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Peeking inside the expanding Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Ever since I started my job in 2008, I’ve been hearing about the huge expansion of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford that is slated to open in 2017. First it was an abstract idea, then a set of floor plans and renderings, then a fenced-off patch of dirt, then an enormous hole in the ground. Now the new building is a real, three-dimensional place, with floors, walls, windows, a roof.

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The mysterious story of a boy who survived a rare and deadly cancer

What would you do if your toddler had a very rare blood cancer and his treatments were failing? At what point would you decide that it was time to stop those treatments and make him as comfortable and happy as possible for whatever time he had left? That was the terrible decision faced by the parents of a young child with a form of leukemia so unusual and deadly that his doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford didn’t know if anyone had ever survived it.

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Parents now help doctors decide what care is right for the sickest babies

Today, NPR’s Morning Edition featured an in-depth story on the evolution of decision-making in neonatal intensive care units – hospital nurseries for the sickest infants. Parents now have much more say in their babies’ care than in the past, and Stanford experts who were on the front lines of the change, including William Benitz, MD, chief of neonatology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, explained how it happened.

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Helping kids with chronic medical conditions make the jump to adult care

Specialists who treat chronically ill adolescents have long recognized the challenges related to this patient population: Young adults may be grown in body, but they aren’t always ready psychologically or socially to take full responsibility for consistently following complicated medical routines and practicing lifestyle restrictions. Nor are most adult care doctors trained in the after-effects of childhood cancer, for instance, or the lifelong need to monitor adults with childhood heart repairs.

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National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week! This week we celebrate our very special volunteers, like reading buddy Lisa Cole, who dedicate their valuable time, effort and talent to help fulfill our hospital’s mission to provide the best nurturing care for our patients. Thank you to our hundreds of volunteers for your extraordinary contributions!

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Nurse Linda Ritter Receives Prestigious Award for Excellence

Recently, nurse.com honored Linda Ritter, RN, as winner of the 2014 California’s Giving Excellence Meaning (GEM) Award in the category of Clinical Nursing, Inpatient. Ritter, a longtime nurse in the Bass Childhood Cancer Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, was noted by the organization for her leadership in improving palliative care education for the entire unit.

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New study shows standardization makes hospital hand-offs safer

A study published online this week in Pediatrics offers encouraging results from a large-scale effort to tackle a persistent safety problem in hospitals. The study is the first scientific investigation of a multi-hospital project to improve patient hand-offs, the times when a patient’s care is being transferred from one person to another.