Cover Stories

Keeping Families Healthy: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

All children need regular visits to the doctor, but not all families have the resources necessary to access such important health care. The Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides outpatient pediatric care to children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. The center, which also has a clinic in Midtown, supports the whole family to ensure its young patients stay happy and healthy.

Along with providing health care to children, the center works to connect families with important resources. Around 75% of patients live below the poverty line, and families receive a questionnaire at well child checkups to determine if they are contending with concerns like food insecurity, parental depression and more. “People don’t often think to tell their pediatricians if they’re having difficulty paying utilities or meeting other needs,” says Dr. Heidi Sallee, a SLUCare physician and the center’s medical director. “When we started asking those questions, we were surprised to learn that 7% of our families needed help accessing food.”

Danis Pediatric Center works with organizations like St. Louis Area Diaper Bank and Operation Food Search to supply families with necessary resources, and its Danis CARES program offers more support, including help coordinating transportation and providing access to social workers and family navigators. “It’s an outstanding program that touches so many of our families,” Sallee says. “At the end of the day, it’s impactful to know that we are supporting the growth and development of our patients beyond purely medical needs. As pediatricians, we feel like we are making a difference.”

To support the Danis Pediatric Center, St. Louisians can head fieldside to August Busch Polo Club in Defiance on Sept. 18 for Glennon Gallop. Along with watching an exciting polo match, participants can choose from two experiences. VIP guests gain access to a climate-controlled tent where they can enjoy fine wine, a luncheon and auction, and Field-Side Party guests can choose to tailgate or watch from the bleachers. Both VIP and Field-Side options include a divot stomp and champagne toast on the field. “It’s a unique experience that you don’t get to have every day,” Sallee says. “Plus, purchasing a ticket or donating makes a huge difference for Danis Pediatric Center.”

In the past, funds from the event have provided new equipment for the center and gone toward purchasing meals and other resources for patients. Danis Pediatric Center handles more than 20,000 patient visits annually, and Sallee says the fundraising also supports further growth. “We’ve been in the same space at Cardinal Glennon since 1998, when I was a graduating resident at the hospital, and the program is bigger than ever,” she says. “Our dream is to have a larger space, and some of the funds raised by Glennon Gallop will go toward that project. We appreciate the support of the community, and we are excited for what the future holds because of it.”

Glennon Gallop, from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 18 at August Busch Polo Club in Defiance, supports the Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit glennon.org/gallop.

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

Pictured at top: Dr. Heidi Sallee with a Danis Pediatric Center patient
Photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

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