Brian and Lisa Wagner’s relationship with Akron Children’s Hospital is rooted in confidence and trust.
“Akron Children’s has always been able to give us answers or plans to help our children,” said Lisa. “Because of this, there’s no other place I take my kids. If there’s a problem or issue, Akron Children’s is the first place I go.”
Consequently, the community and business leaders from Bath, Ohio, have become ardent, longtime supporters of our hospital. And through a recent $300,000 gift, the Wagners are bringing relief, support and answers to families like theirs through the Brian and Lisa Wagner Family Neurobehavioral Health Fund.
Helping patients and families ‘navigate’ a life-changing diagnosis
Three years ago, the Wagners turned to Akron Children’s division of neurobehavioral health and Lisa Stanford, PhD, ABPP, pediatric neuropsychologist and director of the division of neurobehavioral health, to find answers for one of their children who had struggled for years in school. After testing and assessments, they discovered he had dyslexia.
“It was amazing to finally have an answer to the difficulties he faced,” said Lisa. “But having a child diagnosed with dyslexia or any learning disability is overwhelming. You ask yourself ‘now what?’”
The Brian and Lisa Wagner Family Neurobehavioral Health Fund will create the division’s first patient navigator position. The patient navigator will help children with neurocognitive issues and their families move through the health care and educational systems by:
- Identifying barriers to care and education.
- Serving as a resource and emotional support.
- Acting as a liaison between the division and outside agencies, including schools.
- Uncovering gaps in resources and working within the community to bridge them.
“It’s a dream come true for a parent,” said Lisa. “Having one person help you from the time you ask yourself if your child has an issue through the diagnosis, IEP, setting up tutors, etc., is a big time and frustration saver. I was bounced around for years trying to get the right answers.”
Opening doors for more support
The Wagners hope that the position will help generate more awareness about neurocognitive issues and the challenges children and families face.
“I don’t think people realize that the services from Akron Children’s and the patient navigator can change a child’s life,” said Brian. “More effort needs to go into it for the general health of our future population.”
They also see opportunities for growth where donors can make an immediate impact.
“The patient navigator will be a game-changer for families. No more waiting years for an answer.” said Brian. “We encourage other hospital donors to learn more about the position and how they can support it and other programs at Akron Children’s. They can make a real difference for the children and families.”
Make a difference in the life of a child with a learning disability. Contact Megan Hopper, senior director of principal giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-543-8340 to discuss giving opportunities.