Established in 1987, the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago cares for more children and adolescents than any other pediatric HIV service provider in the region. The program provides a comprehensive approach to caring for HIV-impacted families and has a multidisciplinary team including doctors specializing in HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, as well as a child life specialist, nutritionist, speech therapist, physical/occupational therapist, developmental specialist, and a special phlebotomist.
Junior Council was founded shortly after the establishment of the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program. Our mission is to help provide financial support to the program so as to ensure that children with HIV/AIDS, regardless of their ability to pay, have access to high-quality pediatric healthcare.
Junior Council is a group of young professionals living in and around the Chicago area. Our membership ranges from a variety of backgrounds, pooling our resources and talents to support our jointed interest in helping to raise awareness and funds to support our cause.
To date, Junior Council has donated over $2.7M to the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program. Some of the things Junior Council’s annual donation covers:
- Laboratory tests and medications for uninsured patients
- Support program staff, including a child life specialist and social worker
- A van and driver that transports patients and families to appointments as needed
In 2014, Junior Council established a scholarship that is awarded to one or more patients of the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program each year. The scholarship aims to support patients as they pursue education after high school, in any form. The funds may be used by the recipient for educated related expenses such as tuition; technology (computers and software); readers; books and classroom materials; housing; and transportation.
Beginning in 2012, Junior Council began a mentorship program to pair Junior Council members with patients of the Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program. These one-on-one interactions assist the patients as they transition into adulthood. Each year, members can apply to become a mentor.