WVU Medicine Children’s and Children’s Miracle Network celebrate a month of miracles


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), a force for good at hospitals all across the U.S., is celebrating a Month of Miracles in November.

Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has helped fill those funding gaps by raising more than $7 billion, most of it $1 at a time through Miracle Balloon icon campaigns. Each year, more than 10 million kids enter a children’s hospital, like WVU Medicine Children’s, to receive care that is, in part, funded by CMN. Amy Bush-Marone, WVU Medicine Children’s chief operating officer, said CMN is a great partner to have because it is by the hospital’s side every step of the way.

Amy Bush-Marone

We’ve been part of CMN since 1988, and every year the CMN provides us with funding through these fundraisers that help us not only deliver treatment and care for those in need but also programmatic development, the purchasing of equipment, things that we need to help with charitable care for families who need resources to help with things. So just being able to partner to really impact the lives of kids that we serve is really incredible.

Amy Bush-Marone – COO, WVU Medicine Children’s

Cheryl Jones, the hospital’s vice president and associate chief nursing officer echoed Bush-Marone’s sentiment about the partnership between WVU Medicine and CMN. She said the relationship has grown over the years, allowing patients to receive top-notch care in West Virginia.

Jones said the services provide by CMN extend beyond the patient and to the families. She said money raised by CMN helps those with the greatest need, frequently the patients’ family members.

Cheryl Jones

“The family may get here, maybe by our children’s hospital transport team, but that may have been an emergency, so they didn’t bring their purse, their wallet, change of clothes,” Jones said. “And through CMN dollars, we’re able to provide that family with a gas card to get home, or a gas card to get to ambulatory care appointments, clothes, lodging, something as simple as how to wash your clothes, CMN dollars can help us with that as well.”

Also, Jones said, CMN dollars help directly fund the Child Life Program at WVU Medicine Children’s. The entire purpose of Child Life, she said, is to help normalize the experience of being in a hospital for children. It does this by keeping children caught up with school work and finding creative ways to distract them from the daunting reality of being in a hospital.

Another great aspect of the partnership, Jones said, is that CMN provides a vast hospital network across North America. That network is and can be instrumental in advancing new ideas and techniques that can be critical for patients’ care.

“It’s really important to network and talk with other children’s hospitals around best practice of care,” Jones said. “And so when one institution discovers ‘hey if you do it this way you get a better outcome’, then CMN can be a vehicle to us all knowing that. That’s why collaborating as a children’s hospital is so important.”

Another important aspect is donating, however, possible to CMN and hospitals in its network. Jones said when people think about the astronomical amounts fundraised, they forget that most of it were raised a dollar at a time. This means every dollar makes a difference, but most importantly, that money stays in the state to support WVU Medicine Children’s.

Cindy Liberatore, executive director of development at WVU Medicine Children’s, said one way to support the CMN and the hospital’s missions to help children in need is to do so through donating to the new hospital WVU Medicine Children’s is building. Through the Grow Children’s campaign, $60 million will be raised to build a brand new children’s hospital with state of the art treatment for mothers and children.

“Currently we have raised $55 million and we have so many generous supporters that have really helped us reach our goals and we still have a ways to go,” Liberatore said. “Anyone that would be willing to support us, we obviously are very thankful. We have naming opportunities within the hospital that we would love to discuss with anyone. Again, this is building a beautiful new hospital that will help West Virginia families stay right here at home and that’s just vital for all the women and children in the state.”

Another way to donate is to text WVUKIDS to 51555.

Bush-Marone said the new hospital is still slated to open in the summer of 2021. She said every floor is currently being worked on and that the construction team is doing their part to get the building closed before winter sets in.

“We’re on track, on time, can’t wait to move in,” Bush-Marone said.

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