JDRF Bag of Hope program launches at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital

For newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes patients, JDRF offers the Bag of Hope, a free bag filled with a comprehensive collection of educational and support materials. These materials include Rufus the bear, a blood glucose meter, a carbohydrate-counting tool, books, videos, and more.

Together, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and JDRF are partnering to help newly diagnosed patients and families of young children with Type 1 diabetes.

The JDRF Bag of Hope is nationally recognized for providing critical information and reference materials about the disease, and connects families with other Type 1 families for insight, experience and support through the JDRF website and mentoring programs.

The program was brought to UF Health by pediatric nurses who wanted to continue helping patients after receiving a positive diagnosis for the disease in the clinic. “Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is life changing,” said Laura Bratcher, B.S.N., R.N., C.N.M.L., C.C.R.N., Unit 45 Nurse Manager at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

“When we were forming our diabetes resource nurse team on 45 peds, we invited Courtney Puentes, B.S.N., R.N., C.D.E. to be the group’s mentor. She suggested we contact JDRF about the Bag of Hope program for newly diagnosed pediatric patients. We outreached to the most local chapter and Pam Williams from JDRF North Florida in Jacksonville offered to come to UF Health Shands to meet with us. We have been using the new backpacks to educate newly diagnosed Type 1 kids and parents since this past November and it has been awesome! The backpacks have teddy bears with areas to give shots and prick for blood and glucose meters and lots of stuff. It’s an incredible resource.”

Patients diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes who are 16 years and older are also included in the new partnership – eligible to receive a JDRF T1D Care Kit that includes information and tools to educate, support, and inspire newly diagnosed type 1 young adults.

Earlier this year, the  Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology Program at UF Health received the highest pediatric-specific program ratings in Florida and 14th nationally, according to the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings. “This new and ongoing partnership highlights UF’s continued role as a national leader in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care,” said Les Jebson, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., F.A.C.M.P.E., L.H.R.M., UF Diabetes Institute administrator.

For more information about either of the JDRF-sponsored ongoing bag programs at UF Health, contact pwilliams@jdrf.org.

UF Health nurses in Unit 45 pediatrics help bring the JDRF Bag of Hope program to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

About JDRF:

JDRF is the leading global organization funding Type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. Learn more.