Starlight’s Ten Program Pillars

At Starlight, we know happy kids heal faster! To achieve our mission of delivering happiness to seriously ill kids and their families, we created ten criteria, or pillars, to measure each of our Starlight programs with.

These pillars measure exactly how our programs are helping kids on a day-to-day basis. For example, you know that a Starlight Gown can help a hospitalized kid be more comfortable, but did you know it can also alleviate stress during procedures and support emotional expression?

There’s more than meets the eye to each Starlight program. Our programs and pillars focus on two interrelated goals of delivering happiness and helping kids heal.

Being displaced from the comfort of their family, friends, and routine can trigger worries and fears for seriously ill kids. Psychosocial pillars deliver happiness by helping kids feel as relaxed as possible in unfamiliar surroundings.

We measure each program’s ability to provide the following:

  • Comfort, whether physical, mental, or emotional, allows patients to feel safe and secure.

  • Entertainment provides relief and distraction from stressful situations with amusing, educational, and stimulating content.

  • Normalization provides activities kids enjoy in their everyday life to help make an unfamiliar, scary place feel safe and even fun.

  • Play engages kids through activities to help them learn, grow, and express themselves in an unfamiliar environment.

  • Socialization provides a sense of community and belonging while reducing boredom and isolation.

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By considering these five pillars, we craft Starlight programs to relax and comfort seriously ill kids. Those five pillars work together with our other pillars to help kids heal!

From the moment children enter the hospital, they see complicated machines, meet new faces, and experience exhausting treatments. Measuring against clinical pillars highlights some of the curiosities and fears seriously ill kids face, helping them heal faster.

We measure each program’s ability to provide the following:

  • Emotional support provides an outlet for children’s emotions to help ease fear and anxiety around treatments, stressors, and grief.

  • Procedural support helps reduce stress and anxiety, resulting in greater compliance and less challenging medical procedures.

  • Pain management helps prevent, reduce, or stop the pain associated with medical procedures.

  • Physical therapy supports a planned program of activities often prescribed by physicians to help improve a child’s movement or manage their pain.

  • Treatment education helps educate children on their diagnosis, procedures, or medication in a fun and developmentally appropriate way to ease fears and anxiety.

By constantly evaluating our programs on these ten criteria, we ensure we’re delivering as much happiness and healing as possible. This helps us be the best partners we can be to hospitals across the country!

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