March 18 2013 12:00 AM

MSU pediatric clinic lands $10,000 for upgrades, renovations

Wednesday, May 25 — The Michigan State University pediatric clinic at Sparrow Hospital will get an extreme makeover thanks to a $10,000 grant awarded to them by the Junior League of Lansing.

Clinic officials, such as Jan Quiring, the executive director of the MSU Children's Health Initiative, hope the remodel will make the waiting rooms and medical areas more accommodating to children and their families, she said.

She said the pediatric clinic does not have its own dedicated physical space. “Inherent in that is part of the problem. The space isn’t designed for children — it’s designed for medical care.”

The MSU clinics of hematology, oncology, pulmonology and a few others operate in rented space at the Sparrow Professional Building, 1200 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing. Quiring said the goal is to make the pediatric clinic more child- and family-friendly.

“A lot of times the kids come and they’re getting (chemotherapy) infusions that may last hours,” she said. “They’re hooked up to their infusion pump and it’s very boring, so we wanted to get as much visual and activity around them.”
The daily operating staff will also participate in delegating how the funds are spent, Quiring said.

“(The staff) desperately needed new infusion pumps,” she said. “They didn’t have something as simple as a blanket warmer — little touches like that mean a lot to the children if they are sitting in a chair for six hours.”

Clinic officials hope to not only redecorate the clinic with visually entertaining artwork, but also support patients’ families by providing food, gas and pharmacy gift cards, Quiring said.

The Junior League of Lansing is a nonprofit organization of women that promotes voluntarism in the greater Lansing area. It was first organized in 1931 as the Junior Service League.

The grant will provide an opportunity for the clinic to include more MSU service providers, such as the MSU Community Music School music therapy program and the MSU School of Social Work with a chance to engage patients and students alike, Quiring said.

“For them to be able to spend some time in the vicinity of children while they are getting treatment — it has as much a therapeutic effect as the medicine, I think,” she said. “We want to help connect those dots, and bring (resources) into the medical environment.”

Clinic officials plan to move away from the traditional methods of treatment that force patients to bear the burden of their treatment. It aims to help more than serve, Quiring said.

“The goal is to make the whole center both physically and actively more appealing,” she said. “A happier, healthier place to be.”