Children’s Hospital of Illinois and Almost Home Kids to Build Third Facility of its Kind in the Country in Peoria, Illinois

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Children’s Hospital of Illinois has signed an affiliation agreement with Almost Home Kids (AHK) to establish a new Almost Home Kids facility and transitional care program in Peoria, Illinois for children with medical complexities and their families.

Proposed AHK facility

This affiliation is an important step towards our goal of providing all children the right care in the right place at the right time - Kelly Nierstedt, President, Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

Children’s Hospital of Illinois has signed an affiliation agreement with Almost Home Kids (AHK) to establish a new Almost Home Kids facility and transitional care program in Peoria that will help serve the needs of children with medical complexities and their families.

Children’s Hospital of Illinois, based in Peoria, is the third largest pediatric hospital in Illinois, and is part of OSF HealthCare, an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Almost Home Kids is an innovative and integrated community-based transitional care model that is the first of its kind in the country. It provides transitional care for children with complicated health needs, such as children who are dependent on a ventilator to breathe or a feeding tube for nourishment, who are ready to be discharged from the hospital but for whom preparations at home need to be made, as well as training for their families, and respite care.

In a comforting home-like setting, children 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.

Children’s Hospital of Illinois will own and operate the new AHK facility and receive on-going services from AHK.
It will be just the third facility of its kind in the nation, and the first purpose-built AHK ever. The Peoria AHK, with an estimated capital cost of $8.5 million, will be built entirely from private donations and will serve as a prototype for future AHK sites.

OSF HealthCare has identified a site for the facility and has a Letter of Intent to purchase the 15-acre site in place, pending completion of due diligence. The target date to have the AHK Peoria facility open is April 2018.

“This affiliation is an important step towards our goal of providing all children the right care in the right place at the right time,” said Kelly Nierstedt, President, Children’s Hospital of Illinois. “We have referred children to AHK for years, but the distance families have to travel to take advantage of the Chicagoland facilities combined with an increasing population of such children illustrates the need for an Almost Home Kids in Peoria. The number of children with medical complexities is growing at 6% annually and accounts for 40% of Medicaid spending on children. It’s simply the right thing to do for these children and their families.”

“This formal affiliation will help build a foundation in Illinois for transitioning more children with medical complexities successfully home and provide much needed respite care to families in the central part of the state. Together, we will have a united voice in advocating for this population,” said Debbie Grisko, President and Executive Director, Almost Home Kids.

Children's Hospital of Illinois, located in Peoria, is the third largest pediatric hospital in Illinois and the only full service tertiary hospital for children downstate with 136 beds and more than 141 pediatric subspecialists. Formally established as a pediatric hospital within the walls of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in 1990, Children's Hospital has over 7,000 admissions, 2,500 newborn deliveries, and 18,000 emergency department visits each year.

Almost Home Kids (AHK) is a short-term pediatric community based healthcare facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Health under the Alternative Healthcare Delivery Act. At Almost Home Kids our mission is to provide transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs, training for their families and respite care.

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