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Philanthropy Drives the Mission of Rady Children’s Hospital

Behavioral health and other services are all made possible by donor support

If you ask local parents Andrew and Michelle about their experience with one of Rady Children’s behavioral health programs, they’ll tell you how thankful they are to have had support during such a challenging time.

The parents brought their 14-year-old daughter Emily (names changed to respect patient privacy) to the Behavioral Health Urgent Care, where they discovered she had been facing depression and anxiety. The facility treated Emily on a short-term basis until she was matched with a therapist in the community.

During Emily’s last appointment, Michelle said she was grateful for Rady Children’s, where they found support like none other. Furthermore, Emily found someone she could openly express her feelings to.

Kristin Brada, director of Inpatient Behavioral Health Programs, says she’s heard many stories of appreciative families like Emily’s: “Rady Children’s is committed to treating the whole child. Philanthropic support is at the heart of our mission to bring mental and behavioral health care to patients and their families alongside medical care. As a not-for-profit hospital, Rady Children’s relies on the generosity of the community to continue to provide world-class care to each child who needs us. ”

The support of donors has played an even bigger role during the pandemic, when an increasing number of children are being treated for behavioral health. “Since the Copley Psychiatric Emergency Department admitted its first patients in July 2020, more than 6,000 patients have been presented with behavioral health concerns to the main Emergency Department,” Brada says. “Similarly, the Behavioral Health Urgent Care provided crisis services to more than 2,000 children last year.”

But philanthropy does more than fund the crucial larger programs. It also helps to fulfill smaller needs, such as teddy bears to comfort children, books to help educate them on their medical conditions, medical toys that explain procedures, car seat replacements for children who’ve been in a vehicle accident, transportation for families who arrive by ambulance and don’t have the means to get home, and more.

“Philanthropy supports life-changing and lifesaving programs,” Brada says. “It also provides daily support for our most vulnerable populations.”

For more information about supporting Rady Children’s, visit radyfoundation.org or call 858-966-7878.

Published in Healthy Kids Magazine, Spring 2022