Brescia, Owensboro Health Partner for Pediatric Initiative

Owensboro Health and Brescia University announced an exciting partnership at the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Booster Breakfast today. The two organizations are collaborating on a first-of-its-kind workforce development program to train healthcare workers in management of pediatric patients based on the most effective therapy tools and the Adlerian Play Therapy principle.

The goal of this cooperative project is to reduce the stress and anxiety children and families experience in a healthcare setting, particularly in the emergency department. The healthcare professionals who participate in this program will be able to help pediatric patients cope through education, preparation and play more effectively. One of the tools they will use is the demonstration of all items the child may see, hear and feel before a procedure. For example, they will show them the sterile towels, let them feel the saline and that it does not burn, and let the child touch any of the items used. This is especially true for anxiety-inducing tests like a CT, when a specialist can show the patient a video of another child getting the test and explaining what to expect. This can also calm parents’ worries throughout the visit.

Brescia University’s Workforce Development Program and Psychology faculty will train up to 10 Owensboro Health team members simultaneously with these special child-centric skills during a 10-week, 40-hour course. This professional development program is based on expansion of communication, critical thinking and life-long learning skills in practical application to the healthcare work environment. Such innovation in training allows the emergency department to provide child life services around the clock, seven days per week, while also transferring the essential skills of communication and critical thinking to other departments within the hospital.

Funding for the training is made possible through Owensboro Health Foundation. 

“We are over the moon about this partnership,” Tracy Naylor, foundation director, said. “The Psychology faculty, along with Dr. Anna Kuthy, Workforce Development Program Director, have worked very hard to give us an incredible offering. I am unaware of any other partnership of this kind, and I suspect it will be the first of many at Owensboro Health.”

Lauren McCrary, Brescia University Executive Vice President, spoke about the partnership at the September Rooster Booster event, saying, “We are proud of our talented staff who collaboratively helped develop this initiative and our faculty who can use their well-developed and – researched expertise outside of the classroom in a way that impacts so many in our community. Especially exciting is the opportunity the hospital has afforded us to work with their capable employees in this impactful way.”

The program will begin its first cohort on Monday, September 11.