NY Kiwanis Foundations

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Kiwanis Pediatric Lyme Disease Foundation

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Lyme Disease is caused by bacteria usually transmitted by the deer tick. It is a scary possibility to consider for New York State residents who enjoy spending time outside during the summer months. Lyme Disease may affect the brain in many ways. The most common is a disturbance in thinking. Other symptoms that occur frequently include headache, mood swings, irritability, depression and marked fatigue. The spirochete which causes Lyme Disease can invade the central nervous system within days to a week of initial skin infection. the majority of people who are treated early with antibiotics do well and incur no long-term problems. People who are not treated until later may have a more complicated outcome.

KPLD LogoThe Lyme Disease problem was brought to Kiwanis’ attention during 2000-01 when New York District Governor John Gridley vowed to do something to help children afflicted with this terrible disease. The Lyme Disease Project was quickly set up to help pay for medical treatment for children with this disease. Unfortunately most insurance companies do not pay for its treatment, which is very expensive.

Funded by Kiwanis Clubs and individuals and channeled into the Pediatric Lyme Disease Fund, as of May 2014, the foundation had paid $269,000 for pediatric treatment.

Kamp Kiwanis

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Kamp Kiwanis is aimed at providing fun, physical exercise and adventure. It strives to afford opportunities to participate in a creative outdoor group experience in a democratic setting and develop characteristics of leadership and fair play.

The program at Kamp Kiwanis is designed to mainstream all children, including up to 20 each session with special needs. It is non-competitive with emphasis on group and team building. No activity is forced, but all are encouraged.

Kamp Kiwanis LogoStaff members come from many countries as well as some from the United States. All staff members have been trained to interact with children of all ages. Fully qualified lifeguards supervise all waterfront and swimming activities. The staff is hired only after reference checks and background checks are completed.

EMT/Medical personnel are on site 24 hours a day during the camping season. The ratio of staff to Kamper is generally 1:8. All Kampers with special needs are supervised at much lower ratios, sometimes 1:1.

Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center

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Every day more than 39,000 children are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment, totaling more than 14 million children each year. Within a 12-month period, injuries to children ages 14 and under result in 223,000 hospitalizations, nearly 8.7 million emergency room visits, and more than 12 million visits to physicians’ offices. In addition, each year more than 120,000 children are permanently disabled.

Ironically, the cause of severe trauma isn’t always obvious, especially in children. That is what makes a Pediatric Trauma Center, with specialized equipment for children and an experienced pediatric trauma staff, so important.

Children need diagnostic and treatment tools scaled to their small size, such as blood pressure cuffs, tubing, KPTC Logoor warmers to heat blood for transfusions because their small bodies can change temperature so quickly. Children are not miniature adults. They react differently to injury and they have different symptoms of distress so they need doctors and nurses who know what to look for when diagnosing pediatric trauma. They respond differently to trauma. Understanding the differences can be critical.

At least 25 percent of those children’s lives could be saved and their disabilities reduced or eliminated with the establishment of a fully staffed, optimally equipped pediatric trauma center, supported by appropriately trained out patient care providers and safety programs.

Why a Kiwanis-hospital association?

Because of the huge commitment needed in money and staff, it takes a regional approach to create a pediatric trauma center with extensive medical and associated safety and support programs. Only a major teaching center, such as Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in Manhasset now a member of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, with its many resources, can even consider such an undertaking. But the hospital by itself can address only half the problem. Kiwanis, the clubs of the New York District, and the KPTC Foundation provide the additional necessary components. The nature of Kiwanis as a network of volunteers organized into local clubs dedicated to community service and improving the quality of life meshes perfectly with the mission of a major medical center.