In partnership with Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Vitalant (formerly United Blood Services) will be on-site to collect blood for the needs of Southern Nevadans. Many factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have drastically reduced the available supply of blood in the region.
The impact of COVID-19 on the blood supply has resulted in the cancelation of hundreds of local blood drives. These cancellations will impact the national blood supply with loss of 27,000 blood donations by the end of this year.
The impact of COVID-19 on the blood supply affects our entire community including patients of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation who may require additional blood during their pediatric cancer treatment, including surgery, transfusions, or other medical procedures.
All donors must wear a mask when donating.
All donors who have a successful donation will receive a COVID-19 antibody test
WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 2020
TIME: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: One Breakthrough Way, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89135.
The Vitalant Bloodmobile will be located in front of the building located near Town Center Drive and the 215 Beltway.
Ways to Donate:
Make an appointment by calling: 877-258-4825 (877-25-VITAL)
Make an appointment online at bloodhero.com — enter code: Cure4Kids
The Vitalant bloodmobile will be able to accommodate drop-in donors throughout the day. We ask that all donors remain patient when they arrive.
Blood Donor Requirements:
Must be at least 16 years old (16 and 17 year old much bring a signed permission form from parent/guardian)
- Weigh at least 110 pounds
- Be in good general health
- Eat within two hours prior to donation and drink plenty of water before donation
- Bring photo ID
Do NOT donate if you had symptoms from a diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the past four weeks, or have been in close contact with individuals diagnosed or suspected of COVID-19 infection
Blood donation facts:
*25 percent of the blood collected in Southern Nevada comes from high schools and college blood drives.
*Vitalant is seeking blood donors to make up for the shortfall of thousands of uncollected donations at canceled high school and college blood drives.
*As the pandemic continues, convalescent plasma donations are also needed now to help patients currently battling this disease.
Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has announced a first-of-its-kind educational partnership within the State of Nevada to help pediatric cancer patients – and others with catastrophic conditions – advance their educational progress while receiving life-saving treatments.
The Andre Agassi Foundation For Education Learning Center is located in the same building as Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. It will provide patients with direct access to a licensed Clark County School District (CCSD) teacher. CCSD educator Jennifer Morris along with a teacher’s aide will work throughout the school year to assist patients before and after clinic appointments.
Generous funding from the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education will cover the Learning Center’s build-out, operating costs, supplies, educational software and equipment and more.
”The Learning Center is something I’ve dreamed of providing to our patients for years, but we haven’t been in a position to offer it until now,” said Annette Logan-Parker, president and CEO, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “Thankfully, some inspired individuals and groups have stepped forward to help us make this happen.”
Through its support of the Learning Center, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education continues its mission to improve the lives of underserved youth by providing educational opportunities.
“Cure 4 The Kids Foundation does an amazing job of caring for kids with pediatric cancer and other long-term illnesses,” said Julie Pippenger, COO, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “The move to add an educational and resource component to their list of priorities while caring for these young patients is just another example of the level of commitment and compassion Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has for these children and their families. The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is proud to be a founding partner and supporter of the Learning Center.”
As a CCSD educator, Morris will have access to CCSD curriculum and teaching materials and will offer a full range of educational and support services for Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patients and their families. All educational assistance offered during the Learning Center’s first semester will be provided virtually in recognition of COVID-19 guidelines. Even with those safeguards, Morris will provide virtual one-on-one tutoring, interactive lessons and activities, parental and patient support for the Canvas educational delivery program, and other general education needs.
“At a time when our children are facing so many challenges and hardships in their lives, their schooling shouldn’t be one of them,” said Jennifer Morris, CCSD educator. “Our goal in the Learning Center is to offer our students a balance of educational activities, supports, and a lot of fun so that when they are ready to resume their regular schooling, the transition is smooth and successful.”
Patients will schedule sessions in the Learning Center before or after their clinic visits, as well as during frequent chemotherapy infusions, which can take hours to complete. The Clark County School District is covering the cost of Morris’ salary during the school year“This learning center is an important step to ensure normalcy in the lives of our courageous children by providing them and their parents with access to an educator and other resources to assist with their specific education needs,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara, “CCSD is proud to partner with Cure 4 The Kids Foundation to support our brave students and their families going through this particularly challenging time.”
One of the principal advocates of the Learning Center is Ellen Bordinhao, a retired teacher who spent 33 years with CCSD. Her daughter, Janie, was a Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patient and a teacher, who dreamed of having a position where she could work with children battling cancer. Through her daughter’s 20-month medical journey, Ellen saw firsthand the difficulty families faced addressing their child’s educational needs while also battling a devastating disease. Sadly, Janie passed away on January 15, 2019, but Ellen and her family are determined to have Janie’s legacy live on and benefit other patients. In honor of Janie, a portion of the Learning Center is named Janie’s Classroom.
“Our family is so grateful for the medical care Janie received at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation,” said Ellen Bordinhao. “It’s my job to pay it forward in memory of my beautiful daughter. I am honored to be doing this work.”
The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education Learning Center is a vital benefit for children undergoing treatment for cancer and other long-term conditions. Pediatric patients are unable to attend class while in treatment because their immune systems are compromised, and a typical classroom environment could be life-threatening. As a result, patients often fall behind in their educational studies during the months and years of treatment.
Pictured L to R: Alan Ikeda, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation; Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, Clark County School District; Ellen Bordinhao, Janie Strong Foundation; Steve Miller, President & CEO, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education; Annette Logan-Parker, President & CEO, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Julie Pippenger, COO, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education
Hablo Español = I speak Spanish.
For a significant number of our patient families, the challenge of fully understanding medical treatments and sometimes complicated explanations are even more difficult. That’s because either the patient or family members speak a native language other than English.
As a medical facility, this issue is vital because clear communication with patients and their families is essential to everything we do.
It was an employee who approached Patient Experience Director Katherine “Kat” Salkanovic that triggered an idea to help address the needs of these families. After hearing the concept, Kat wondered, could something as simple as a button that says Hablo Español help?
It turns out it did!
Salkanovic says she’s had patient family members come to her with tears in their eyes thanking her for identifying those employees who can assist them in the Spanish language.
“We have a lot of patients who speak Spanish, and we know that having the ability to speak to someone in their native language is helpful, reassuring, and builds trust. We also have many employees who speak Spanish. Still, there was nothing suggesting they speak Spanish – so this was an easy way to let our patient families easily recognize those who can help them,” said Salkanovic.
There are about 20 employees who wear buttons. They include nurses, medical assistants, and providers, and you’ll find them throughout the clinic, including the front desk, and at check-out.
For those patient families who speak a language other than Spanish, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation also provides access to a translation program that offers language assistance for medical appointments in more than 200 different languages. Anyone with questions about this service can learn more when they check-in at the front desk.
Meet Katherine Salkanovic, Director of Patient Experience
Some of our best employees at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation have had the opportunity to grow in their careers at the same time our organization has grown.
A perfect example of this kind of opportunity can be found in our Director of Patient Experience Katherine Salkanovic, who often goes by Kat.
Did you know Kat originally wanted to be an accountant? In fact, in one of her first positions in the organization in Credentialing, she was shadowing Christine Tonn, the chief financial officer of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, to whom she also became the Executive Assistant. Although Accounting was her focus at that time, the more she learned about the organization, the more she knew her future was about to change.
Cure 4 The Kids: Accounting is what originally brought you to Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. What was it about our organization that made you think you might want to be involved in other areas?
I was drawn to Cure 4 The Kids Foundation from the start. Prior to joining C4K, I worked for over 8 years at another non-profit cancer center. When they were forced to close their doors, I knew I wanted to stay in the non-profit sector, and I knew it had to be a cancer clinic.
You see, I lost my dad to cancer when I was 22 years old, and we had a very traumatic and negative experience. Since that day – I promised to myself that I would do everything in my power to change the way Patient Experience is delivered – I wanted to change the world. I saw C4K as the place where I could do it and make a difference. This is a place that was built around an experience, and excellence was their goal. I wanted to be a part of the place that set the bar so high. There was nowhere else I wanted to be! While I did have an Associate’s in Accounting from Santiago, Chile, I was unable to transfer my credits here. For me, Accounting was the easy path, but I learned very quickly that I belonged somewhere else.
Cure 4 The Kids: You had some heart-to-heart talks with CEO Annette Logan-Parker about your future when you understood that accounting may not be your ultimate career goal. What advice did she give you and what actions did that lead to?
I just can’t say enough about Annette. She’s such an amazing leader, but also, she’s such wonderful human being. She has the gift to see into people’s souls, and she astonish us all with her ability to see the best in people every time.
I swear, she knew what I wanted, before I knew it myself.
She knew about my dad and about my calling, so she asked me “what do you want to do” and I responded, “I want to change the world”. She understood, so she helped me with a path that could make me run the department where we get to make the all changes that affect Patient Experience – we get to change the world!
Annette encouraged me to pursue my bachelor’s degree (which I switched careers to healthcare management!), and become a Certified Patient Experience Professional. I was the second person in the state to hold this very prestigious certification.
Cure 4 The Kids: You were Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s first-ever Patient Experience Manager, and now you are the director of that department. In many ways, this position seems like it was tailor-made for you. What it is about your job you find most satisfying?
It does feel like this role was tailor-made for me.
Having had a very negative experience when my dad got diagnosed with cancer and later when he lost his battle to this horrible disease gave me a front row seat to “what not to do”. I don’t want any family or patient to go through what I went through.
What I enjoy the most about my job is that I get to spend my days with the most amazing kids in the world. Getting to create policies and procedures that makes their visit a positive experience its just a plus.
Knowing that we are educating families on what to expect from a healthcare provider and to not accept any less is truly rewarding. Families deserve to receive the best care possible, with compassion, empathy, and respect – and in a language they can understand.
It is my job to build that trust, and it’s a job that I treasure with everything within me.
Cure 4 The Kids: You recently earned your Master’s in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Healthcare. It’s tough to work full-time, manage a family at home, and pursue a degree. It’s also a great accomplishment! Do you have advice to others who may be thinking about obtaining additional education while balancing a lot of responsibilities?
It was tough, I am not going to lie. And there were times where I wanted to give up, specially after failing one of my classes. I remember walking into Annette’s office and telling her that I was deeply disappointed in myself because I had failed my final statistics exam. She gave me a warm smile and said “that’s great Kat! Failing builds character, and in the long run, this will make you a better leader! Did you know that the most successful bankers are hired because they have failures documented on their careers? Get up, dust yourself off, and do it again!”
So, my advice is: Don’t stop. It’s ok to fail, but its not ok give up. It will be hard, and it be challenging – but truly, all the best things in life are too.
Cure 4 The Kids Note: Katherine was chosen to be a featured speaker at the upcoming Next Generation Patient Experience Annual Conference. This virtual gathering of America’s top minds is aimed at sharing ideas, networking, and learning about the latest technology that are improving patient experience in the medical field.
FAMED ANTHROPOLOGIST MARGARET MEAD once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” That same pioneering spirit and determination lives in Annette Logan-Parker, who co-founded Cure 4 The Kids Foundation from an idea that was born out of a conversation over a lunch meeting. Although Logan-Parker had a long career in health care, it was her son’s catastrophic medical situation that opened her eyes to the fragmented care available to children
within the community. As a teenager, one of her two sons was in an accident that required multiple surgical interventions over a four-year period. “With my medical background, and ability to scrape together the funds needed for my son, he was able to get the treatment and care he needed. Ultimately it was research that saved his life,” said Logan-Parker. “The experience left a lasting impression on me. I saw that many other children did not receive the best care possible or didn’t have the resources that I had. I knew that the price of poverty should not be the death of a child.”
Since 2007, Cure 4 The Kids has treated over 60,000 children and young adults for cancer, rare and ultrarare diseases, bleeding disorders, sickle cell disease and rheumatologic conditions. Although starting the organization came from her personal experiences, helping people has always been a part of life for Logan-Parker. “When I was 15, I knew health care as my future, and I enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Eventually, I became a nurse, which allowed me to grow my career, but I grew up giving back to the community,” she said. “I remember helping my mother stuff envelopes for mailings on behalf of the American Cancer Society when I was very young.”
Logan-Parker is also passionate about research, and since so many clinical trials over the years have led to new and better treatments, it is a cornerstone of Cure 4 The Kids. Through its affiliation with the Children’s Oncology Group, the Foundation has access to the more than 50 clinical trials underway right now. “Giving Southern Nevada children access to those trials is vital,” she said. “Our mission is also important—our Charity Care Program provides access to medical treatment whether patients are uninsured, underinsured or unable to pay for treatment.”
While Logan-Parker has accomplished much, she is most proud of the accreditation that Cure 4 The Kids Foundation earned from the Joint Commission. “It’s considered the gold standard of accreditation for medical facilities in the United States.”
For residents of Southern Nevada, “wow” moments may come a little easier than in other parts of the country, but Logan-Parker’s friendship with Gwen Stefani probably rates as a pretty good “only in Vegas” story. Stefani supports Cure 4 The Kids Foundation by giving $1 from every ticket sold during her Las Vegas residency shows to the clinic. Logan-Parker has accompanied several patients to Stefani’s concerts and has gone backstage for meet and greets. “She’s just a really good and normal person. She is so moved by the work we do at the clinic, and she’s visited us and has sent her own children to see what we do. The first time I met her, Gwen immediately said, ‘Oh Annette, you give me goosebumps! I’m so proud of what you do here.’ She then showed me–she really had goosebumps!”
This month Annette Logan-Parker will be busy with the annual Golf 4 Kids fundraiser taking place at Red Rock Country Club, but when she does have down time, she loves being home with family, researching new plant-based cooking recipes and having “Leona and Grandma Adventure Weekends” with her granddaughter. “I’ve never imagined a life that didn’t give back in some way. I’m proud of the work we do and also look forward to being a homebody.”
Cure 4 The Kids Foundation (C4K) is proud to announce it has joined with Diane Mifsud, founder of Project Imagine to create the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation Arts in Medicine Program.
Mifsud has dedicated herself to enhancing the quality of life for children affected by pediatric cancer and other catastrophic conditions and diseases. Mifsud, along with a team of artists, works with patients to encourage artistic expression which helps to reduce anxiety and a feeling of powerlessness often accompanied by long-term illnesses.
Under the agreement, Mifsud will direct the Arts in Medicine Program and coordinate actives in the clinic and well as at Summerlin Hospital when C4K patients are admitted. She is also a member of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation Behavioral Health Team.
Read more in Nevada Business: https://www.nevadabusiness.com/2020/05/cure-4-the-kids-foundation-debuts-new-arts-in-medicine-program/
Thanks to an extremely generous donation organized by world-renowned magician Criss Angel and many other participants, more than 100 Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patient families will receive a six to eight week supply of food, and tickets to a future Criss Angel MINDFREAK performance.
Unfortunately, many Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patient families have lost jobs, lost health insurance and are relying on unemployment benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Angel, whose son receives cancer treatment at the clinic, wanted to provide these families with a secure and ample supply of food.
The entire donation is worth more than $250,000 and is the direct result of efforts and funding provided by Criss Angel, his Johnny Crisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation, The CORE Group’s COREcares Foundation, SYSCO Foods, Caesars Entertainment, BASE Entertainment, Woodland Scenics and a host of dedicated volunteers.
The pre-selected families will receive the food boxes in two installments. Every Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patient family will also have an opportunity to attend Angel’s MINDFREAK show once performances resume. Caesars Entertainment, Criss Angel and BASE Entertainment donated 1,000 tickets to upcoming performances.
Angel also plans to donate a custom-built, large scale model railroad which will be placed inside the clinic for patients to enjoy during clinic visits.