Michele Hall Duncan Leading the Way in Humanizing Healthcare for Hospitalized Children

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Event play is back, and we couldn’t beryllium anymore excited! It is ever large to screen the New York City events and item the enactment of the galore charities that are doing a large occupation raising funds and consciousness for those that are successful need. We had the accidental to beryllium down with Michele Hall Duncan, President & CEO of enCourage Kids Foundation.  We surely emotion covering their events passim the twelvemonth and we look guardant to covering the enCourage Kids 37th Annual Gala connected Wednesday, May 11.

Social Lifestyle: How large that events are backmost and the enCourage Kids Foundation has a 37th Annual Gala coming up connected May 11 astatine Cipriani South Street.  Can you archer america what the nighttime has successful store for the guests?

Michele Hall Duncan: We are truthful excited to beryllium readying our in-person Gala connected the 11th. We person implicit 400 guests expected, the nutrient is going to beryllium amazing, and we are thrilled to beryllium holding it astatine Cipriani South Street, which is genuinely 1 of the astir beauteous lawsuit venues successful the city. This is going to beryllium a peculiarly peculiar evening for america due to the fact that we are honoring the bequest of our precocious committee director, Jay Anderson of The Feil Organization, who passed distant past year. We person a peculiar tribute planned and are posthumously awarding him with our Jeffrey Gural Leadership Award, named aft our Board Chairman Emeritus, which recognizes outstanding individuals who bespeak Jeff’s humanitarian and philanthropic values and who are committed to bringing joyousness to children and their families. 

Social Lifestyle: The funds raised from the nighttime volition enactment which program?

Michele Hall Duncan: Well, Jay was a immense protagonist of our cornerstone program, the Pediatric Hospital Support Program (PHSP), truthful proceeds from the Gala volition money that program, which we are renaming the Jay Anderson Pediatric Hospital Support Fund successful his honor.

Social Lifestyle: Can you archer america a small astir Jay Anderson and however helium supported the enCourage Kids Foundation?

Michele Hall Duncan: Jay had a bosom of golden and the champion consciousness of humor. He served connected our committee of directors for 20 years and much recently, connected our Chairman’s Circle. He truly loved our Pediatric Hospital Support Program and the interaction it has connected elevating the level of attraction our infirmary partners are capable to provide. Since 1996, PHSP has provided much than $16 cardinal successful backing for projects and programs specified arsenic originative therapies, favored therapy, playroom renovations, and exertion for distractive amusement and acquisition connected diagnoses—many of which would not beryllium funded astatine each without our support. We are thrilled to person this accidental astatine our Gala to prosecute with our donors and wage tribute to the invaluable publication Jay made to our enactment and the interaction his enactment volition person for years to come.

Social Lifestyle: Have you seen a quality with the hospitals and enactment unit since COVID is astir down us?

Michele Hall Duncan: Most of our partners are nary longer successful situation mode, which is simply a immense relief, but for many, the effects of the pandemic whitethorn person changed, but the interaction is inactive being felt and has far-reaching effects. We person seen a important displacement successful their absorption to addressing the intelligence wellness challenges and anxieties children are facing close present due to the fact that of the pandemic. With truthful galore interactions occurring successful the virtual space, kids were missing retired connected the societal and intelligence benefits that travel with attending schoolhouse and societal interactions. Remote learning particularly amplified disparities that antecedently existed successful underserved communities and number populations. The National Institute of Mental Health says that termination is the 2nd starring origin of decease betwixt the ages of 10 and 20. That statistic is staggering and disturbing. Hospitals are struggling to conscionable caller and varied needs arsenic a result.

Social Lifestyle: What person you been doing lately with the instauration to enactment the hospitalized children?

Michele Hall Duncan: The pandemic has kept america busy. We spouse with much than 300 hospitals nationwide including 130 successful the NYC Metro area. Our absorption from the opening was to measurement successful and assistance the communities that were inundated, providing the enactment and captious resources they uniquely needed, erstwhile they needed it. Our relationships with the kid beingness assemblage enactment america successful a unsocial presumption to beryllium the enactment they scope retired to erstwhile they request help. With 1 of the stark realities to travel to airy this past twelvemonth being the interaction of the pandemic connected the intelligence wellness and societal improvement of children, we’re moving with our infirmary partners to code these needs. Thanks to backing from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, we’re moving connected implementing a programme to supply pediatric patients with customized enactment kits we telephone Mental Health Comfort Kits designed specifically to code immoderate of the peculiar needs of this increasing colonisation including teens astatine hazard for self-harm. Through our societal media and fundraising campaigns, we’ve been moving to shed a airy connected immoderate of the challenges our pediatric partners are facing successful addressing an accrued request successful intelligence wellness services, and to amplify the enactment enCourage Kids is doing to supply enactment and resources. 

Social Lifestyle: Since we are coming disconnected Autism consciousness month, however bash the enCourage Kids Programs play a relation successful those children hospitalized who are autistic?

Michele Hall Duncan: We’re uncovering that galore of our infirmary partners are looking for resources to assistance this colonisation of children which has accrued importantly successful the past fewer years. Last year, done our Pediatric Hospital Support Program, we funded a Sensory-informed Care Task Force astatine Children’s Hospital of New Orleans that provides Sensory-Informed Care Kits for each their pediatric units and off-site clinics. The kits incorporate antithetic sensory items to which kids with those needs person an affinity, that assistance to calm them and assistance them person a amended infirmary experience. We funded that task due to the fact that the caller kid beingness manager determination discovered the infirmary served a peculiarly ample colonisation of children with autism and different related disorders, but determination was a disparity successful what they were providing to them versus different children successful their care. Feedback from the kid beingness unit and parents has been incredibly positive. Parents and household members are truthful amazed and grateful that the infirmary has the nonstop kinds of tools to assistance their children done an often traumatic and anxiety-laden experience.

Social Lifestyle: What would you similar to spot from the guests astatine the upcoming gala?

Michele Hall Duncan: We’re truly looking guardant to engaging with our donors aft having to cancel our 2020 Gala and not being capable to clasp 1 successful 2021 due to the fact that of the pandemic. There volition beryllium a premix of some caller and long-time donors successful attendance, and we consciousness that it’s truthful important to supply them with opportunities to consciousness connected to the mission. We deliberation the lawsuit programme we person planned volition bash that.

Social Lifestyle: In what ways tin our readers get progressive with the organization?

Michele Hall Duncan: The champion mode to larn much and get progressive is to sojourn our website and travel america connected societal media truthful you tin spot the children we service and the ways we are partnering with hospitals crossed the country. Look astatine the captious programs we are backing and spot what interests you. If you are successful the New York City area, see volunteering oregon joining our Young Professionals Board. 

Social Lifestyle: Are you inactive readying to big the enCourage Kids Annual Golf lawsuit and Serving Up Smiles this year?

Michele Hall Duncan: Yes! We are truly looking guardant to holding our Golf Outing and Serving Up Smiles events successful idiosyncratic again this year! Serving Up Smiles is taking spot connected October 18th astatine The Lighthouse astatine Chelsea Piers, a beauteous waterfront abstraction with views overlooking the Hudson River. Since we began the lawsuit 7 years ago, it has grown into 1 of our astir anticipated events. Our imaginativeness is to bring unneurotic immoderate of the champion chefs and restaurants the metropolis has to offer. We volition besides person fantabulous wineries represented and handcrafted cocktails. It volition beryllium a fantastic accidental for our assemblage to enactment the enactment of enCourage Kids Foundation and to illustration nutrient from immoderate of the city’s finest eating establishments portion enjoying unrecorded euphony and an breathtaking soundless auction. Our Annual Golf Outing is taking spot connected Monday, July 18th astatine the Mill River Club successful Oyster Bay, Long Island. Now successful its 19th year, the lawsuit draws participants from construction, utility, engineering, gathering attraction and work industries which comprise the backbone of the existent property industry. We’ll beryllium sharing details connected our website and societal media channels for some events arsenic we get person to the dates truthful enactment tuned!

Social Lifestyle: Thank you for speaking with america and we look guardant to seeing you astatine the Gala.

Michele Hall Duncan: My pleasance and spot you there!