The fifth annual Verrill Farm Harvest Festival raised $12,800 to benefit the pediatric unit at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass. The money will fund the pediatric intervention team’s coping kits.
The kits are colorful bags containing therapeutic toys for children who enter the ED or are admitted to the pediatric unit. Using the kits is one way Emerson’s intervention team aims to reduce children’s anxieties in the healthcare environment and promote opportunities for growth and mastery of the hospital experience.Twins Zachary and Lilly enjoy the festival.
The coping kit pilot program was launched in 2005. Since then, more than 17,500 kits have been distributed to pediatric patients. Each is color-coded for age and gender, designed with an understanding of the developmental needs of children and the stressors encountered by a child entering a medical environment.
“Stressors include fear of separation, fear of pain, intimidating surroundings and loss of control and privacy,” Liebmann said. “The coping kits help children and parents cope more successfully with the hospital experience.”Cadence enjoys a pony ride at the festival.
The festival, which was held in October, featured games and activities for all ages such as pumpkin picking, hay rides, face-painting, pony rides, a raffle and live music. A table featured information on the coping kits.
“It is with utmost gratitude that we thank Verrill Farm for hosting their … festival to support the hospital’s pediatric coping kit program,” said Kay Liebmann, RN, nurse manager of Emerson’s pediatric intervention team. “The kits have enabled thousands of children to be active participants in their own care and to cope with necessary medical procedures.”
Serving the Boston area, Verrill Farm grows 140 acres of fruits and vegetables and provides a bakery and kitchen. Its mission, said owner Steve Verrill, is “to nourish the body and soul of customers by providing healthful food of superb flavor in surroundings of beauty.”