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Shriners Children's Texas Awarded Healthy Kids Healthy Families Grant

Shriners Children's Texas announced it was awarded a Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) grant by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). The HKHF funding will support BCBSTX’s commitment to community-based organizations supporting children and families who have been impacted by the health, economic, and social implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is an international health care system recognized for its devotion to transforming the lives of children through specialized care and research. It is a destination of choice for parents whose children have orthopaedic problems, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip and other complex surgical needs.

The infection prevention program at Shriners Children's Texas serves to manage the infection control needs of a pediatric burn and orthopaedic population on a daily basis. COVID-19 has increased the demands across multiple departments. Team members are working to break the chain of COVID-19 infection by focusing on the mode of transmission. Our objectives are to reduce the spread of infection from all types of microorganisms, reduce cross contamination, monitor our patient population, and screen and monitor our workforce. Even once the coronavirus has been contained, infection prevention challenges will remain a constant concern when working with pediatric burn patients. True to the Shriners mission, we treat all children needing our specialized care regardless of their family's ability to pay.

“This grant comes at a time when hospitals nationwide have been pressed for solutions, resources and good will. Grants like this help us keep our focus on the mission while bolstering our services to protect patients, families and staff from COVID-19 without compromising the care we provide. It’s a privilege to care for these children, and BCBSTX’s recognition of our mission transcends the pandemic,” said Shephaly Soni, MPH, CIC, epidemiologist and infection control coordinator, Shriners Children's Texas — Galveston.

Launched in 2011, HKHF started as a three-year project designed to improve the health and wellness of at least one million children through community investments. The program was extended as part of BCBSTX’s ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of the children and families across Texas.

“This year’s grant process was especially important given the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sheena Payne, BCBSTX’s director of community investments. “So, we are happy to award these grants that will support and nurture meaningful and transformational projects across Texas. Strategically, it is also important that we continue to aid community-based organizations that are directly supporting children and families who have been impacted by the health, economic and social implications of this pandemic.”

The HKHF program – which centers on nutrition, physical activity, supporting safe environments, and disease prevention and management – has awarded $14 million in funding and impacted the lives of close to three million children and their families in Texas.

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