Camp Strong Heart
Camp Strong Heart is a two-day overnight summer camp for children and adolescents between the ages of five to 17 who have been diagnosed with cardiac related diagnoses and are treated at Children's Hospital of Georgia pediatric heart services. The goal of camp is to provide children and adolescents with heart conditions the opportunity to participate in normal childhood activities in a summer camp setting. It also provides parents a break from caring for a child with chronic illness. They can be assured their child is safe, cared for and having fun in a safe environment.
At Camp Strong Heart the main focus is taken off the child's medical needs, and placed instead on the psychosocial and developmental needs. Campers are offered the excitement and fun of traditional summer camp activities. Campers can challenge themselves at a climbing wall, learn to do archery and kayak along the beautiful lakes. They are also offered the unique advantage of being in a safe environment cared for by staff that is responsive to their special medical needs. Campers are also taken care of by experienced volunteer counselors who are there to help build their self-esteem and guide them into becoming confident young adults. Campers enjoy a weekend packed full of fun and adventure while learning that they are not alone in their fight against heart disease.
Camp Strong Heart is held at the beautiful facilities of Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. Camp Twin Lakes gives children a deeper understanding of nature and allows them to share the joys of an outdoor setting that is comfortable and secure. Campers are encouraged to explore a variety of interests and activities including swimming, arts and crafts, archery, boating, biking and a multitude of sports activities. Camp Strong Heart is an opportunity for children to create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, it is a time for kids to just be kids!
The Children's Hospital of Georgia is the area's only childrens hospital, dedicated to serving the health care needs of children, from newborns to teenagers. As a part of an academic medical center, we are at the forefront of medicine, conducting the research that advances pediatric medicine and bringing the treatments and technologies of tomorrow to patient care today. Our team of pediatric specialists -- the largest number in the area -- uses their expertise and training to treat everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions.
We recognize the importance of family involvement in a childs healing process. That's why we embrace a philosophy of Patient Family Centered Care. Our staff -- from pediatric physicians and nurses to child life specialists and on-site teachers -- are specially trained to meet the needs of children and to work closely with their families, making sure they are kept fully informed and are involved in every aspect of their child's care.
The Children´s Hospital of Georgia
The Children's Heart Program Volunteer Council (CHPVC) is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1995 by Julie Ginn Moretz, heart mom, and Dr. William Strong, pediatric cardiologist. Their vision developed into a unique program that would provide a single voice advocating the needs of children with heart disease and their families. Julie brought to the table the knowledge and emotions of a parent who had a child with heart disease and understood the needs of such a program. Dr. Strong brought the experience and expertise of a physician who saw first-hand the importance of collaborating with parents as part of the healthcare team. This unique program evolved from the commitment of parents and a committed team of pediatric physicians who represented many specialties including cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac anesthesiology, critical care and neonatology. Nurses and hospital staff joined the effort to form a group whose sole purpose was to provide the best possible care for children with heart disease and their families. Other major institutions across the country are attempting to replicate the "patient- and family-centered care" activities and services provided by the Children's Heart Program.
The council continues as an unique blend of parents, friends and caregivers of children with special hearts and CSRA community supporters. The CHPVC goals are to identify, implement and fund projects that would directly benefit these special children and their families. Many of us have stood beside our child's hospital bed not knowing how to make things better for our children. The Children's Heart Program Volunteer Council makes an effort to fulfill this need as we help parents who are feeling so helpless. We share with them the hope of living with congenital and acquired heart disease.