HEALTH AND EMPOWERMENT FOR HIV POSITIVE WOMEN

HEALTH AND EMPOWERMENT FOR HIV POSITIVE WOMEN

As Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) prepares to participate in the SMART Ride for the ninth consecutive year, there is an excitement and determination in the air. For the Medical Care Coordinators of CDTC’s Comprehensive Family AIDS Program (CFAP), funds from the annual cycling event help them save lives every day.

In April, CFAP took seven HIV positive clients to Camp Key. The annual 3-day retreat isn’t a reward, but a motivational and inspirational activity shown to help patients do better in care and remain undetectable longer. This year, the staff invited women over 50 years-old who were struggling to stay healthy due to extra challenges in their life.  

Activities with Medical Care Coordinators, Physicians and Clients began Friday night with a fireside “Letting Go” ceremony where everyone was encouraged to write down whatever is blocking them from being their best self and let it go into the fire.

The rest of the weekend’s activities encouraged each to try new things like canoeing and hiking – and success brought out a new confidence in each of them. One client who had suffered two strokes accomplished a mile long walk alongside CDTC Physician Dr. Vanessa Rojas. The normally shy group of women were outgoing and full of laughter by the talent show Saturday night.

“These women are usually overshadowed with stigma. It’s a huge part of their lives. They feel trapped and can’t share their status with the people closest to them,” shares Dr. Vanessa Rojas. “Camp helps free them of the burden of stigma, giving them a renewed sense of empowerment to go forth living healthy lives that anyone can attain.”

 Unique services and support like Camp Key are only possible through support by the SMART Ride presented by CAN Community Health. The Center was selected in January as one of seven beneficiaries for the ninth consecutive year. Over the years, the ride has contributed close to $1M to CDTC’s program dedicated to serving women and children living with HIV and AIDS. 

Every dollar received from SMART Ride provides a life-changing direct service to HIV positive women and children. Beyond activities like Camp Key, clients also receive HIV testing, medical care and medications when insurance is not available or does not cover costs. Transportation, support groups, emergency assistance and HIV education are all also available using the annual donations from the Ride.

 “The SMART Ride has impacted the lives of each of our clients in our Comprehensive Family AIDS Program,” shares Ana E. Calderon Randazzo, Ph.D., Executive Director of CDTC. “The dedication and support of the SMART Ride and its participants are inspiring and crucial as we battle the growing epidemic of HIV diagnosis in South Florida.”

One of the most unique features of the Ride is its 100% guarantee that every dollar raised by riders and crew is donated to one of their chosen agencies, not used to produce the massive event. In addition, agencies benefiting are carefully chosen to ensure that funds are used only for direct services to clients in need, not overhead and administrative costs. The process ensures, every dollar donated goes where it can help the most.

SMART Ride 16 begins at the University of Miami on November 15th & 16th. This year’s ride benefits Broward House and Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center serving Broward County; Metro Inclusive Health serving Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties; Pridelines serving Miami-Dade County; AIDS Help serving Monroe County; Miracle of Love serving Central Florida; and Compass Community Center serving Palm Beach County.

Registration for riders and crew members is now open. Participants need not be a professional rider; riders range in age and experience and all have a goal of raising awareness and funds.

Interested riders and volunteers are welcome to attend any scheduled Information Session in Broward County to learn more about the ride. Training rides are also offered several times a month. For a schedule of events visit the SMART Ride at www.thesmartride.org or on Facebook.   

Meet the Nutritionist

National Nutrition Month 2019

Elizabeth Donahue,

Registered Dietitian, Pediatrics
with the CDTC ECHO Program

 

What I do at CDTC:
Provide nutrition services to children with a wide range of varying abilities and needs.

Years at CDTC: 7 years

What motivates me to come to work each day: I provide a fundamental service that abled people often don’t need to think about. For my kids here at CDTC, if I can help feeding and nourishment run smoothly, that’s one less thing for parents and caregivers to worry about.

My favorite CDTC moment: My favorite CDTC moment is a collection of moments. I love when I get to take families on a grocery shopping trip. The kids are always excited to try new things and they enjoy picking out different produce foods that they don’t normally eat. Parents are typically interested in learning the best ways to nourish their kids. It’s fun for all.

What’s the best/most common piece of advice you give our families: Choose foods that come from plants and or animals, not factories.

How I like to relax: I don’t! I have three kids! But for a good part of the year, I’m able to keep them entertained by the pool which gives me a chance to relax outside with them and soak up the outdoors.

What I’m most proud of personally or professionally: Professionally, I am most proud of my clients who are able to make healthy lifestyle choices and reach a healthy weight. They are so excited to show me their progress and the changes they’ve made.

Investing In Our Families

Every time you make a donation to CDTC, you’re investing in the health and well-being of the children and families in our care. Every dollar helps our doctors, nurses and care coordinators go beyond medicine into the heart of care.

We take that pledge seriously and we work hard to make your investment count in the best ways possible.

How far does that investment go?

We’re proud to announce that our audits show $.96 of every dollar we receive helps provide a direct service to a child or family!
$.96 of every dollar

 

That means CTDC is operating at a 4% administrative and fundraising cost, well below the average 12.8%.

 


Make a gift today to help our kids continue to heal, thrive and succeed!

Help Tyler

Only you can help CDTC go Beyond Medicine, Into the Heart of Care

 

Don’t Forget Dental Care for Special Needs Kids

Don’t Forget Dental Care for Special Needs Kids

It’s Easy to Forget About Dental Care

Balancing all of the appointments and needs of a special needs child can be challenging for parents.

CDTC has seen it repeatedly. The appointments to deal with the most pressing medical issues and day-to-day therapy and treatments take priority to keep their kids healthy. Of course, they need to focus on their job, maintaining their home and the needs of other kids in the family too.

Imagine now you need to find a dentist who can work with kids and understand the unique challenges of treating a child with special needs. Oh, and then you have to take time to go to another appointment.

It’s no wonder dental care often takes a back seat.

Meeting Our Kids’ Needs

A special needs child often requires services that are more extensive and a special dentist who knows how to deal with their additional physical and developmental challenges. Children with Downs Syndrome and other genetic disorders can have malformed or extra teeth erupt, or congenitally missing teeth. Crowding, poor alignment and impaired immune systems can leave our kids prone to gum disease and tooth decay because their teeth are difficult to keep clean.

A Healthy Mouth is Good For Your Body

Good oral and dental hygiene helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease – and helps you keep your teeth as you get older. Research shows a healthy mouth may help you ward off medical disorders too. But, an unhealthy mouth, especially for a child with a weakened immune system, can spread infection in the bloodstream and lead to a whole host of other medical issues.

These are just some of the reasons why CDTC introduced our dental program in 2014. Now a one-stop-shop, children can receive both their primary medical care and dental services in the same place. And they don’t have to worry about our dentist not understanding their medical needs or the very special care required to help our kids.

See Our Dental Program In Action

Our Hero, Tyler

Our Hero, Tyler

A Bundle of Energy

At first glance, 5-year-old Tyler is just another energetic, outgoing little boy. Walking into CDTC for his appointment, he’s all smiles and excited to have gotten out of school early to have his picture taken. Meeting with his Care Coordinator Sasha in the hallway, he’s quick to point out the details he remembers from their last meeting months ago. What snacks she offered; what he had to drink; what Mom asked for. Not a single detail escapes his impressively, sharp mind.

It’s hard to believe the challenges that same little boy faced beginning before he was even born. Continue reading