Children’s Trust brings hope to children, families

Being hospitalized, or even just visiting the doctor, can be a scary experience for a child.

From stethoscopes to vaccines and potentially treatments or procedures, there’s so much a child doesn’t yet understand — and so much families must navigate.

At Novant Health Foundation, we believe remarkable care is so much more than expert medical treatment. It’s about providing comfort and support to every person who comes through our doors. And a philanthropic effort is helping lead the way for patients and families.

The Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation Children’s Trust provides donors with an opportunity to serve as champions for pediatric health and wellness. Through the trust, donors contribute to nonmedical initiatives that improve the overall quality of life of children and their families. Children’s Trust donors also have the opportunity to establish direct volunteer connections with the Novant Health system.

The trust was conceived by a group of four passionate supporters of Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital: Amanda Weisiger Cornelson, Will Cowan, Bobby Pittenger and Will Stevens. Cornelson said the idea was to create an annual giving or membership program to facilitate direct support for pediatrics. The group worked on the concept for years.

“We really wanted to build something that would touch and support all of pediatrics at Novant Health and involve community members in a way that was really meaningful to them,” Cornelson said.

The trust began in February 2019 with a launch event at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. Since then, the trust has grown to 161 members and has raised close to $80,000. To date, the effort has helped to fund new amenities for Hemby patients. Those include:

  • A handicapped-accessible children’s playground at the Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital campus
  • Funding support for a new Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency
  • An interactive discovery center waiting room in Novant Health’s Center for Pediatric Development

Anyone who donates $1,000 or more is recognized as Superhero of the Children’s Trust. Superheroes have the opportunity to vote on Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation funding opportunities and are provided with a dedicated phone line maintained by nurses around the clock. Nurses can answer questions over the phone or recommend specialists. All in all, the trust gives donors many ways to get involved in improving the lives of children in the Charlotte community.

“I believe health is absolutely foundational and crucial for everyone,” Cornelson said. “Being able to participate in something like the Children’s Trust helps drive health equity across the community, and we can all agree children deserve every opportunity we can give them.”

The work of the Children’s Trust has taken on new significance during the COVID-19 pandemic, with shifts in education and overall support systems under strain. Amy McKinney, development manager at Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation, said the trust has been particularly meaningful for the Center of Pediatric Development.

“With over 50% of the children seen at the Center for Pediatric Development on Medicaid, the financial support from the Children’s Trust has been crucial in providing better nonmedical care for these pediatric patients,” McKinney said. “Early intervention and support are critical for pediatric care and sustained health, and with the support of the Children’s Trust, our team stands ready to support a family through any obstacle, from general counseling to extensive physical and occupational therapy.”

For Cornelson and other trust members, the Children’s Trust has been an opportunity to help build a safe and loving community at Novant Health with all the amenities a child needs to feel comfortable during a challenging time.

“Everybody wants the absolute best for their child,” Cornelson said. “It’s so important that we offer that same experience for every child, no matter what their resources are or where they come from.”

Be a superhero today.

Today, you have an opportunity to make a direct impact on children in your community and the pediatric care they receive. Through a gift to the Children’s Trust, you can support the treatment and amenities children receive at Novant Health. Make your contribution today

Donate now