Pilot Program Fulfills 'Little Wishes' for Patients at UCSF Children's Hospital

August 19, 2004
Contact: News Office (415) 502-6397

A nonprofit organization called "Little Wishes" is funding a pilot program at UCSF Children's Hospital that will grant the small requests of young patients to help brighten their days while in the hospital. Children in the hospital for five days or more will be eligible for a wish such as a computer game, princess outfit, gourmet sushi dinner or visit from a puppy. Children in the hospital for extended periods can make a wish every two weeks.

Eve Alley, a child life specialist and the Little Wishes coordinator at UCSF Children's Hospital, said she'll contact children who are scheduled for lengthy treatments such as bone marrow transplants or treatments for chronic diseases. In addition, doctors, nurses and social workers can refer children to the program.

Little Wishes, funded by private donations and run by volunteers, was founded in November 2002 by two pediatric nurses in San Francisco -- Laura Euphrat and Joanne Davantes -- in memory of a young patient named Josh. Euphrat, president of Little Wishes, said it was often the little gestures, such as a trip to the gift shop to buy candy, which made Josh happy.

Euphrat said the nonprofit organization approached UCSF because it wants to expand the program beyond the 30 pediatric beds at California Pacific Medical Center where the program began. Little Wishes has been working with a UCSF task force of administrators, nurses and social workers during the past six months to develop the pilot program and hopes to replicate the UCSF model at other locations.

The Little Wishes program is expected to begin in the next week or two, followed by a formal kick-off this fall. For more information, contact Alley in Child Life at (415) 353-1203. Information about Little Wishes is available at www.littlewishes.org.