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We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help make each Almost Home Kids feel like home. Individual volunteers, volunteer groups and the community make a difference allowing Almost Home Kids to provide a better quality of life for children who are medically complex, and their families. Volunteers are an integral part of the daily functioning of Almost Home Kids and we always welcome individuals who would like to be a Recreational Volunteer  with the children as well as volunteer groups to our home!

Volunteer Opportunities Include:

  • Recreational Activities with the Children – Opportunities are available 7 days a week
  • Administrative Tasks – NAPERVILLE & PEORIA – Opportunities are available on an as-needed basis
  • Gardening/Yard Work Tasks in NAPERVILLE & PEORIA
  • Coordinating of Fundraising Events benefiting Almost Home Kids
  • Coordinating Donation Drives benefiting Almost Home Kids
  • Event Support Volunteer
  • Corporate Volunteer Days

Recreational Volunteers engage the children with play activities such as reading, puzzles, sensory toys or simply holding a baby.  It is important you feel you would be comfortable volunteering with a child who has complex medical needs. We require a volunteer commitment of a minimum of 4 volunteer hours  every month for the 4-5 month time period following your Orientation.   If you are interested in becoming a Recreational Volunteer with the children here are the guidelines:

  • Volunteers need to complete an online application & then will be invited to register and attend the next available monthly Volunteer Orientation
  • Volunteers need to be able to commit to a minimum of 4 hours per month in the 4- 5 month time period following your Orientation*
  • Volunteers need to submit a printed COLOR copy of a photo ID
  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age to be a Recreational Volunteer
  • Volunteers need to be up to date with all vaccinations
  • Volunteers need to submit documentation  of a TB test (administered within last 12 months)
  • Volunteers need to  submit documentation of a seasonal Flu shot during the Flu season months of October – April
  • Volunteers 18 years old and older will be asked to complete a Background Check form at Orientation
  • Volunteer shifts are available 7-days a week from 10am to 7pm
  • Volunteers will choose their own 1 to 2 hour shifts based on calendar availability each week
  • AHK is not an appropriate site for court mandated service hours
  • A Note for Students: If you are volunteering to meet a class requirement or are a Service Learning Student, the process is the same and you must attend an orientation. Contracts or other paperwork requiring a signature cannot be signed prior to the volunteer attending an orientation.

The first step to becoming a volunteer is to  complete the online NEW CHICAGO & NAPERVILLE VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM or PEORIA VOLUNTEER APPLICATION. Once your application is approved and you have confirmed your documentation is up to date for your TB & Flu (during Flu season) ~ you will be invited by the Community Outreach Coordinator; Lisa Snow via email, to register for the next available Volunteer Orientation.  However, please note we invite volunteers in order of submission of their application and it can take several weeks to get through this process. 

Orientations are typically held once a month at each location on Thursdays & are approximately 1.5 hours in length.  They do fill up quickly because we limit the number to 12 in attendance.   Please be sure and indicate in your email which location you are applying for.

We love the original hand-painted mural that was created for us at Almost Home Kids by madly talented artists from TracyLocke Chicago Office. There are so many fun elements that combine our animal theme from the kids doors, iconic Chicago emblems and imagery  with quotes from our nursing staff and from our healing garden in Naperville. It truely is a one-of-a-kind.

Special thanks to Kelsey who spearheaded the project and Chris and all the artists who not only painted but also read to the kids during a story hour and stuffed envelopes for us!

Thank you all for donating your time and creative energy to bring a lot of joy to our home. 

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Hard to believe it by looking outside, but Spring will be here before you know it, and with it, the annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K!

Please consider joining our Team for this year’s Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday, March 24!

Members of Team AHK receive a dri-fit orange running shirt emblazoned with “Running for a Cause” on the back. You just need to commit to raising $40 or more for the children at AHK via our easy to use online fundraising platform.  Your commitment helps AHK provide transitional and respite care in a home-like setting and training for parents of children with medical complexities.

To join Team AHK for the Shamrock Shuffle*,  email elarsen@almosthomekids.org as an Individual, or select to Start a Team and recruit friends or family members to make a difference along with you.

We look forward to seeing you once again at The Bean on March 24!

*Don’t forget to register at the main Shamrock Shuffle race site first.

Thanks a million to all of you for supporting Giving Tuesday – [drum-roll] we raised nearly $50,000!!!!

These contributions include matching gifts from the Coleman Foundation and Skender Foundation. The impact of these donations is far reaching and we are most grateful for each and every gift.

THANK YOU for making a difference!

Join us on April 12th for our annual suburban gala – I’ll be There, a Motown Affair at Embassy Suites in Naperville. The Spring gala is our most important fundraising event in the western suburbs for our Naperville home, and we are very grateful to Yonhee Gordon and Sheila Gallagher for co-chairing an amazing organizing committee to host what promises to be a very fun event. Please say “I’ll be There!”

Tickets and sponsorship’s are available now please click here

Some Interesting Naperville Gala Facts:

  • “I’ll Be There” – A Motown Affair on April 12, 2019
    Galas have raised more than $1,800,000 for AHK Naperville since 1998
  • 300-400 community leaders and friends of AHK Naperville support the event each year
  • Past galas have been presented by Hinsdale Juniors and Downers Grove Area Newcomers
  • Silent and Live auctions traditionally raise over $40,000 critically needed funds for AHK
  • Hosted in a contemporary and convenient new venue, Embassy Suites in Naperville
  • Dancing, entertainment and lively themes and décor provide a fun and memorable experience
  • Distinguished guests at the event include prominent leaders in design, healthcare and wealth management industries
  • Sponsors have included UPS, NEUCO, JMG Financial, Veritas Risk Services, ATI, Executive Construction Inc., Oakley Home Builders, Adventist Hinsdale and Edwards Elmhurst

Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events.  They do this through play, preparation, and education. The child life program at Almost Home Kids at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois is an integral part of the overall care and well-being of each child that comes to Almost Home Kids. By facilitating play opportunities, at the bedside and in playrooms, their continued growth and development is greatly enhanced.

The sisters have generously donated an interactive robotic seal to the Child life program at Almost Home Kids!  This gift has been found to reduce patient stress, stimulate interaction between patients and caregivers, improve patients’ relaxation and motivation and improve the socialization of patients with each other and with caregivers

It moves, makes noise, and responds to voices.  It is really cute and Ben loves it!

We recently featured in several recent Architectural and Design trade articles:

Stantec’s design of a transitional care home for children with complex medical conditions recently came to life with the opening of Almost Home Kids at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, Illinois. Almost Home Kids helps children with complicated medical needs transition safely from the hospital into their home and educates families on how to care for their children in a comfortable, supportive environment.

Based on an operational model designed with best practices and lessons learned from two existing Almost Home Kids sites affiliated with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Almost Home Kids and Stantec embarked on the development of a prototype building for partner organizations looking to adopt and implement this first-of-its-kind transitional care model within their communities.

OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, the third largest pediatric hospital in Illinois, partnered with Almost Home Kids to realize the first implementation of this national prototype. This partnership engaged Stantec to assist in the design, medical planning, and interiors for the new 22,000-square-foot space. Throughout the design and site adaptation process, Stantec teamed up with a panel of Almost Home Kids clinicians and families to ensure that the feeling of coming home was embodied throughout every aspect of the house.

“This is much more than just a project for us,” said Rebel Roberts, principal designer at Stantec. “It’s a positive healing space and a comforting home where families feel relieved and welcome. We hope this prototype continues to get adopted and we see more Almost Home Kids facilities throughout the country, because they truly are remarkable.”

Replicating the comforting home-like setting of all AHK facilities, children at Almost Home Kids at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois receive 24-hour medical and nursing support from skilled pediatric nurses. Almost Home Kids educates families on how to provide the best care for their children by training them to confidently operate and maintain their child’s home medical equipment, prepare medications and treatments, and maximize government support systems such as home modification and/or obtaining home nursing hours.

The newest Almost Home Kids is located at 5200 N Hamilton Rd, Peoria, IL 61614.

For Stantec, health is at the center of who we are and what we do. Made up of 3,500 building professionals in 200 locations, our health sector design team members live and work locally, accessing colleagues who are working around the globe for fresh and informed input. Our teams are supported by our company-wide proprietary health research, experience in lean design, and expertise in alternative delivery systems.

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN.

Night Shift RN Openings at Almost Home Kids (Naperville & Chicago)

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:

  1. Performs nursing assessments utilizing a variety of assessment methods and/or area-specific tools.
  2. Individualizes existing plans of care and develops goals relative to family needs. Evaluates and documents changes to the plan.
  3. 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.
  4. Performs nursing care according to procedures/protocols. Anticipates impending emergent situations and intervenes effectively.
  5. 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.
  6. Keeps up to date in nursing practice by utilizing current nursing and healthcare literature for information and problem solving.
  7. Incorporates current hospital and departmental quality initiatives into daily activities.
  8. Adheres to communication, service excellence and professional image standards that support the hospital mission and philosophy.
  9. Identifies learning needs and seeks resources to advance nursing practice and achieve professional goals.
  10. 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.

There are night shift positions available at both sites (Naperville and Chicago). Please contact Amy Galetti, Director of Nursing, for more information or to apply: AGaletti@luriechildrens.org or click here

Giving Tuesday is November 27, 2018.  It’s described as a “movement” in philanthropic circles to encourage early giving to kick off the holiday season.  It occurs after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Please mark your calendar for this important day.

On 11/27, please give at http://give.almosthomekids.org/GiveNow

The Coleman Foundation is matching any gift to Almost Home Kids over $175 made online from November 1, 2018 through November 27, 201 and on 11/27, Skender Foundation will match gifts of any amount.  Don’t miss this opportunity to double your impact!

 

Join the AHK Team!
Nurse Educator at Almost Home Kids

General Summary of Position Responsibility
Fosters a learning environment and coordinates educational activities to achieve and advance the clinical competency and professional development of patient care staff.

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Coordinates area orientation designed to achieve the clinical competency of staff. Assesses clinical reasoning skills of staff and provides learning opportunities to advance clinical competencies, critical thinking, and decision-making skills of staff.
  2. Fosters interdisciplinary learning opportunities with the delivery of patient care and fosters staff decision-making in the context of the healthcare continuum.
  3. Fosters the development of leadership, teamwork, and customer service skills. Assesses the learning needs of staff and reviews performance improvement data to provide educational activities which meet the needs of staff and achieve expected family care outcomes.
  4. Employs a variety of interactive teaching strategies.
  5. Evaluates the outcomes of orientation and educational activities in collaboration with staff, clinical, administrative and educational leaders. Revises learning activities based on results of evaluation.
  6. Serves as a clinical resource for patient care staff. Mentors and actively facilitates the clinical and professional advancement of staff. Coaches orientees and guides staff to appropriate resources to achieve performance expectations.
  7. Serves as a role model and facilitates research and scholarly activities. Links staff to expert sources of knowledge. Actively fosters staff utilization of research findings in clinical practice.
  8. Provides consultation to leadership regarding systems for clinical competency and ongoing professional development of staff. Participates in the development and attainment of clinical goals and objectives. Conducing quality audits as required.
  9. Maintains the documentation and record keeping system in compliance with organizational and external agency requirements.
  10. Participates in outreach education to advance pediatric clinical practice in the professional community.
  11. 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.
  12. Responsible for tracking, reporting, and improving clinical quality metrics.
  13. Other job functions as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • A Bachelor of Science or Arts degree required. Master’s degree in area of clinical specialization and/or education preferred. Licensed in area of clinical practice.
  • Three or more years of clinical experience preferred.
  • Possesses effective teaching skills.
  • Ability to assess and respond quickly to patient care situations. Ability to effectively communicate with patients, families, physicians, and hospital staff. Ability to operate and move audio/visual equipment from location to location.

Please contact Amy Galetti, Director of Nursing, for more information or to apply: AGaletti@luriechildrens.org