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UofL med students, residents work at camp for critically ill children

by Anne Eldridge last modified Jul 21, 2010 01:57 PM

July 19, 2010


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – This summer, two University of Louisville medical students and four pediatrics residents are going camping with critically ill children at The Center for Courageous Kids, a free, year-round summer camp in Scottsville, Ky. for kids from across the country with life-threatening illnesses.


The UofL doctors-in-training serve more as camp counselors than health care providers but the experience is intended to enhance their skill as physicians.


“Spending time at the camp reaches beyond the doctor’s office and hospital. It gives our residents and students a different perspective on illness. They see what life is like for a chronically ill child,” explained Kim Boland, M.D., UofL Pediatrics residency director. “Plus, it’s a phenomenal program for children and we want to be a part of that.”


The Center for Courageous Kids provides medically-supervised recreational activities for children ages 7-15 with chronic or life-threatening illnesses such as epilepsy, organ transplant, HIV/AIDS and muscular dystrophy. While the camp’s medical facility is equipped for everything from scraped knees to dialysis and chemotherapy, the UofL students focus more on having fun with the kids than caring for them medically.


“This is an opportunity to see these kids outside the ICU,” said Niki Lloyd, M.D., a third-year UofL pediatrics resident who plans to go into pediatric cardiology. “In the hospital they have tubes and lines and they’re really sick kids. At camp, they’re outside, doing what kids should be doing.”  Lloyd will spend the week of July 19 at the camp with children with heart disease.


“We are fortunate to partner with the UL School of Medicine,” said camp Medical Director Tracey C. Gaslin, R.N., Ph.D., CRNI, CPNP. “Our campers benefit by having medical residents and students assist with medical care. The greatest benefit, however, is what the camper has to offer. The campers teach healthcare providers to value each day, live in the moment, and to see a child as more than just a diagnosis.”


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