Riley team gives a shout out to colleagues in adult hospitals




A video produced by the child life team offers encouragement to those who are managing the surge in patients stricken by COVID-19 within other IU Health hospitals.

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist,

Team members from Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health have a message for their colleagues in IU Health’s adult hospitals: “We are here for you.”

In an uplifting video inspired by Dr. Elaine Cox, Riley’s chief medical officer, and produced by Riley’s child life team, team members take turns displaying signs and shouting words of encouragement in support of those on the front lines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melissa Sexton, child life special events supervisor at Riley, said Dr. Cox wanted to do something to support the adult-hospital team members who were already starting to see increases in adult acuity and capacity related to the virus last week.

“This was her way of trying to reach out to all of those team members who are being impacted,” said Sexton, who visited two Riley patient floors Friday with child life specialists and asked team members to participate in filming video clips to show their support.

“It was a fun way to think about helping our adult-care team members and just another way for us to show we are here for our adults and our kids,” she said. “The front-line providers on the floors were so happy to be able to do something to help their adult-care teammates. It was really powerful.”

Sexton, who has had to flip her special events role into a studio production gig during the virus outbreak, put the video together Saturday.

“I have learned all kinds of new things – video editing, green screen production, post-production green screen work.”

She has put together video programming to be shared with patients in the hospital, in addition to working with physical therapists to get exercises on video, so patients outside the hospital can maintain a PT regimen. She also has worked with a Riley chaplain to record spiritual care moments to be aired on the hospital’s closed-circuit television.

While the Riley child life specialists are still on the floors providing direct patient care, they are also thinking of other ways to support the siblings and families at home, Sexton said.

All of it is key to managing the disruption in daily life for patients, families and team members.

“I’m just happy to provide some service to these patients and families and our staff.”