What We Do
Our Mission: Eliana's Light improves the quality of life of families with children who have complex medical conditions by focusing on their whole health and well-being. We are supporters of integrative and integrated care who empower families while reducing the stress, pain, fear, trauma, anxiety, and depression that many of these family members often experience. We connect families to resources, information, specialists and tools while we advocate for Integrative and Functional Medicine and integrative care services. Throughout our programming, we raise awareness on holistic ways to address physical, mental, and emotional health.
Our Vision: A local health and wellness system that supports and empowers a whole family with a child who has a complex medical condition, improving each family member’s quality of life, wellness and well-being. A “Constellation of Care” addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and financial needs of each family member through referral processes; compassionate care; advocacy; information exchange; and the use of Integrative Medicine, integrative care services, and complementary care approaches and modalities.
Our Approach: Eliana's Light takes a Policy, Systems and Environment (PSE) approach to our work. This approach recognizes the reality in which these families live, work, attend school, and receive medical attention. It addresses the policies (governmental and within institutions), systems (within institutions and a community), and the environment (within institutions and a community) that affect a person's whole health and well-being. It's a "long-term approach that’s designed to make a sustained improvement in community health. A PSE approach that builds on the cultural and social assets of the community has a greater chance of success, and because of this, community engagement is essential. In turn, engagement empowers communities to take part in the process and advocate for their own health. It also fosters strategic public-private partnerships to improve the health of the community." (source)
This is how we c.a.r.e.
Connect: We connect families to resources, specialists, other organizations, and information that can help reduce their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and/or financial stress. We also connect with them, building trusting, compassionate relationships through our shared humanity while we develop a new community. The following are examples that can be found on our Resources page:
- Lists of other organizations and companies that can provide financial and in-kind support (e.g. other non-profits that provide financial support Eliana’s Light does not, government agencies that address mental health, early childhood intervention offices that evaluate and provide appropriate therapies for children, etc.).
- Names and contact information of local doctors, nurses and therapists who take an integrative approach to the care of children and/or adults or who can discuss the safety and benefits of a family choosing this kind of care for their family members.
- Names and contact information of local integrative and complementary care providers who can support a medical care plan (e.g. yoga, mindfulness, massage, and acupuncture therapists).
- Lists of research on pediatric Integrative Medicine (IM); Integrative Medicine program models in operation at various U.S.-based medical centers; books, apps and guides parents can use to support their child’s and their own mental and emotional health and well-being; and associations where practitioners can seek additional training and credentials
- Advocate: We advocate for Integrative Medicine and integrative care services within pediatric medical facilities and as part of standard medical care, therapy programming and research initiatives. For example, we collaborate with hospital staff and with physical, occupational, feeding, and speech/language therapists on ways to incorporate mindfulness and integrative care services into their programming. Additionally, we explore research projects that can examine and evaluate the use of IM and/or integrative care services with specific patient populations.
- Reach: We reach children and caregivers (i.e., parents; grandparents; guardians; and medical, complementary, and integrative care providers) through our:
- Learning Events: We organize in-person and online learning events to raise awareness on topics related to total health and on the realities of caring for a child who has a complex medical condition.
- Eliana’s Light Constellation Kits: We give to families that apply tailored gift bags designed to provide comfort and relieve the stress a family with a child who has a complex medical condition often experiences.
- Communications Channels: We use a variety of communications channels to share research, tip sheets, toolkits, information on learning events, and other practical resources that may be of interest to caregivers, children with a complex medical condition, pediatric medical providers, and/or complementary and/or integrative care providers.
- Exchange: We serve on various advisory committees and manage one directly in order to exchange information and resources with local specialists in areas relevant to our mission. We also raise awareness within these groups and via others’ support groups on whole health and IM-related programming and integrative care services as they pertain to individuals and families.
We C.A.R.E. alongside collaborators, together forming Constellations of Care in a community for families with children who have a complex medical condition. We stay with a family in friendship for as long as they'd like to stay connected to Eliana's Light. When the family's needs change, we help guide them to other support services that are relevant to their new needs. We do not provide technical expertise directly; we instead help connect caregivers to experts who are part of Constellations of Care within our communities.
What Are Eliana's Light's Goals for 2018?
We invite your engagement and collaboration in 2018 as we:
- bring more integrative care services to more families in DC, Maryland, and Virginia while connecting them to resources, information, and specialists that can support them.
- raise awareness on and enhance understanding in integrative care services and holistic health care approaches that facilitate, support and promote whole health.
- connect to collaborators that want to work synergistically with us to build an evidence base of effective integrative care approaches for children with complex medical conditions and their caregivers.