The mission of the Children’s Hospital of Illinois is “to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the Gift of Life.” Our mission extends to all persons we encounter. Our caring for others has no geographical boundaries.
This edition of IBI focuses on globalization. At Children’s Hospital of Illinois, there is a program to help kids from all over the world get the medical care they can’t receive in their homeland.
For more than 25 years, Children’s Hospital of Illinois has been taking and fulfilling medical requests from all over the world. The process started informally. About five years ago, we wanted to have a formal process to find and help kids from around the world. This group is known as HIPP (Healthcare International Pediatric Patients).
Children’s Hospital receives numerous requests to help children from all around the globe. These requests are sent to the HIPP committee for review. Pediatric Cardiologist J.J. Shah has helped pediatric heart patients from around the world for about 25 years.
“It’s the most satisfying thing you can do as a physician,” said Shah. Dr. Shah sits on the physician’s committee to discuss and choose the cases that should be brought to Peoria for help. Our services are provided at no cost to these international children—many of whom come from some of the poorest countries in the world. Some of the children we’ve treated have come from Kosovo, Iraq, Nigeria, Uganda, Haiti, Honduras and Belize.
Since 2005, Children’s Hospital of Illinois has teamed up with the Children’s Heart Project of Samaritan’s Purse (SP), an organization founded in 1997 by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham. Children’s Hospital handles about five to 10 cases a year, with 70 percent of those cases coming from SP, which handles the logistics of matching patients with hospitals and providing housing and transportation.
Late last year, two children from Kosovo had open-heart surgeries, and their mothers say their kids are healing well and are already more active. A family from Morton hosted both families from Kosovo and has enjoyed the experience.
The OSF/Children’s Hospital mission states: “serving persons with the greatest care and love.” What more do people long for in our world, than to be treated with the greatest care and love? iBi