Our Pediatric Hospice Program -
Gilchrist Kids is a pediatric hospice program. We provide compassionate and comprehensive end-of-life care for infants, children and young adults with life-limiting illnesses. The program also provides perinatal support for parents-to-be who have learned that their unborn child may have an incurable illness.
Pediatric Hospice Program
Our pediatric hospice program’s goal is to help children with life-limiting illnesses or conditions “live well” during their last months, weeks and days. Moreover, we provide loved ones with the support they need. Gilchrist provides relief from physical, emotional, social and spiritual suffering. In doing so, we enhance the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families.
Some children on hospice may continue to receive curative treatments and therapies. The hospice team will help determine this with each individual family and their insurance company. Gilchrist Kids’ hospice care is provided to infants, children and young adults who are in the terminal phase of their disease process.
Alexa Linthicum is a Gilchrist Kids patient who has a rare disease called Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). Alexa is one of only a few children in Maryland to have this rare disease.
“I have cystic fibrosis, and I am strong.” – Powerful words from Aziyah, one of the strongest and bravest 4-year-olds we knew. Her eagerness to continue learning, listening to music, dancing on TikTok, playing with her sisters and just being a kid showed us that even despite her daily struggles, she lived life to the fullest.
Gilchrist Kids In the News
Gilchrist Kids staff and families have been featured on several websites and television programs over the years. See the videos below.
Kimberly Ross, Gilchrist Kids hospice aide – shares her story of finding a greater sense of purpose after losing a child.
Mary Tiso, Gilchrist Kids clinical manager – dispels common misconceptions about pediatric hospice.
Erin Bull, Gilchrist Kids nurse – discusses “What is pediatric hospice?”
Beth Solomon, child life specialist – explains her role on the Gilchrist Kids team.
Marci Scher, parent – discusses her family’s experience with Gilchrist Kids.
Parents who receive news that their unborn child has a potentially life-threatening or life-limiting condition often are faced with difficult choices and may have many questions. They may also be struggling with emotional, social and spiritual issues.
The Gilchrist perinatal hospice team is comprised of experienced health care providers in multiple specialties. In addition, our medical staff “walks with” families during the remaining months of pregnancy. The team helps families celebrate the life of their baby, however long that may be. If the newborn can be cared for at home, even for a short time, the Gilchrist Kids team of professionals will help ease the transition. Our team will provide needed support for both baby and family.
Gilchrist’s Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care program offers:
- Assistance in the development of a birthing plan
- Coordination of care with the mother’s obstetrician and the baby’s pediatrician
- Professional counseling for family members by master’s-prepared, licensed counselors and social workers
- Sibling support through visits with a certified child life specialist
- Assistance in memory making, including hand and footprints and molds
- Spiritual support through chaplain visits
- Identification of remembrance rituals or celebrations that may provide comfort
A Compassionate Team
Our child life specialists are uniquely attuned to the individual social and emotional needs of children. Our specialists work to help children sort out their feelings, most often through play and imagination. Child life specialists also work with siblings and other young family members impacted by a child’s illness and impending death.
How can Gilchrist Kids help?
Gilchrist Kids provides medical care and emotional, social and spiritual support to improve quality of life.
Where does Gilchrist Kids provide care?
Gilchrist Kids serves Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Prince George’s counties. Care is most often provided in the family’s home.
New to Gilchrist?
Our care navigators can direct you to the right Gilchrist service.