Teaming Up for Teens

Posted on May 22, 2018

Johns Hopkins All Children's palliative care and psychology teams come together to help students

Janelle Garcia, Ph.D.: “Thank you both, again, for pulling this together. I just spoke with a school administrator and they need the group to meet tomorrow from 10-11 a.m.”

Tragedy has struck a community. A young person has died. Laura Drach, D.O., Kristen Hoffman, Ph.D., and Janelle Garcia, Ph.D., are exchanging late night emails. How can they help?

Drach: “At the moment I am planning on bringing our palliative care: social worker, child life therapist and chaplain (if he is available) and myself. We will go to the office at 9:45 a.m. Please let me know who we should ask for.”

Garcia: “The front office staff will be notified that we are coming in. Just let them know you’re with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and need to be taken to the Media Center.”

They know their job is to heal the kids in our community. What can they do to reach those kids who are hurting outside the walls of the hospital? How can they help students overcome the loss of a peer?

Garcia, a program coordinator in the Community and Government Affairs division, works her connection with the school to pave the way. It takes little persuasion. Johns Hopkins All Children’s specialists are always welcome on campus.

Drach rallies her palliative care team, and Hoffman, director of trauma psychology, is ready to lend her expertise. Together, they gather resources on trauma and grief and discuss ways to engage students in discussions about their feelings and coping strategies. Every day they help kids and families work through the hardest moments of their lives. Now there are students who need their comfort.

Hoffman: “I look forward to coming together to support our community. See you all tomorrow.”


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