CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 28, 2020) – In compliance with the CDC, the Austin Hatcher Foundation converted to telehealth beginning March 17. The foundation’s staff have worked tirelessly to provide emotional, behavioral, and academic support to families during this period.
“While many things have changed in the world, one thing remains the same,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “The Austin Hatcher Foundation has not changed our commitment for every child diagnosed with cancer, and their family members, to reach their full potential.”
By offering telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has provided support to over 65 patients with over 309 hours of unique interactions. Unique interactions can include mental health counseling appointments, occupational therapy sessions, and educational resources provided by the foundation’s family services coordinator. The foundation has also been able to expand its no-cost therapies to new patients who are not local to Chattanooga.
“There has always been a need for the services we provide to families and children facing pediatric cancer,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation Licensed Clinical Social Worker Catie Whiting. “But now, they’re experiencing even more stress, fear, and isolation due to the increased risks for children receiving cancer treatment or those in remission with weakened immune systems. By being able to provide telehealth support while patients are confined to their homes, we’re wanting all families to know that they don’t have to go through this time alone.”
“The families that the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer serves have been significantly affected by the coronavirus,” Osborn said. “Our psycho-oncology team is able to provide individual and family therapy, which includes mental health treatment, emotional support, and behavioral interventions to all family members affected by pediatric cancer. The services available for these families are also assisting them with successful academic school weeks, support in fulfilling their oncology treatment requirements and continuing to help the parents create a consistent and safe home setting. We are here for them, and we’ll continue to offer telehealth services even after our office reopens in June. We’re also extremely grateful to all our donors and supporters who have helped us fund our services during this time.”
For more on the Austin Hatcher Foundation’s COVID-19 update, please visit hatcherfoundation.org. Families faced with pediatric cancer and associated non-medical issues are invited to contact the foundation directly at (423) 243-3475.