Section: The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth News

Monmouth Medical Center Launches Picture My Smile Photography Program at The Unterberg Children’s Hospital

07/31/2014

Program Funded By The Grainger Foundation and The Cygnet Fund

The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, recently launched Picture My Smile, a program that empowers chronically ill pediatric patients ages 6 through 17 to express their voice through the art of photography.

Funded by The Grainger Foundation through the Grainger Community Grant Program and The Cygnet Fund, Picture My Smile encourages creativity through the lens of a camera.

Chronically ill pediatric patient photographers from The Valerie Fund Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, The Comprehensive Cystic Fibrosis Center, The Center for Disorders of Insulin and Metabolism and The Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Program at The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center are each provided with their very own digital camera and access to a secure website to upload their photos. Photographers capture and share their photos.

"For the child in long-term care, some days are good days and other days are going to be bad days. Many times a child can't describe in their own words what they're feeling or how they are feeling," said Margaret C. Fisher, M.D., chair of pediatrics and medical director, The Unterberg Children's Hospital. "Picture My Smile is the perfect venue for children. This gives them the opportunity to first of all show us what they're seeing and what they're thinking. I'm an absolute advocate for this program and for finding ways to make children use their minds to help their bodies."

During the six-month program, pediatric photographers participate in online tutorials with professional photographers. Photographers will also have the opportunity for their photos to be displayed in the online Picture My Smile photo gallery, around The Unterberg Children's Hospital, and even auctioned off at Monmouth Medical Center events, with proceeds benefiting the programs and services at The Unterberg Children's Hospital.

"Picture My Smile is an awesome opportunity for a child to be creative through the form of photography - to show who they are and develop a voice and to be fabulous through the lens of a camera," said Tracy Brown, chair, The Unterberg Children's Hospital Leadership Council. "These children are able to participate in a group that has nothing to do with their illness or their care, it's about fun."

  • The Grainger Foundation provides grants through the Grainger Community Grant Program to help address local community needs throughout the United States. In 2013, the Foundation awarded 900 grants totaling $6.1 million to a wide variety of organizations in the areas of health and human services, food banks, disaster relief and technical education. Over the past four years, the Grainger Foundation has donated more than $37,000 to The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center to provide programs and services to the hospital's youngest patients. The Cygnet Fund helps Monmouth Medical Center with financial support for research and education in the field of pediatrics.

The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center offers the highest level of pediatric services for newborns to adolescents, including cutting-edge treatment, specialized expertise and an unsurpassed dedication to medical excellence in 26 pediatric subspecialty areas.

Every donation, of time, materials or funds, helps support the Picture My Smile photographers and The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center. To learn more about Picture My Smile or about ways to support the program, visit www.picturemysmile.org. For more information on The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org/uch.

PHOTO: Pictured (left to right): Tara Kelly, vice president of development, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation; Margaret C. Fisher, M.D., chair of pediatrics and medical director of The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center; Tracy Brown, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation Trustee, chair, The Unterberg Children's Hospital Leadership Council; Judy Kile, Market Manager, Grainger, member, The Unterberg Children's Hospital Leadership Council.

About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest teaching hospitals and has been an affiliate of Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation's largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org/monmouth.

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