UCSF Children's Medical Center Opens Family Resource Center

November 28, 2000
News Office: Janet Basu (415) 502-6397

The Children's Medical Center at UCSF has dedicated its family resource center as the BraveKids.org Resource Center. The resource at UCSF Medical Center will receive computers, books, toys and other support materials from San Francisco-based BraveKids, a nonprofit organization founded to help children with chronic or life threatening illnesses and their families.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia attended the dedication event. An early supporter of BraveKids, Gannon called the alliance between UCSF and BraveKids "heartening and affirming," noting the importance of having "a valuable resource like this, right here in our community."

The BraveKids.org Family Resource Center is one of many ways that the UCSF Medical Center helps children, parents and their families cope with serious illness. "By donating these computers and other materials, BraveKids helps our families keep in touch with the world," said Inez Wieging, a UCSF registered nurse and pediatric patient care manager. "With added access to the BraveKids.org directory of resources in their home communities, parents and social workers can plan to meet children's special needs when they return home."

"More than 2.5 million seriously ill children are admitted to hospitals nationally each year. When we started BraveKids in June of last year, we knew that we were going to be helping these children and their families," said BraveKids founder and executive director, Kristen Fitzgerald. "It is very exciting and affirming to open our first BraveKids.org Resource Center right here at the Children's Medical Center at UCSF."

BraveKids launched its Web site www.bravekids.org in March 2000 as an Internet community for seriously ill children, their families, and their health care workers. The Spanish version of the site was launched in November 2000.

Fitzgerald said that BraveKids' unique feature is the comprehensive support provided online, through a complete children's section, a resource directory for health care professionals and parents, chat rooms, relevant medical information from healthcare professionals, a community chat room, interactive contests and an online store for children with special needs. BraveKids also provides computers to seriously ill children from low-income families through its corporate donation program.