If your child faces a critical, life-limiting, or life-threatening illness, our caring providers are here to provide support – not just for your child, but for your entire family. At WVU Medicine Children’s Supportive Care, our team, consisting of a physician, a nurse practitioner, and a nurse, has made caring for children and families their life’s work.
Our goal is to improve quality of life for both the child and the family. Supportive care can help manage the challenges of your child’s illness. Perinatal and pediatric supportive care is not end-of-life care, like hospice care. Rather, it’s a part of the continuum of curative care your child receives.
We visit and care for families throughout the hospital. This includes the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), the acute care unit, the maternal infant care center (MICC), and some outpatient subspecialty clinics.
Conditions We Treat
Perinatal and Pediatric Supportive Care is unique. What we offer is not disease-specific, but based on the needs of your child and family.
We work with babies born at other hospitals who transfer to WVU Medicine Children’s. We also work with children, teens, and young adults from other states in various stages of illness who are admitted to WVU Medicine Children’s with a significant change in condition.
We care for children facing complex or advanced, chronic medical conditions, including but not limited to:
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Congenital heart defects
- Extreme prematurity
- Neurologic disorders
- Trauma injuries
For moms-to-be who face a high-risk pregnancy, we offer perinatal consultation. Supportive care begins during the pregnancy when we meet with you one-on-one at our maternal-fetal medicine clinic. After the birth of your child, supportive care continues throughout your child’s hospital stay.
Treatments and Services
We are passionate about supporting you and your loved ones. That’s who we are and what we do.
Supportive care is more than medical care — it’s also psychosocial and spiritual support. We focus on the emotional well-being of your family and work with you to understand your family’s circumstances. Our services may include medical and non-medical intervention, such as:
- Collaborate with your medical team to improve care
- Facilitating family meetings
- Grief counseling
- Guidance on how to talk to your child about their wishes
- Help to manage uncertainty, reframe hope, and explain complex medical information
- Linking with community resources
- Pain and symptom management, including non-pharmacological interventions
- Recommend music and art therapy to explore emotions and reduce anxiety
- Sibling support
- Support for parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family, and other children experiencing this change in condition
We offer resources for you and your child that include support, activities, and bereavement resources:
- Bibliotherapy—families get a book list appropriate to the circumstance they’re experiencing with their child
- Annual service of remembrance for families who experience a death
- West Virginia Family Grief Center: Grief support groups for children and adults.
- Embracing Invisible Wings: Support group for bereaved parents and their families. Located in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Contact LeeAnn Romeo, 304-342-4346.
- Bobby’s books: A support program offering parents, educators, and caregivers of children a resource to help children deal with their loss and grief through books.
- Butterfly Angels - The McKinley Anne Foundation: A nonprofit organization providing support to families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, infant and child loss. Located in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Contact at 724-986-1874 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Centering Corporation: A nonprofit bereavement resource center offering grief resources for adults. Call 402-553-0507.
- Comfort Zone Camp: A nonprofit bereavement camp for children ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Comfort Zone also hosts one Young Adult Camp for people 18-22.
- Compassionate Friends: The mission of Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.
- First Candle: We invite you to connect with our compassionate miscarriage, stillbirth and SIDS/SUID communities.
- Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center: Families get help with communication and coordination of care, so you’re better able to choose options that are in line with your values, traditions and culture. Located in Akron, Ohio.
- I Love You More Foundation: A nonprofit providing bereavement support to families who have lost a child, including financial assistance for funeral costs and other support as requested. They also encourage kindness by supporting various youth programs, postsecondary scholarships and families in need. Call Mark Trella, 412-713-1330.
- Sesame Street: Grieving as a family through support, open conversations, and finding ways to keep the person’s memory alive, families can begin healing together.
- The Dougy Center: Support for children, teens, adults and their families.