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Hillsides Gives Thanks to Its Nursing Staff in Honor of National Nurses Week

06-20-2016 09:49 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Hillsides

(PASADENA, CA) Hillsides Chief Executive Officer Joseph M. Costa used National Nurses week as an opportunity to thank the Hillsides nursing staff, acknowledging the tremendous contribution they make to assure that those Hillsides cares for are empowered and prepared to make better, healthier choices after experiencing trauma.

Costa noted that many children in Hillsides Residential Treatment Services are admitted with some sort of psychotropic medication. A number of effective medications help children and adolescents address some of the diagnosed severe emotional disturbances they confront. In spite of the effectiveness of these medications, Hillsides overall approach is to help residents become less dependent on medication, according to Costa. “Through the use of cognitive therapies and a supportive environment, we are able to help our residents to rely less on medication,” he said.

“That being said, medication is an essential part of the treatment we offer,” Costa continued to explain the process after written approval and authorization by the Juvenile Court has been given. “Each resident is treated by a psychiatrist, and medications are dispensed by the nursing staff. All staff are educated on the effects of these medications and taught to recognize symptoms that might be associated with particular regiments of treatment. Our Residential Treatment Services is an ideal setting to determine the effectiveness of certain medications in combination with an array of interactive therapies.”

Costa also pointed out that in this kind of an environment, nursing staff is indispensable. “We are very fortunate to have a cadre of nurses that are essential members of our treatment teams,” he said. “Not only do they oversee the use of medications, but they provide a great deal of education and support to our residents, from addressing childhood maladies to sensitive issues concerning pregnancy prevention. This integrated and comprehensive approach to care is absolutely essential to assure the overall well-being of those we serve.”

Given that this kind of nursing care is a fundamental part of the treatment Hillsides offers children in the foster care system, Costa said that he was surprised to see cited in a Los Angeles Times article on foster care that teenage girls living in foster care were two and a half times more likely to become pregnant by the age of 19. “Avoiding teenage pregnancies is a complex and challenging issue, in a particular way for youngsters in the foster care system. It requires more than just education, but an orchestrated approach to address the emotional and behavioral issues that places adolescents, who have been traumatized, at risk of pregnancies,” he said.

Costa noted that no system of care can effectively address this issue without the support of many caregivers who collectively lift up a vulnerable adolescent and provide the resources to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. “One of those indispensable caregivers for us at Hillsides is each member of our nursing staff,” he said.

Hillsides, founded in 1913, is a premier provider of child welfare services serving more than 6,200 children, youth, and families throughout Los Angeles County, including Echo Park, Baldwin Park, and the San Gabriel Valley. For more information, please visit www.hillsides.org.
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This press release was originally published in a slightly different version on Hillsides blog on May 8, 2013

CONTACT: Alison Bell
Office: (323) 543-2800 ext. 226
Cell: (626) 390-1640
E-mail: abell2@hillsides.org

Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. Our vision is to create lasting change in the lives of at-risk children and youth we serve. We provide high quality care, advocacy, and innovative services that promote safe, permanent environments where young people can thrive.

Hillsides has four main programs:
Family Resource Centers, which offer numerous community based programs and services that provide parenting classes, mental health support and additional crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County.
Residential Treatment Services, which provide a safe and stable environment where children and youths, who cannot live at home, suffered trauma, or have severe emotional or behavioral challenges, can thrive.
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school that offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavioral challenges for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Youth Moving On, which provides former foster youth affordable quality housing and numerous support services to help them become responsible, self-sufficient adults.

Hillsides
940 Avenue 64
Pasadena, CA 91105
323-254-2274

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