FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Catie B. Circle of Care is a new program in Fort Wayne. The concept was created by Jason Baker, Fort Wayne native and former NFL player, to help families better understand the healthcare system when dealing with a difficult medical diagnosis for a child. Baker’s sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 16 years old. At that time his parents had no choice but to ‘become experts in health care” in the midst of caring for her. The Catie B. Circle of Care seeks to help families in similar situations by providing specially trained “Navigators” to guide parents through care coordination and advocacy.
Jason Baker will be in in town on September 8, as the Parkview Foundation Golf Classic raises funds for this program. Patti Brahe, Senior Vice President, Parkview Women’s and Children’s Service says “every year, proceeds from the annual Parkview Foundation Golf Classic support Parkview’s mission to improve the health of our communities.” The goal is to raise $140,000 to fund a second year. The first year is already funded through Parkview Foundation Donors. Since the services of Catie B. Circle of Care are not reimbursed by insurance, the funding will come from the community.
The program already has 15 families enrolled and Parkview anticipates up to 50 families may be served by the end of this first year. There is no application process and no fees for the program. According to Brahe “children and families are referred based on their healthcare needs, as identified by a physician, nurse or other clinician.” In addition to care coordination, the program offers financial counseling and makes relevant connections to other local support resources. Brahe added “an important component to the program is the personal followup with the families.” She continues, “caring for a child with special needs is a marathon, not a sprint.” Parents in the program continue to receive ongoing care after the child is discharged.