associates operates as a manufacturer’s representative company that focuses on the water related markets that include; Municipal, Industrial, Swim Pool, and Carwash Markets. The Company represents 14 manufacturers in the 13 Midwestern states. The company is head quartered in Tinley Park, IL.
Today, the company is managed by their two sons Martin Jr. and Michael with advisement from their son Matthew.
The Mullarkey Family have been close personal friends of Debbie Grisko, AHK President and Executive Director, her parents and her siblings for many years. When Debbie joined Almost Home Kids in 2007, Mullarkey Associates became one of Almost Home Kids’ most steadfast supporters. Since 2007, Mullarkey Associates has contributed more than $40,000 to Almost Home Kids, making an indelible impact on our success as an organization through sponsorship of everything from Galas to Golf Outings to the Margaret M. and Thomas M. Curran Healing Garden at our Naperville home.
In addition to the meaningful contributions Mullarkey Associates have made at Almost Home Kids, the rest of the family have been very much involved as well – Matt Mullarkey serves on the AHK Executive Board, and has supported us in many ways – including golfing 100 holes in our annual Golf Marathon and Grace Mullarkey has served on past organizing committees – it’s been a family affair.

Carolyn Johnson
Volunteer Extraordinaire
Carolyn Johnson is a member of the Almost Home Kids President’s Council and was previously a member of the Almost Home Kids Board of Directors. She served on the Program Committee as one of the original team members that created a protocol for collecting outcomes of care and demographic data for the children served by Almost Home Kids. She continues to be involved in the generation of yearly data reports which are used by the Almost Home Kids staff to track trends, create presentations, and write grant proposals.
Carolyn’s connection to Almost Home Kids began when her son, Michael, stayed at the Naperville site in the Respite Care Program. The Johnson family is eternally grateful for the care Michael received, and Carolyn has spoken at many Almost Home Kids functions about the positive impact of this experience on both family and community.
Carolyn graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Applied Statistics from DePaul University. She is a Lead Staff Engineer and Six Sigma Black Belt with Continental Automotive Systems, and has spent her career working in the area of automotive pressure sensors and exhaust & emissions sensors.

Carolyn’s connection to Almost Home Kids began when her son, Michael, stayed at the Naperville site in the Respite Care Program. The Johnson family is eternally grateful for the care Michael received, and Carolyn has spoken at many Almost Home Kids functions about the positive impact of this experience on both family and community. Carolyn’s husband Joe has also participated in the Golf Marathon for AHK and along with their son Tom they have attended AHK events for several years.

Almost Home Kids helps our parents and caregivers connect with medical, governmental and community resources and agencies. The list below has been put together by our social work team – new updated info and links have been added recently:

American Academy of Pediatrics
Dedicated to the Health of all Children, this physician-run academy provides an excellent source of information to parents/caregivers.
http://www.aap.org/

American Cancer Society
Information on childhood cancer:
http://www.cancer.org

American Lung Association of Illinois – Greater Chicago
This statewide health organization has the state’s leading experts on lung disease as members. The mission is to make a world free of lung disease and to promote lung health.
www.lungil.org

The ARC of Illinois
Statewide Health Information Resource for Families of Children and Youth with Special Needs. It is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.
http://www.thearcofil.org/
http://www.thearcofil.org/familytofamily/

Access Living
We equip people with disabilities with the tools to overcome societal barriers to inclusion by imparting independent living skills, teaching economic self-sufficiency, and enabling people with disabilities to transition to autonomous community living
https://www.accessliving.org/

Center for Disability & Elder Law
The Chicago Bar Association founded this nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the legal rights of low-income persons with disabilities and senior citizens in Cook County.
http://www.cdelaw.org/

The Center for Independence through Conductive Education
Provides unique intensive group method of special education which expects and demands active learning and participation by the child in attempting to overcome his/her motor disability (i.e., cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury), The founder’s motto: When you do not educate the child to be independent, you educate the child to be dependent. Dr. Andras Peto.
http://www.center-for-independence.org/

Cerebral Palsy Group – Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that was created so that it may serve the individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We are here to provide information and support so that we may help provide resources and education to those affected by CP. https://cerebralpalsygroup.com/

Cerebral Palsy Guidance –  Cerebral Palsy Guidance covers medical information, like symptoms and treatment, as well as daily living topics, including counseling, abuse, college/careers, bullying and more. You can read more at cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/living/

Community Support Services
A private not-for-profit service agency that initiates provides and promotes services for people with developmental disabilities and their families, within their communities.http://www.communitysupportservices.org

Easter Seals Disability Services
Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region provides services for infants, children and adults with disabilities to achieve maximum independence, and to provide support for the families who love and care for them. http://dfvr.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ILDU_contactus

Entertainment Guide for Families of Children with Special Needs
Family vacations and daytrips enrich everyone’s lives. They can provide children and parents with new perspectives, not to mention relaxation mixed with excitement. Unfortunately, vacations are also a source of stress for many families – and particularly those that include a child with special needs. But with a little planning, preparation and information, a trip can be a source of joy rather than distress. Here are some great ideas for families to explore.
http://eguide.thecplawyer.com

Ever Thrive Illinois
Ever Thrive Illinois works to improve the health of women, children, and families over the lifespan through community engagement, partnerships, policy analysis, education, and advocacy.
http://www.everthriveil.org/

Family Support Network of Illinois
Their mission is to unify individuals with disabilities and their families to advocate for funding, services, and community resources that strengthen and support the individual and empowering them to life in their own homes.
http://www.familysupportnetwork.org/

Health & Disability Advocates
HDA is a social innovator that promotes health and economic security for vulnerable populations so that they can lead secure, dignified lives. HDA works with, but is not limited to, the following: low income families and individuals, children, youth, older adults, adults with disabilities, and Veterans and service members.
http://www.hdadvocates.org/

Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disability caused by brain damage that restricts normal movement and coordination. Each year, 10,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy Guide provides free educational materials, financial options and support to help those across the country affected by this disorder.
https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/

Make-a-Wish Foundation
Since 1980 this foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work.
www.wish.org

Medline Plus
Providing “Trusted Health Information for You” this government website has topics and news on conditions, diseases and wellness.
http://medlineplus.gov/

National Center for Learning Disabilities
Special Education Services for students with learning disabilities are covered under the Individuals with
Disabilities Learning Act (IDEA) which provides states with federal funds to help make special education services available to students with disabilities. http://www.ncld.org/

Normal Moments, Inc.
Helping parents/caregivers of children with critical illnesses by providing support to them in the home, in hospital and via web resources.
http://www.normalmoments.org

PACT, Inc
An independent Services Coordination Agency in DuPage County, providing individual service coordination for people with disabilities.
http://www.pactinc.net/

The Kids Equipment Network
We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to connecting children with special needs, from birth to 21 years of age, who have little or no funding, with needed durable adaptive equipment.
http://www.tken.org

Governmental Agencies –

Departments of Health – by County in Illinois
Your resource for many Health Services: mental health, community and environmental health.
http://www.idph.state.il.us/local/alpha.htm

Specific websites for childhood immunizations and the WIC programs in some Northern Illinois counties are given below:

WIC: Women Infants & Children Clinics
WIC is a federally funded program to aid low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and children up to the age of 5 who are at nutritional risk. The Food and Nutrition Services branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes grants to states to provide supplemental foods, health care referral and nutrition education to women, infants and children.

Cook County:
http://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/services

DeKalb County:
http://dekalbhealth.net/hs/women-infants-children/

DuPage County:
http://www.dupagehealth.org/

Kane County:
http://www.kanehealth.com/maternal_child.htm

Lake County:
https://www.lakecountyil.gov/2049/Women-Infants-Children-WIC

McHenry County:
https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/health-department/nursing/maternal-child-health-services/wic-women-infants-and-children-

Will County:
http://www.willcountyhealth.org/Children-and-Families/Family-Health-Services/FHSD/category/2355/Women-Children-and-Infants-Nutrition-WIC

Winnebago County:
http://www.wchd.org/faq.cfm?cat=324

Childhood Immunizations
Cook County:
http://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/immunization-resources

DeKalb County:
http://dekalbhealth.net/hs/immunizations/

DuPage County:
http://www.dupagehealth.org/women-children-health-immunization-services

Kane County:
http://www.kanehealth.com/immunizations.htm

Lake County:
https://www.lakecountyil.gov/862/Immunizations

McHenry County:
https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/health-department/nursing/clinic-services

Will County:
http://patch.com/illinois/bolingbrook/will-county-health-department-has-new-walk-in-immunizefe8d39e8b

Winnebago County:
http://www.wchd.org/faq.cfm?cat=315

Department of Human Services – Illinois
Services to help families meet basic needs and to become self-sufficient. Links to Early intervention services for children up to three years of age are included in the second and third link below.
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx

http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=31889

Division of Specialized Services for Children
The link below provides an information library and resources for families and children with special health care needs.
http://dscc.uic.edu/browse-resources/

This link brings you to a pamphlet entitled “Planning for your Teenager’s Future” for families of teenagers with special needs.
http://dscc.uic.edu/resources/healthcare-transition/

Please join us for our first ever Almost Home Kids Summer Tasting Soirée – A Top Student Chef Culinary Competition and gourmet event at Kendall College benefiting the programs and children at Almost Home Kids. Senior Students will create hors d’oeuvres inspired by the cultural backgrounds of AHK families, while attendees will have the chance to select the winner of a Top Student Chef Scholarship. Kendall College offers a cool setting with ample onsite parking.

Where: Kendall College 900 N North Branch St, Chicago, IL 60642
When: Thursday June 15th, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Why: to help raise awareness and funds for Almost Home Kids
Tickets: $125 each

Please contact Judith McLean with any questions, or to secure a particular sponsorship level: jmclean@almosthomekids.org | 312-399-0013

 $10,000 – The Chef

  • 25 tickets
  • Event Name would be changed to accommodate sponsor name
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

$5,000 – The Sous Chef

  • 15 tickets
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

 $2,500 – The Saucier

  • 10 tickets
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

$1,000 – The Top Student Chef Scholarship Award (sold out)

  • $1,000 goes to the winner of the culinary competition
  • Opportunity to name the scholarship
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

Join the AHK Young Associates Board for their cool annual “No Place Like Home” event.

Friday April 28th at 7 PM – 10 PM at the Bassment, 353 W Hubbard St, Chicago, Illinois 60654.

There will be beer, wine, cocktails, appetizers and a great band One Moment From Glory.

Tickets are $85 (until April 14) and $100 (if purchased after April 14, or at the door). Click Here to purchase tix.

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
Full-Time/Regular

Salary Grade
RN

FTE Status
.9

Work Days
Monday thru Sunday, every other weekend rotation

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

Shift
NIGHT/DAY

 

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
e AAlexander@almosthomekids.org