What are the eligibility requirements for Team IMPACT program participation? Which children are the most appropriate fits?
Participants in Team IMPACT come from all sorts of medical backgrounds. The common denominator for all participants is that they are battling or have recently battled a life-threatening illness that has impaired them physically, academically, socially and/or psychologically.
General eligibility requirements for participating children include:
- They have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and have recently (the last 2-3 years) been undergoing a range of medical treatments that:
- Involve lots of time and extended stays in the hospital.
- Have had an adverse impact on the child's ability to participate in certain athletic, social and academic activities.
- Have had an adverse impact on the child's development (physically, academically, socially or psychologically).
- The child is at least 5 years old and either a resident of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest or being treated at a medical facility in that region.
- Specific eligibility is further determined during the introductory phone call with a Team IMPACT staff member and after the 'Eligibility Committee' has had a chance to review the case.
What is the perspective of current families that participate in the Team IMPACT program?
How can medical professionals help Team IMPACT?
- At Team IMPACT we rely on a large network of medical professionals to help raise awareness for our program. This network of medical professionals play an integral role in our outreach efforts to identify families and children that would benefit from our program.
- If a medical professional would like to speak with a Team IMPACT representative directly to learn more about our program, ask specific questions, or share any thoughts please call Bryan McDavitt, the Director of Medical Outreach, at 617-801-0226.
- If a medical professional knows a child who would benefit from Team IMPACT, he or she can contact us by:
- Filling out the Medical Ambassador Family Referral Form. A Team IMPACT representative will then reach out to the family within 24 hours to explain the program in more detail.
- Pass our information along to the child's family and encourage them to sign up through the Family Sign-Up Form. A Team IMPACT representative will follow up with an introductory call to the family within 24 hours.
How do you prepare teams to interact with children who are undergoing difficult treatments for life-threatening illnesses?
- Team IMPACT spends time on the front-end of the process with the athletic teams to ensure that they are aware of and sensitive to some of the dynamics associated with spending time with a child facing a life-threatening disease.
- We also provide each team with Team Training. This training was developed in conjunction with our Board of Medical Advisors that have expertise in these matters. Some of the key elements of the Team Training include:
- Understanding the role of teammate and role model
- Use of social media
- Visiting the hospital
- Embracing the family and siblings
- Do's & Don'ts and Tips & Tricks
Is the entire family involved, especially the siblings, in the Team IMPACT relationship?
- In the training we administer with the student athletes, we educate them about the challenges associated with the entire family, specifically the siblings.
- Throughout our stewarding of the relationship, we strongly encourage the team to embrace the parents and siblings by including and engaging them in team activities as much as possible.
- In some cases, siblings have been adopted on to a team of their own.
What is Team IMPACT's role and relationship with medical facilities?
Team IMPACT is a third-party, 501c(3) non-profit that provides a service to children facing life-threatening diseases. We maintain an active dialogue with a number of individuals within hospitals in order to raise awareness for our mission. We operate independently and are not engaged in any formal partnerships with these medical facilities. We cultivate relationships with key constituents within these facilities so that these professionals can recommend our program to the appropriate children and families that would best benefit from our program.
What are the potential benefits of the Team IMPACT program on the participating family?
- The Team IMPACT program provides regular access to high-grade socialization in a socially safe environment:
- Where the child is accepted and embraced as an integral member of the team
- That is rich with a number of inspiring peer mentors
- That serves as an exciting distraction from medical realities and the associated stress and anxiety that goes along with treatment
- The Impact on the Quality of Life for the Children and their Family
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety
- Instills hope and a brighter sense of future (talk about the next game, visit, or season)
- Provides an active and exciting social calendar
- Improves skills, confidence, and experience in initiating and receiving social interaction
- Provides opportunities and inspiration for physical activity
- The clinical value of the Team IMPACT program is illustrated by anecdotal evidence provided by current Team IMPACT relationships. Below are examples of cases studies that show how this degree of high quality socialization improves the quality of life for these children.