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11/4/12: Verrill Farm Raises Record $17,445 in Sixth Annual Harvest Festival to Benefit Emerson Hospital Pediatric Unit

Verrill Farm Raises Record $17,445 in Sixth Annual Harvest Festival
With the help of 100 community volunteers and 600 attendees, the sixth annual Harvest Festival hosted by Verrill Farm in Concord on Oct. 13 raised a record $17,445 for Emerson Hospital pediatric care. Proceeds benefited coping kits, which are colorful bags of therapeutic toys distributed by Emerson’s pediatric intervention team to children who enter the hospital through the emergency department or upon admission to the pediatric unit.

The Harvest Festival featured games and activities for children of all ages, including pumpkin picking, hay and pony rides, face-painting, balloon animals, live music by Boston Road Bluegrass, entertainment by Violet the Clown, raffles and refreshments.

To date, the Harvest Festival has raised more than $67,000 for Emerson’s young patients.

“Emerson is extremely grateful for the generous support of Verrill Farm,” said Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson Hospital. “We greatly appreciate all of the time and effort put in to make the Harvest Festival such a great success each year.  On behalf of our pediatric intervention team and the thousands of children we treat each year, we are very thankful.”

Since the coping kits program was piloted in November 2005, more than 20,000 kits have been distributed to pediatric patients. Color-coded for age and gender, they are designed with an understanding of the developmental needs of children and the stressors encountered by a child entering a medical environment, including fear of separation, fear of pain, intimidating surroundings and loss of control and privacy.

Emerson’s pediatric intervention team is a multidisciplinary group that consists of two child life specialists, a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse and a consulting child psychiatrist. The team recognizes the unique psychosocial needs of hospitalized children and their families, providing services based on the emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy to young adulthood. Through careful preparation and continuing support, the team aims to minimize a child’s anxiety in the health care environment and promote opportunities for growth and mastery of the hospital experience.

Emerson's pediatric program includes several components that are unique for a community hospital: 24-hour, in-hospital coverage by pediatric hospitalists, community pediatric practices that provide around-the-clock coverage for their patients, a special care nursery for ill newborns, the pediatric intervention team and partnerships with pediatric services at leading Boston teaching hospitals.

Located at 11 Wheeler Road in Concord, Verrill Farm was established as a dairy farm in 1918, just seven years after the founding of Emerson Hospital. Now owned and operated by Steve and Joan Verrill and Jennifer Verrill Faddoul, Verrill Farm grows 140 acres of fruits and vegetables for sale in its farm stand and to many local restaurants in the Boston area. A bakery and kitchen offers baked goods, pre-cooked entrees, breads, soups and made-to-order sandwiches.

For more information, call (978) 369-4494 or visit www.verrillfarm.com.

Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.