Annette O'Brien, R.N., Liam's Grandmother and Founder of the Liam Lawson Foundation discusses telemedicine with Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D. , Corporate Director, Partners Telemedicine and immediate past President of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The Foundation attended conferences on the topic in 2005 and is now working on creating partnerships to bring it to homes in 2006.

The House Call of the 21st Century

In the few short years since Liam's Foundation for Pediatric Palliative Care was established as a 501(c)3 in July 2003, we have made significant progress toward our goals of bringing Palliative and end of life care to children living with life-threatening conditions and their families. Achieving our short term goals of awareness of the need and availability of Pediatric Palliative Care in our local and surrounding areas, we now look ahead to establishing new and exciting partnerships with local healthcare providers to bring such care into the homes of chronically and terminally ill children through the use of Telemedicine.

Telemedicine has been used for the past 30 years in limited ways to assist patients and physicians in receiving care when the patients are geographically isolated. With the advancements made in the past several years of video conferencing technology, we now believe that Telemedicine is the ideal vehicle for assisting families and their chronically and terminally ill children in their home. With minimal technology needed and the simplicity of its use, Telemedicine can finally fill the gap in care that is so desperately needed.

With the help of our supporters in the past and in the future, Liam's Foundation is well on its way to pioneering a new and exciting program called TelePal (soon to be available through telepal.org), which will facilitate providing the care and support that these families deserve, including medical, emotional, social, and spiritual guidance. The personal house call of yesterday has become the Telemedicine house call of today.

Please join us in this very exciting endeavor by supporting Liam's Foundation and enabling us to provide the equipment and technology needed to achieve a successful Telemedicine program for these families in our community and surrounding areas.


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Our TelePal Initiative

What is TelePal ? TelePal is a partnership between Liam's Foundation for Pediatric Palliative Care and Bayada Nurses that is focused on the innovative application of Telemedicine technologies to meet a broad range of the pediatric palliative care needs of children with lift-threatening or life-limiting diseases and conditions in a home-based and family-centered setting. It will offer an array of treatment and supportive services delivered through an integrated and interactive television network that effectively and efficiently links the patient family with a full range of caregivers.

Who will TelePal serve? TelePal is intended to fill a perceived gap in the continuum of care for our most vulnerable children and their families. When fully operational, TelePal will serve the needs of any child in its service area requiring palliative care services, without regard to their diagnosis and prognosis and whether or not curative medical strategies are available or appropriate.

How to Access the TelePal Network? Patient involvement in the TelePal system can be initiated by any of the range of caregivers linked through the Bayada telemedicine network; and hopefully that will occur as soon as possible following diagnosis and will continue throughout the period of patient treatment and beyond, as family-appropriate.

What participants and programs would TelePal include? TelePal could link a full range of caregiver institutions, organizations and individuals including hospitals, hospices and community-based practices as well as physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors and other therapists. Services might include real-time patient monitoring, compliance tracking, medication assessment, physician consultation, and family/team medical discussion/decision-making; real-time and/or off-line access to educational, training, social and supportive services and materials, and professional responses to patient-family questions and concerns.

Will TelePal reduce or eliminate the need to see the children personally in their homes or elsewhere? TelePal is not intended to be a substitute for personal physician/nurse therapist interactions with patients and their families. Rather it is meant to supplement and leverage such personal visits through an enhanced, extended and user-friendly communications system that makes such visits more efficient and effective and to reduce the need for personal visits when they are otherwise unnecessary or impractical.

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Bayada to Partner with Liam Lawson Foundation for Pediatric Palliative Care
(As printed in Bayada's 5/19/06 newsletter to employees)

Bayada Nurses will be partnering with the Liam Lawson Foundation to develop a model for Pediatric Palliative Care. This important initiative will help ease the suffering of children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions as well as to offer support to families coping with their child's condition. The goal of the Foundation is to help families to achieve the best possible quality of life for their children.

By partnering with Bayada Nurses, the Foundation will be able to help these special children through the use of Telemedicine and Videconferencing in their homes. Telemedicine devices will be used to monitor critical vital signs. Videoconferencing will allow for clinical and social service consultations without the need to move children from their homes.

Credit is due to: Susan Milstein (IT), Laura Rauth (LAN), Cindy Keuper (LAN), Kathy Pfeiffer (NUR), Brian Farber (HQ) for their important involvement in this effort.

Stay tuned for additional information on this exciting endeavor and our progress in assisting children with terminal or painful conditions.

TelePal Update

The TelePal Demonstration Project continues at Bayada Nurses in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to supplement and enhance the home care received daily by a number of their pediatric patients. It is also our hope and we work towards expanding the TelePal network to other pediatric facilities, hospices and homes for the benefit of these most precious children and their families.

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