A Kid Again – PediaCast 487

Show Notes


  • Jennifer Koma and Travis Gulling visit the studio as we explore A Kid Again. This national organization strives to “give illness a time out” by helping families who have a child with a life-threatening condition… helping them create positive experiences and memories at an otherwise difficult time. We hope you can join us!


  • A Kid Again
  • Communicating Medicine Conference


  • Travis Gulling
    Executive Director
    Central Ohio Chapter
    A Kid Again



Announcer 1: This is PediaCast.




Announcer 2: Welcome to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. And now, direct from the campus of Nationwide Children's, here is your host, Dr. Mike.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to PediaCast. It is a pediatric podcast for moms and dads. This is Dr. Mike coming to you from Nationwide Children's Hospital. We are in Columbus, Ohio.


It's Episode 487 for April 21st, 2021. We're calling this one "A Kid Again". I want to welcome all of you to the program.


So this week, we are going to introduce you to an organization that strives to give illness a timeout by helping families who have a child with a life-threatening condition, helping them create positive experiences and memories in an otherwise difficult time.




How do they do it and how can you, the listener, benefit from their services and/or support their efforts? We'll explore the answers to these questions and more during our time together.


And to help us do that, two guests from the organization will join us. Jennifer Koma is chief operating officer at A Kid Again at their national headquarters. And Travis Gulling is executive director of their Central Ohio Chapter. They will be here soon.


But first, I want to share an exciting opportunity for the healthcare professionals in the crowd or anyone in the healthcare industry, really. Our annual Communicating Medicine Conference at Nationwide Children's Hospital is on the horizon. And this year, it will be very easy for you to join us because we are offering a virtual event from the comfort of your home. I bet you did not see that one coming.




If you have an interest in providing evidence-based health related education online, then this is the event for you. We have a terrific lineup of speakers covering lots of digital communication topics, including the role of social media in promoting diversity and inclusion, strategies for overcoming vaccine hesitancy among patients and families, and overcoming cancel culture and online harassment.

We'll have breakout workshops on how to become an interview star, crafting an effective medical blog, and maintaining professionalism and compliance while engaging online.


We also have some special presentations including Podcasting 101, 15 Social Media Perils in 15 Minutes and Addressing Misinformation During the COVID-19 Pandemic.


So, again, if you're a healthcare professional or, really, anyone in healthcare and you'd like to take an active role in educating the public online, then this is the virtual event for you, Communicating Medicine: Practicing Evidence-Based Medicine in an Online World takes place on Friday, May 14th, 2021. Again, Friday, May 14th on a computer screen near you.




Registration is affordable and very easy to do. The cost is just $25 for most attendees. If you're affiliated with Nationwide Children's Hospital or the Ohio State University, it's $20. And if you are a student, we provide a bigger discount, just $15. And I can guarantee, you won't find this breadth and depth of content presented by incredibly gifted and experienced speakers at such a low cost anywhere on the face of the planet.


However, registration is limited. We do have some openings but registration is limited. So please do hurry if you're interested in attending. You'll find links in the show notes for this episode, 487, over at pediacast.org, links to the conference registration page and an online brochure which outlines the complete rundown of topics and speakers for you.


I'll be there and I hope to see many of you.




All right, let's move on with our usual reminders. Don't forget you can find PediaCast wherever podcasts are found. And if you like what you hear, please remember to subscribe to our shows so you don't miss an episode.


Also, consider leaving a review wherever you listen to podcast so that others who come along looking for evidence-based child health and parenting information will know what to expect.


We're also on social media and love connecting with you there. You'll find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Simply search for PediaCast. And we have a contact link at the website, pediacast.org, if you would like to suggest a future topic for the program.


Also, I want to remind you the information presented in every episode of PediaCast is for general educational purposes only. We do not diagnose medical conditions or formulate treatment plans for specific individuals. If you have a concern about your child's health, be sure to call your healthcare provider.


Also, your use of this audio program is subject to the PediaCast Terms of Use Agreement which you can find at pediacast.org.




Let's take a quick break. We'll get our guests connected to the studio. And then, we will be back to talk about A Kid Again. It's coming up right after this.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Jennifer Koma is chief operating officer of A Kid Again, which is a national organization that strives to give illness a timeout for children and their families. Travis Gulling is executive director of the group's Central Ohio Chapter. They are here to talk about A Kid Again, including what it is, how the organization got its start, who benefits from their work, the impact they have on children and families, and how you, the listener, can connect and help with their work.



So let's give a warm PediaCast welcome to Jennifer Koma and Travis Gulling. Thank you both so much for being here today.


Jennifer Koma: Thank you so much. We're excited to have the opportunity to chat for a bit.


Travis Gulling: Yes, thank you. Exciting to be here.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And I'm really excited that both of you are here to talk about A Kid Again.


Let's begin with you, Jennifer. What exactly is your organization? What is A Kid Again?


Jennifer Koma: So, A Kid Again is an amazing organization whose mission is to foster hope, happiness, and healing in the lives of the families who are raising a child with a life-threatening condition. And we do this through what we call monthly adventures. And that is taking those families to theme parks, to sporting events, to museums, to the zoo. So that they can give their illness a timeout and spend time making memories as a family and being in a group setting with others who are just going through similar medical journeys as they are.




Dr. Mike Patrick: And you've helped quite a few families. On the website, it says over 12,000 families served last year and 206,000 since the organization got its start. I love the mission of your group. It's "We exist to foster hope, happiness, and healing for children with life-threatening conditions and their families." How do you bring families in on this?


Jennifer Koma: So I think that's what probably what makes us most unique as an organization. There's lot of great groups out there that want to support a child as they're going through difficult medical journey.


And for us, it's more than just the child. When a child is sick, his or her brothers and sisters also are living through that situation, their parents are. And so, when we have the opportunity to bring them together, we're ultimately not just supporting that ill child but the entire immediate family as well.




So that's really what's most important to us, is that we can provide that family some hope, some enjoyment, smiles being brought to their faces. And then again, the whole idea of being surrounded by a community of others who are going through similar situations as they are. Just lets them know they're not alone through that journey.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And I love how you're broken down into chapters by region. And then, when you have these adventures and you have families together, that support system comes into play. So you're not only creating experiences and memories but also kind of helping people form connections and networks. And that can really be helpful for families as well.


Although, and we'll talk more about this as we go, I'm sure that has been made more difficult with the COVID-19 pandemic, in terms of social distancing and trying to provide adventures and community and networking. But we'll get there. I'm jumping ahead of myself.


How did A Kid Again get started? This is an organization that is new to me. I have not heard of this before and was really excited when I saw your mission and what you guys do. Tell us how you got started.




Jennifer Koma: I think we're probably the best hidden secret in many of the communities that we serve. In 2020, A Kid Again celebrated our 25th anniversary in Central Ohio. We're an expanding and growing organization, and we can talk through that in a minute here, but we are now 26 years old.


And we were originally started actually as a wish-granting organization. That was the initial reasoning for A Kid Again to come to be. And our founders recognized that while the ability to grant a wish for an ill child is important and is a critical and integral part of their medical journey in their experience, they found that children going through this difficult medical journeys really needed more.


And that's where the A Kid Again mission really started to take shape and didn't just focus on the ill child but focus on that entire immediate family and then also provided year-round experience, these year-round adventures.




So, it wasn't just a one-time special moment, but something that that child and that family could always look forward to throughout the year, giving them that hope that they need as they're struggling. If you really think about a child that's spending time in the hospital, has an upcoming surgery, is going through a difficult medical procedure. And they know that in a couple of weeks, they're going to get to go to the zoo or in a few weeks, they're going to get to go to an amusement park or to a sporting event. They know that they have something extra that they're fighting for, something that is a distraction from the pokes and the prods that they're otherwise having to deal with on a daily basis and something that they, as an entire family can put on the calendar that has a big smiley face next to it.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Absolutely. And as you say, it's not just a one-and-done event. I mean, this is really a series of adventures that you provide for these families to really help normalize that part of their life, right?


Jennifer Koma: Absolutely, absolutely. When we talk to our families and get feedback on why is A Kid Again an important part of their lives. They do mention that calendar quite a bit. That when you have a child that's in and out of the hospital, most of the calendar is filled with doctor's appointments and the next upcoming procedure. And when you can put a spotlight on a trip to the zoo or a trip to Kings Island or a trip to a sporting event, then you're focused on that. You're focused on that bright spot in that bright moment.


And then, once you get to that adventure and you're surrounded by other families, a lot of those kids look just like you. They may have lost their hair because they're going through chemo and radiation. They may have a tranche. They maybe in a wheelchair.


There's no spotlight on the ill child that a family may otherwise experience if they were at a very public setting on their own. Everybody maybe looks a little different. And that actually brings them together and creates this bond in this community that makes being at one of our adventure so special for our kids and for our families.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Absolutely. We're going to talk to Travis about the Central Ohio chapter of A Kid Again. What other communities do you guys serve?


Jennifer Koma: So, we are a growing organization. Currently, we have three chapters in Ohio. We have our Central Ohio Chapter, Northern Ohio Chapter, and our Southwest Ohio Chapter serving Cincinnati and Dayton. We also serve the full state of Indiana.


At the top of 2020, we launched our Greater Philadelphia chapter. And then at the start of this year, we launched our Central Carolina chapter. And so those are what we consider our staff chapters.


We do however operate in 15 total markets. And so we're also able to provide families where we don't have a staff presence in a traditional chapter. We provide them special opportunities, as I'm sure Travis will speak in more details about our Adventure in a Box that we started during COVID. We're able to provide a lot of those experiences to families that live all across the country and wouldn't otherwise be in a market where we're hosting in-person adventures.





Dr. Mike Patrick: When you do expand, is this something that you guys look to see what areas we might expand into? Or is there already interest in those areas and they come to you asking for expansion into their area?


Jennifer Koma: Yes and yes. So, both actually play a big role in our expansion efforts. Some of it is demand from families that have heard about us, especially where we may have a chapter nearby. So they network with other families who are experienced with A Kid Again and they want us to come to their communities. But we also look at a couple of other factors when considering expansion.




We want to go where the need is, where the kids are. So we certainly look at the children's hospital presence in a community or in a market to make that determination. And then, our partners in the community are so important to us. The parent company of Kings Island and Cedar Point and many other amusement parks across the country. Cedar Fair is a major partner of ours.


And so our expansion into the Central Carolina's market was, in a lot of ways, driven by their support and their willingness to help make A Kid Again possible in Charlotte and in the surrounding communities. So, our partners play a big role in determining where we go and how we can successfully deliver our adventures to our families.


Dr. Mike Patrick: So, as we move through this, we have a national audience. And so if there's folks really anywhere in the country that this service resonates with, then maybe you could help out the service in some way, whether that be through organization or through corporate sponsorship like you had mentioned with Cedar Fair. I'm sure those folks are welcome to reach out to you guys through the website, right?




Jennifer Koma: Absolutely. We encourage it. We welcome it. We would love that opportunity. Our website is akidagain.org.


If you have a family that you know of or you're a family that is in need of A Kid Again adventures, our enrollment process is really simple. It's all electronic. We have a paper version as well, but we walk you through the steps to ensure that your child has a qualifying condition to participate.


And then certainly, we're always looking for partners, volunteers, corporate sponsors that can help bring our adventures to life and allow us to serve more families that need us.


Dr. Mike Patrick: That's great. And we'll put a link to the website in the show notes for this episode, 487, over at pediacast.org.


Travis, we've mentioned this word adventures and kind of alluded to the fact that it could be a trip to the zoo. It could be to Kings Island, the Cedar Point, those amusement parks kind of adventures. Give us a nutshell of what these adventures look like and the different variety of things that you guys offer.




Travis Gulling: Well, I think the biggest thing about our adventure is we understand our families have so much going on outside of even medical bills or doctor's appointments. They have school, different activities they're engaged with.


So, we make sure that it's easy from the beginning. The moment they get to whatever the adventure is to the second they leave, we try to take care of everything. So, if there's parking, we'll pay for parking. We typically provide the meal for the entire family or some sort of snack along the way.


But we try to come up with creative unique opportunities for our families to participate in our monthly basis. The zoo is a great example, so it's probably one of our most popular, if not the most popular adventure that we have every year.


Here in Columbus, the zoo actually closes to the public for our families. And so from the moment they get there, parking is included. They get to enjoy the zoo without, as Jen was saying, the public kind of watching or wondering what's going on. They can see all their friends that they've met at different adventures throughout the years there and they can enjoy the zoo.




But we also do different things throughout the year, too. So, we'd go to Magic Mountain. We have a holiday party every year. So our holiday party is one that we love to talk about because we had a family last year that came up to us and said, "If it wasn't for this holiday party, my kids wouldn't receive a gift this Christmas."


And so, for us, we try to provide that hope, that feeling of hope that they can have. That's really what we're kind of coming in from.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Absolutely. And the cost to families to go in these adventures?


Travis Gulling: It's completely free. So, we're a cost-free, care-free program. So, you enroll on our program and the second you're enrolled, the next day, you can start attending our adventures with us. So, if they enroll today, they can start heading to our adventures in May. That's when our next adventure is here in Central Ohio and it cost them nothing to participate.




Dr. Mike Patrick: And what about family members, do they come along for free? Is there a limit on the number of family members that you can bring along with you?


Travis Gulling: No limit. So, it's the immediate family, so siblings and parents or guardians. They can also bring an aide as well. If they have an aide that helps our family, they're included in the program, too. And we have people that have one child all the way to 10 to 12 siblings in a family. All of them are included then.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Good to know. And when you say guardian, it could be like a grandma or grandpa. They're like a primary caregiver.


Travis Gulling: Exactly.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Really involved in the child's care in a very significant way. And then tell us about the Central Ohio chapter. Have you guys been with the organization from the beginning? Or is this an expansion?


Travis Gulling: So, we're the original chapter. Central Ohio is kind of where everything started. The national office is located here in Columbus as well.




So it's really convenient. As the executive director for Central Ohio, it's convenient that my office is right down the hall from Jen's and all the other national office staff. So, we collaborate a lot together to ensure that we can provide, put a lot of smiles on families' faces throughout the year.


But we're always looking to grow. That's really where our focus is right now in Central Ohio, looking to expand the number of families that we're serving. That's really where our focus is right now is to help more families.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, see now, I feel bad because you've been here for 25 years. I'm a pediatrician in Central Ohio and not familiar with your organization. So I  apologize. It's probably my fault in some way.


Travis Gulling: Hey, that's okay. As Jen said, we're one of the best kept secrets in Columbus and I think that it's an exciting time because now, with COVID-19, people are starting to look for ways to engage in the community. And if you go to akidagain.org and you can enroll right now, if you know people, encourage them to enroll. And we have adventures that we're offering on a monthly basis for them.




Dr. Mike Patrick: What about sporting events? Those are oftentimes popular with kids. Do you have any professional sports team that are among your corporate partners?


Travis Gulling: We're really fortunate here in Columbus. The Blue Jackets are such a great partner to us . They've been a long-term partner for us. We typically will have an adventure at a Blue Jackets game. Obviously, with the pandemic, that has shifted a little bit, but still a long-term supporter. We've actually met with them recently to talk about what could future years look like depending on what arena size and those certain things.


But Blue Jackets are a great partner. The crew is a great partner with us. We do a lot of things with Ohio State as well. So, Greg Oden and Jacoby Boren, two Ohio State athletes, are on our board here in Central Ohio. They help us make sure we can provide some great experiences for our families.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that is really great. Jen, what about the Northern Ohio folks? So, you mentioned Cedar Point. What are some other things that folks up in that Cleveland area can get involved with adventure-wise?


Jennifer Koma: So, we have a great partnership with the Cubs up in Cleveland. We also have a really unique adventure that's their Soap Box Derby. GPD Group which is an engineering firm throughout Ohio but they have a really strong presence in the Cleveland area, they host a really fun Soap Box Derby for all our A Kid Again kids.


And they're able to make accommodations in the cars for all different levels of abilities. A kid could be a driver but a kid can also be a passenger. And they still get the fun and the joy of raising down that track with the wind blowing through their hair and enjoying a day on the track and in the Soap Box Derby car. So those are some of our special experiences that we have up in Northern Ohio.




Dr. Mike Patrick: That really sounds like a lot of fun. A lot of the things that we've been talking about were pretty easy to put together. Well, I mean, relatively easy to put together before the pandemic.


But I'm sure that COVID has really affected your adventure model. Kind of walk us through the shock of social distancing and particularly last spring and kind of step us through how your organization responded during this pandemic.


Jennifer Koma: Sure. So, we were quick to pivot, as far as our adventure were concerned. Immediately when locked down took place, we shifted into a virtual model for our families. And we're providing weekly computer-based experiences to still bring them smiles and have some joy in their lives and a little break from things going on.


And shortly after that, we actually surveyed our families and we said, "What kind of experiences would you like that would be most meaningful for you during this difficult time?" And they said, we love the idea of being able to bring something into our homes. And so that's where our Adventure in a Box program was created.




What makes it unique by comparison to probably what some other organizations are doing. Certainly, we're putting a box together of activities, games, craps, things that the family can do together. But we even hold pickup parties throughout the community.


So we gather our volunteers and we have a DJ. And we have the superheroes and the princesses come out and we formed a giant parade style event for our families to drive through with their kids in the car. Everybody wearing their mask and properly socially distancing.


And they get to have a little fun, even if it's just for 15, 20 minutes as they're going through our drive-thru, pick up their box, pick up some additional goodies, leave with some snacks on the way out. But it provides them at least some interaction in a safe space to be able to come out and experience an adventure like they would typically get to do.




It was really interesting when we hit probably midsummer of last year and talk to our families about how we can continue to meet their needs. They said, "Where we're safely able to do so, please host an in-person adventure.” So again, outside, socially distance, mask-wearing.


And we were a little surprise. Most of our kids you would think are most vulnerable in a COVID environment. And many of our families responded by saying, “Welcome to our world all the time. We are used to wearing masks. We are used to social distancing. We are used to frequently washing our hands and sanitizing and being extra careful."


So, if anybody is prepared to meet this moment and still be able to bring a smile to my child's face because we don't know how many more adventures my child is going to have, let's do it. And we promise you we will be safe on our end and you keep us safe on your end.” And we've been fortunate that we have been able to do some in-person adventure with appropriate capacity and safety measure in place.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Travis, what are some of those adventures in the course of the pandemic have you had? And moving forward, what sort of plan do you  in the future?


Travis Gulling: In February, we did a Valentine's Day party. It was so much fun. At one point, I think we had 20 or 30 cars lined up outside of a warehouse waiting to get in because families are just looking forward to things to do. The moment they got into the warehouse, there was a DJ there playing music. We have our volunteers there helping play games, so we would hand them an activity where they could shoot a basket into a basketball hoop. But they're in their car doing that.


As they continued through the warehouse and the drive-thru party, they eventually pick up a box. And in that box, had a bunch of different things for Valentine's Day. So they had construction paper to make Valentine's. There were cookie cutters that were in the shape of hearts and there was a tie-dye kit.




So, once they move through the line a little further, they get a white T-shirt with A Kid Again logo. So that way, they could go home and they can make a tie-dye shirt at home. The joke from a lot of the families was, "Thanks a lot. Now, we have the mess in our house." But we got so many pictures of kids in their tie-dye shirts because it was something to do as a family together.


So that was just one example of something. And in March, we did a cooking themed party. And so a lot of our families are looking for help with food and security. And so we try to meet the needs as well for the families.


So we actually provided three meals for each of our families. And like I mentioned, with Greg Oden as a board member, he created a tutorial video on how to make spaghetti and meatballs, how to make grilled cheese.




And then we had a contest. So, we went over our families to make the video at home following Greg's instruction. They send them to us. We have a group of volunteers that got together to pick the winner. And they got a gift certificate to some activity or something that the kids wanted to do.


And so those Adventures in a Box are probably here to stay in some capacity. And so in April this month, we're actually doing an in-person adventure. It's our first one that we've done in quite some time but it's a bowling adventure.


So our families are going out to a local bowling alley. They each get two lanes. They're spaced apart in an appropriate manner, but we're also still offering the Adventure in a Box.


So, we have families showing up where we're giving them Clue or Monopoly or a board game of some sort that they can go home and still have that activity. So we still have families coming in to pick up the Adventure in the Box or they can come and do the in-person thing. And that's probably here to stay for our families.




Dr. Mike Patrick: That is really, really wonderful. And so, a drive-thru Valentine's party. So they stay in their cars and just go to the stations as their car drives through the warehouse.


Travis Gulling: It's so invigorating when you're out there watching these families. We had a family drive-thru that had a signage that says, “Thank you, A Kid Again.” They're thanking us. I'm getting like choked up that thinking about it.


But it was they're thanking us, we should be thanking them. I mean, the things that they're going through is just remarkable. And so the smiles that they have, the laughter that they're experiencing. Because they're not thinking about, "I have my doctor's appointment next week," or, "I have surgery in three weeks." Or the parents aren't thinking about how are we going to pay this medical bill. They're just thinking about that fun time while they're watching their kids just be a kid again.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that's really fantastic. The Southern Ohio Chapter of your organization, I saw in their calendar that they're planning a Smiles in The Sky fireworks extravaganza, with fireworks over Coney Island in late April. That sounds like a lot of fun, too.


Jennifer Koma: Yeah, absolutely. Our Southwest Ohio Chapter had lot of great community partners, no different than the rest of our chapters that are able to come together to provide really unique experiences.


And that's another component of what makes A Kid Again so special, is that certainly, could a family get to a sporting event or get to a zoo? Sure. Are they likely to plan all the details and logistics surrounding that event and then certainly incurring the cost around it?


Now, we're getting more complicated and more complex when they already have enough on their plate, enough to worry about. And now, you bring in the opportunity to provide them something unique and something special like a private firework show for families. And our kids do feel extra special that day.




We always say when you come to A Kid Again adventure, whether you're the enrolled child, you're a sibling or you're a parent, everyone's a VIP. And we're going to give you the experience that you never thought you would have if you were otherwise trying to tackle it as a family on your own. Because we know it's just as much more difficult for you to get to do that.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Absolutely. So, I'm sure there are listeners out there now who are in one of your areas where you guys have chapters. How do families get connected with you and what are the requirements to be accepted and enrolled into this program?


Jennifer Koma: So, we have basically two qualifiers to be an enrolled child in A Kid Again. Your child needs to be under the age of 20 and needs to have what a medical professional would deem as a life-threatening condition. The enrollment process is really simple. They just go our website, akidagain.org/enrollnow. And it walks you through an enrollment application.




You share with us the primary diagnosis for your child. You can either submit a medical authorization form that your physician fills out on your behalf. But we also have volunteer medical advisory committee that reviews all applications.


And so, if you're not going to get to a doctor's appointment for a few weeks or even a few months, you fill out the enrollment application. You share with us the details of your child's primary diagnosis. And our medical professionals will review that diagnosis. And then, obviously, qualify you were appropriate for participation in the program.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Great. And all the details again at your website which is akidagain.org and we'll put a link to that in the show notes for this episode, 487, over at pediacast.org.


And you guys are non-profit organization, how can listeners support your organizations? A really cool thing that you're doing but I'm sure it cost money to organize all of this. So, how can folks help?




Jennifer Koma: Absolutely. We're so fortunate to have so many generous donors and partners in the communities, and then actually, across the country and communities where we're not even providing service. Because individuals and companies hear of our stories and they say, "It doesn't matter where that child lives. These are children that need our support and need adventures that A Kid Again offers."


And so, it costs  $35 per child to deliver an adventure. And so you, as a donor, can go on to a website and make a gift to support a child for one adventure. You can support a family for an adventure. You can support a family for an entire year of adventures. And we have all the giving levels to help you identify where you want your support to go.


But ultimately, we know it takes time, talent, and treasure to make our program happen. And so we're looking certainly for financial support but the ability to engage companies and individuals as volunteers.




Because I promise you, the second you see an adventure and action and you see the smile that you just brought to one of our kids' faces, you can't help but want to stay involved and continue to show your support wherever you're able to.


Dr. Mike Patrick: What kind of volunteer opportunities do you have available with the organization? What kind of skill sets are you looking for?


Jennifer Koma: So, we look for everything from individuals who want to be out add in adventure. It can be working registration. It can be helping to greet families when they arrive in an event.


We're certainly looking for, during non-COVID times, buddies for our families, during meal time where we're able to congregate, let's say in a picnic area. We need folks to help serve meals but then also carry trays for families to make sure that they have everything that they need without having to go out of their way.




If you like riding roller coasters and it is a non-COVID time, our parents are often looking for buddies to ride rollercoaster with their kids because their kids want to ride the rollercoasters, but mom and dad may not want to. So that is usually a very popular volunteer opportunity at one of our adventure at a theme park, is being able to be a rollercoaster riding buddy.


But we're also looking for office support as well. Maybe the not as exciting or fun stuff where you're not getting that personal interaction with our families and with our kids. But if you have a couple days a week where you can come help stuff envelopes or put together boxes for Adventures in a Box, we welcome those individuals to come.


And come as a family and volunteer. Or come as a company. It's great for corporate teams that are looking for community service team building opportunities, to come and volunteer at either one of our adventures or lead up to one of our adventures, where we could use some backend support.




Dr. Mike Patrick: When this pandemic is over, you may be getting an application for me to be a rollercoaster buddy. That sounds like a lot of fun.




Jennifer Koma: I love it. We look forward to that.


Dr. Mike Patrick: All right, we really appreciate both of you stopping by and sharing all this great information about your organization.


Once again, you can find them at akidagain.org. And we'll put a link in the show notes for this episode, 487, over at pediacast.org.


So, Jennifer Koma and Travis Gulling both with A Kid Again, thank you so much for stopping by.


Jennifer Koma: Thank you so much for having us. It was great and we hope to join you again.


Travis Gulling: Yes, thank you. So much fun. I really appreciate it today.






Dr. Mike Patrick: We are back with just enough time to say thanks once again to all of you for taking time out of your day and making PediaCast a part of it. Really do appreciate that.


Also, thanks to our guests this week, Jennifer Koma and Travis Gulling, both with A Kid Again. Really appreciate them stopping by.


Don't forget, for the medical professionals in the crowd or really anyone in the healthcare industry with an interest in educating the public online, we have our Communicating Medicine: Practicing Evidence-based Medicine in an Online World coming your way Friday, May 14th, 2021 on a computer screen near you.


Some of the topics, the role of social media in promoting diversity and inclusion, strategies for overcoming vaccine hesitancy among patients and families, overcoming cancel culture and online harassment, how to become an interview star, crafting an effective medical blog, maintaining professionalism and compliance while engaging online, Podcasting 101, 15 social media perils in 15 minutes, and addressing misinformation during  the COVID-19 pandemic.




We have a terrific sleigh of speakers for the conference. And registration is affordable. It's also limited but we do have some open space now, $25 for most attendees. If you're affiliated with Nationwide Children's Hospital or the Ohio State University, it's $20. If you're a student, only 15.


And I'll put a link to the conference brochure and the registration page in the show notes over at pediacast.org for this episode, 487. I will be there and I hope you can be there, too.


Don't forget you can find PediaCast wherever podcasts are found. We are in the Apple and Google podcast apps, also iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon Music and most other podcast apps for iOS and Android.  Our landing site is pediacast.org. You'll find our entire archive of past programs there, along with our show notes, our Terms of Use Agreement, and that handy Contact page if you would like to suggest a topic for an upcoming episode.




Reviews are also helpful wherever you get your podcast. We always appreciate when you share your thoughts about the show. And we love connecting with you on social media. You'll find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Simply Search for PediaCast.


If you are a medical professional, don't forget we have a sibling program called PediaCast CME. That stands for continuing medical education. It's similar to this program. We turn the science up a couple notches and offer free Continuing Medical Education Credit for those who listen.


And that not only include doctors, but also nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacist, psychologist, social workers, even dentists. And since Nationwide Children's is jointly accredited by many professional organizations, it's likely we offer the exact credits you need to fulfill your state's Continuing Medical Education requirements.


Shows and details are available at the landing site for that program, pediacastcme.org. You can also listen wherever podcasts are found. Simply search for PediaCast CME.




Thanks again for stopping by. And until next time, this is Dr. Mike saying stay safe, stay healthy and stay involved with your kids. So, long, everybody.




Announcer 2: This program is a production of Nationwide Children's. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on PediaCast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *