Kelsey Mora, CCLS, LPC, is the sole child life specialist, from a child life program of 14, assigned full time to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Kelsey has been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the planning and implementation of the ground-breaking PICU Up!TM
program at the hospital. The PICU Up! program, which promotes early mobilization and rehabilitation for pediatric ICU patients was developed by Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The basis of PICU Up! is "Illness does not mean stillness." Preliminary research at Johns Hopkins indicates that structured activity and mobility is safe, feasible, and may have benefits for short- and long-term outcomes of critically ill children.
Dr. Deanna Behrens, an attending physician, is the lead investigator for Advocate Children's Hospital's participation in the multicenter PICU Up! trial, and procured the grant that facilitated bringing equipment and resources to optimize successful implementation of the program. The teams involved in the implementation of the program include child life, creative arts therapies, physicians, nursing, respiratory therapy, physical/occupational/speech therapy, and research. "We are so proud of the culture change in our PICU while implementing PICU Up! It is a true interdisciplinary project, and one of the benefits has been strengthening the relationships between each discipline. Our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapies team members, championed by Kelsey Mora, have been critical members from the beginning. They have made art, composed songs, and created innovative material such as schedules and communicative devices that is integral to the success of the project. Additionally, the team actively involves the parents. They are truly an invaluable part of the team." - Deanna Behrens, MD