Our story goes back about 25+ years, to when our founder, Andy Standish, was working in the United States as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Though her work kept her busy, she often made an effort to volunteer overseas in hospitals and clinics in low and middle income countries when she could. She would find ways to create play opportunities for children in low resource hospitals, she would help children and families understand an upcoming procedure, she would provide emotional and procedure support to cultivate positive coping techniques, she would teach healthcare providers how to engage patients in a child-friendly way, and so much more.
With each new journey and experience providing support in several different countries and the USA, Andy quickly recognized and concluded that regardless of the country, the culture, or the situation, there are commonalities:
- pain is universal
- children were suffering all over the world
- every parent wants what is best for their child
- healthcare workers want to help make it better for children, but they do not always know how or have the resources to do so
We want children and families to be comforted by aspects of the healthcare they receive. We want healthcare workers worldwide to have the education and resources to deliver child- and family-centered care. And so, in 2010, Standish Foundation for Children was established.
Our inspiration comes from the children and families we serve. Their resilience, hope and courage in the face of medical obstacles continually emboldens us to fulfill our mission. While each child and family are the reason for our work, there is one child in particular who inspired Andy to create Standish Foundation – Clifford.
Clifford was an 8-year-old patient who struggled with the life changing challenges of kidney disease. After diagnosis he and his family’s life started to revolve around regular dialysis, several hospitalizations, surgeries, procedures and never ending injections. Throughout his many hospitalizations and regular dialysis treatments, Clifford loved to engage in fun and creative activities to help him cope. He loved painting, playing games and taking part in hospital holiday activities. Clifford’s medical team provided pain management, age-appropriate psychosocial preparation and emotional support to help him cope with scary procedures. Clifford and his family were comforted by the child and family-centered care interventions he received until his death on May 27, 2007.
We want children and families from around the globe to receive the exceptional child- and family-centered care Clifford and his family received.
LOW OVERHEAD – BIG IMPACT
We are a team dedicated to creating lasting impact on the children, families, and healthcare professionals and communities. In addition to patients and parents, our volunteers work in: nursing, psychology, medicine, child life, music, art and play therapies and academia. We are innovative, collaborative, loyal, transparent and good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
We strive for a world full of happy, healthy, resilient kids who haven’t been traumatized by healthcare experiences. When children experience healthcare in a positive way it contributes to their physical and emotional well-being. This helps build healthy communities with children and families reaching their full potential.
We work both locally and globally to serve where there is the greatest need. Our programs include training & education for healthcare professionals to reduce pain and suffering for children, surgical missions, global fellowships and playroom sponsorships. We are grateful for all donations to support these programs, as they each uniquely assist in building healthy communities around the world.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT STANDISH FOUNDATION:
- Innovation: We believe creativity and novel approaches will transform healthcare for children. We implement high-value and evidence-based strategies and programming which inspires practitioners and supports children and families in reaching their full potential.
- Empowerment: We believe there is strength in all voices being heard. We support, trust and empower others in family-centered care practices. We inspire practitioners to do more than they thought possible… so they can inspire kids to do more than they thought possible through our local and global programs.
- Collaboration: We believe in developing relationship-centered solutions. Together, with our global partnerships, donors, and volunteers, we can learn from each other and grow together as we build healthy communities.
- Transparency: We believe trust and open communication fosters growth and strengthens our relationship with partners, donors, volunteers and our local and global community. We are good stewards of the resources that are entrusted to us.
- Impact: We believe small changes to healthcare delivery can help replace pain and suffering with hope and healing. We are committed to measuring outcomes that matter and are advocates in supporting sustainable cultural transformation of healthcare practices. We work where there is the greatest need and where we can make the greatest impact, both locally and globally.
- Respect: We believe that healthcare free of suffering is a right for all, not a privilege for a few. We respect the needs, values, perspectives and traditions of local communities and cultures; we are aware and sensitive to being guests in the spaces of others. We forge relationships based on mutual benefit and trust and are loyal to the cause and each other.
Global Impact on Children
The Standish Foundation is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization with multi-disciplinary global health volunteers in more than 20 countries. Our programs have helped more than 700,000 children each year. That’s more than half a million children in 20+ countries, and counting!
Global Impact on Healthcare Professionals
By supporting 300+ hospitals and clinics in the United States and abroad- Standish Foundation for Children continually breaks borders to deliver outstanding healthcare experiences. We reach nearly 200 healthcare providers who help us enhance the lives of thousands of hospitalized children each year.
We continually exceed non-profit standards for best practices in governance, accountability and ethical practices. Our services and programs are offered low or no charge to children, families and healthcare professionals – thanks to our dedicated donors.