Children's National Medical Center

2012 Community Benefit Report

Health Leads Family Help Desk

Volunteers with the Health Leads Family Help Desk at Children's National Medical Center know that a successful transition from hospital to home often involves more than making certain families understand how to meet their child's medical needs. For many families, help with addressing nonmedical, emotional, and financial challenges in life can be just as important to patient recovery as filling a prescription. The Family Help Desk connects families with community resources that provide assistance with utilities, employment, housing, childcare, and other social services. Along with maintaining an extensive database of local programs and organizations, volunteers are trained to help with the difficulties some families encounter with completing applications, understanding eligibility requirements, or simply locating the correct contact information. As dedicated volunteers work to meet the specific needs of a family, they also keep the child's physician informed about the progress. This communication provides a continuity of care that can benefit the patient's overall health. Last year, the Help Desk served 925 families, trained 104 volunteers, and completed a new partnership with the University of Maryland that has expanded the program, and enabled it to take on additional cases. Check out the video to learn more about this program and how it strengthens families and communities.