Dilly and SSU patientImagine a place where children receive the world’s best medical care. A place where top researchers and clinicians collaborate to advance every area of pediatric medicine. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is that place.

Your round of golf on one of the most prestigious golf courses in the region benefits the CEO Breakthrough Fund at CHOP. The CEO Breakthrough Fund supports innovative patient care programs and inspiring research at CHOP, allowing us to quickly respond to the diverse needs of our patients and families. Your participation in this event helps determined teams at CHOP make even more breakthroughs to improve the health of children worldwide.

Three recent projects supported by the CEO Breakthrough Fund include:

  • An expanded Pet Therapy program that adds CHOP’s first facility dog dedicated to helping ease anxiety and reduce stress for patients and families
  • Whole exome sequencing to help us better understand rare conditions, develop custom treatments and help patients in real time
  • A Medical Legal Partnership that steps in to help families who are facing roadblocks to care or benefits they deserve

Sit, Stay, Heal: Pet Therapy at CHOP

dilly-320x180Meet SSD Dilly, CHOP’s first full-time trained facility dog. His job is to ease anxiety and reduce stress for young patients throughout the hospital. The 2-year-old yellow Labrador came to CHOP in the summer of 2020 after being raised and trained by Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services. Dilly is now part of CHOP’s Child Life team. He comes to CHOP five days a week and – in partnership with his designated handler, Elizabeth Olsen, MS, CCLS, Advanced Child Life Specialist – and helps children as they undergo physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as certain medical procedures. Therapists say Dilly often knows just what patients need – help taking a pill, support to keep calm during a medical intervention, or a good excuse to get out of bed for a walk.

Unlocking the Key to Elijah’s Illness

elijah-320x180Elijah’s condition was a mystery: After years of painful symptoms and examinations by dozens of specialists at four hospitals, no one could say what was wrong with him. Then his family came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where doctors used whole exome sequencing to unlock the key to the 7-year-old’s mystery illness. With expert diagnoses from immunologists, geneticists and others, CHOP identified a new autoimmune disease and developed a customized plan to treat Elijah’s disorder. Today, Elijah is an active fourth-grader.

When Health and Law Intersect

medical-legal-partnership-camren-320x180Camren, a curious 14-month-old, was born with dense cataracts. Camren’s ophthalmologist was shocked when the family’s application for disability benefits was rejected. Luckily, the Medical Legal Partnership, a service at CHOP, provided Camren’s mother with a lawyer who swiftly fixed the problem. CHOP’s Medical Legal Partnership has helped more than 100 families since it began a partnership with Community Legal Services, funded by a gift from the law firm Reed Smith LLP. The program handles cases relating to legal issues affecting patients’ health, such as access to benefits, housing problems and guardianship issues. Meanwhile, Camren is thriving. He’s fond of light-up toys and upbeat music.