GEORGE MARK CHILDRENS FUND

The Center of Excellence for Pediatric Palliative Care

aka George Mark Children's House   |   San Leandro, CA   |  www.georgemark.org

Mission

Founded in 2004, George Mark Children's House (George Mark) is the first freestanding, independent pediatric palliative care facility in the United States. George Mark is providing cutting-edge, interdisciplinary medical and psychosocial services to children and young adults facing life-limiting illness and their families, in a warm, inclusive, home-like setting. The mission of George Mark Children's House is to provide the highest quality of care and to minimize suffering by addressing the physical, emotional and psychosocial needs of the entire family. George Mark serves all medically eligible children regardless of geographical location. The majority of our patients are from California, with many residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Notes from the nonprofit

Click on the following link to view the Ted Talk presented by our Founder Dr. Kathy Hull discussing our mission: https://www.ted.com/talks/kathy_hull_stories_from_a_home_for_terminally_ill_children

Ruling year info

1997

Chief Executive Officer

Linda Ashcraft Hudak

Main address

2121 George Mark Lane

San Leandro, CA 94578 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3255845

NTEE code info

Pediatrics (G98)

Hospice (P74)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to Children's Hospice International, in the US alone, approximately 1.3 million babies, children, and adolescents live with serious or life-limiting illness, including cerebral palsy, heart defects, metabolic disorders, and cancer that is unresponsive to treatment, with close to 53,000 of those children dying each year. For the children and families that face this profound challenge, Palliative Medicine presents a particularly compelling model of care. Palliative Medicine is a specialized approach to medical care for patients with serious illness, focusing on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and the stress of serious illness-whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family, whether the condition is terminal or there remains hope of a cure.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pediatric Palliative Care Program

The four primary services offered by George Mark Children’s House are Transitional Care, Pain and Symptom Management, Respite Care, and End-of-Life Care to families.  In other words, we provide critical medical care to children while educating and supporting families to effectively manage their children’s long-term healthcare needs.  We also provide specialized pain and symptom management to the children who need it.  Our Respite program offers a safe and nurturing place for parents to bring their children when they simply need to rest, and we offer compassionate, coordinated end-of-life care for those who choose it. 

In addition, George Mark provides a range of fun, developmentally appropriate activities for kids of all ages and abilities. Our program also includes psychosocial services for all family members, including counseling and bereavement support. 
"In less than a week, the staff at George Mark accomplished what Thomas’ team of specialists could not.  Since our stay, Thomas has been pain free, healthy, and has had his best year at school yet.” – Isabelle L., George Mark Parent
 While George Mark offers a range of highly sophisticated medical treatment and social support, perhaps the greatest gift we offer is one of time – time for a child to be a child, and a family to be together as a family, no matter how serious the diagnosis or how limited the child’s lifespan may be.  This simple but profound gift is transformative for the lives of all involved.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Outstanding Program Achievement Award 2005

California Hospice and Palliative Care Association

Circle of Life Award, Citation of Honor 2007

American Hospital Association

Leadership and Innovator Award For Pediatric Palliative Care Leadership 2020

Coalition of Compassionate Care of California

Non Profit of the Year 2019

California State Assembly District 18

Non Profit of the Year 2020

2020 Best of San Leandro Award

Exemplary and Innovative Practices 2019

ARCH National Respite Network

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Caregivers, Parents

Related Program

Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These are family members of our patients. In addition to receiving resources, they participate in child life activities, social work and mental health activities, and community building events.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of family members served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These are family members of our patients who participate in child life, social work and mental health activities; and community building events. They learn how to better care for their ill children.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric includes the number of individual patients we served in the fiscal year. Our admissions are two or three times higher because individual patients come back for repeated stays in a year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals at George Mark are to provide the medical care and psychosocial support needed to enable children facing life-limiting illnesses to live their lives to the fullest and to empower families to successfully manage this profound challenge. George Mark serves medically eligible children, ages 0-24, at no charge to their families.

By taking a unique approach to pediatric palliative care, George Mark promotes greater health, well-being and quality of life for both the child and family, for as long as possible, and often well beyond the generally accepted prognosis. This integrated and holistic approach brings critical medical and psychosocial care to families during an incredibly challenging time of their lives and results in exceptional patient and family health and quality of life outcomes.

The pediatric palliative care program at George Mark encompasses the following types of care:
• Respite Care – For parents and primary caregivers of children with serious illness, George Mark provides a safe, nurturing place for them to bring their child for short-term care. By providing caregivers with temporary relief, George Mark supports the health of the primary caregiver as well as the well-being of the entire family. Respite care at George Mark also provides positive experiences for child patients by supporting them to engage independently of their families with George Mark staff and volunteers and other patients.
• End of Life Care and Support – For children nearing the end of life, George Mark provides palliative care to minimize their pain and provides their families and loved ones with emotional, spiritual and practical support during this challenging time.
Transitional Care - To equip families and caregivers with the skills they need to effectively manage their child's long-term medical care needs after discharge from an acute care hospital stay. During the child's and families' stay for transitional care, George Mark provides the child with needed medical care and psychosocial support, while educating the family and caregivers to recognize and respond to health needs as they arise. George Mark staff also works with families to help them understand how to operate special equipment and provide needed treatments at home. By training the family to proactively manage their child's health, the child's health is stabilized and the need for repeat or prolonged hospitalizations is minimized.
• Bereavement Support - Recognizing that families grieving the death of a child benefit by receiving long-term support, George Mark offers an ongoing Bereavement Program for all families that have ever received services at George Mark. By offering families long-term and multi-faceted emotional and practical support prior to and following the death of their child, the George Mark Bereavement Program supports and encourages family members to recognize the normalcy of their feelings, to grieve in ways that are personally healing and to move ahead with their lives by integrating the loss of a child in a way that supports the family and honors the memory of the child.

George Mark's Pediatric Palliative Care Program seeks to maximize the health and quality of life for children facing life limiting illness, and to support and empower families to effectively manage this profound challenge. To achieve this, George Mark offers a full range of sub-acute medical care and psychosocial services by a highly trained, interdisciplinary professional staff. All services are offered on-site, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year in a warm, inclusive, home-like setting.

Individualized case management and coordination of services is conducted by an interdisciplinary team that includes a Medical Director, Nurse Case Manager, Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child Life Specialist, and Psychologist. Together, this interdisciplinary team provides the therapeutic insight, guidance and recommendations from a medical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual perspective to develop a personalized care plan for every child and family in alignment with their goals and cultural values.

George Mark could not operate without the added support of our Volunteer Program, which recruits, trains and supports over 200 volunteers each year to volunteer directly with patients and families, and provide kitchen assistance and administrative support. In all, volunteers provided over 6,000 hours of unpaid support to George Mark during FY 2020/21.

1. GOAL: Provide medical care and support services to a minimum of 100 severely ill children. OUTCOME: In FY 20/21 George Mark met its goal by achieving 157 admissions of children with life limiting illness. The average patient length of stay was 7.75 days, and varied from one to 64 days. We served 66 patients in the last fiscal year, many of whom stayed with us multiple times during the year.
2. GOAL: Achieve an average daily census of 4 patients. OUTCOME: In FY 20/21, George Mark provided a total of 1,267 patient care days, for an average daily patient census of 3.5 patients per day. Our health and safety record during the Pandemic has been excellent, with no transmission between or among patients or staff. Parents' confidence in the safety of our programs continues to grow, and our 20/21 census increased from the previous year.
3. GOAL: Provide education and psychosocial support services to 300 family members. OUTCOME: In FY 20/21 George Mark provided direct support services, including Child Life, Counseling, and Bereavement Support to over 300 family members;
4. GOAL: Provide pediatric palliative care education to physicians and medical and nursing students. OUTCOME: Interest in our model of pediatric palliative medicine remains very strong. In FY 20/21, George Mark adapted our educational programming to offer presentations and virtual tours to nursing students, medical residents, and fellows in the practice of pediatric palliative care;
5. GOAL: Provide opportunities for 150 individuals to engage in meaningful volunteer service.
OUTCOME: The George Mark volunteer program continues to thrive. In all, over 160 individuals and 25 groups provided over 7,900 hours of volunteer service to George Mark during FY 20/21;
6. GOAL: Earn the highest satisfaction rating from 90% or greater of patient families. OUTCOME: In FY 20/21, 97% of families gave George Mark the highest possible satisfaction rating for our medical care, and 100% would highly recommend George Mark to other children with life-limiting illnesses and their families;
7. GOAL: Obtain a minimum of 15% of operating income from private insurance and Medi-Cal reimbursements. OUTCOME: In FY 20/21, we met our earned income goal of 15%. We revised our goal of earned income last year in anticipation that our patient census and reimbursements would be lower because of the ongoing effects of the Pandemic.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve children, teens, and young adults with life-limiting illnesses, along with their family members. Many of our patients have some form of developmental disability and are unable to respond to a survey or questionnaire. We survey their parent or guardian at their discharge from our pediatric palliative care facility at each discharge.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Parents of children and teens who receive respite care at George Mark have requested in surveys to know more details about their child's visit when they pick up their child. Some have requested updates from our staff during the stay. In response, our Child Life Specialist asks families if they would like additional information and then provides photos either electronically or in hard copy with descriptions of the activities their child or teen enjoyed. Our Parent Resource Group has given us feedback and recommendations about our Family Handbook, Brochures, and other program summaries. We have altered these descriptions in response to feedback we have received.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The perspective of parents expressed in a survey or in the Parent Resource Group helps us understand that parents are our partners. Even if they aren't present in a meeting or discussion, we think about the input they have provided previously, and factor their views into policies or products.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

GEORGE MARK CHILDRENS FUND
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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GEORGE MARK CHILDRENS FUND

Board of directors
as of 03/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Barry Slivinsky

George Mark Children's House

Term: 2019 - 2022

Kathy Hull

George Mark Children's House

William Gisvold

Sensiba San Filippo LLP - Retired

Shawna Kovacs

2K Games

Barry Slivinsky

Adobe Systems - Retired

Audrey Foster-Barber

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Reggie Cooks

Santa Clara County Sheriff

Michelle Berolzheimer

Philanthropist

Robin Matlock

Independent Director

Kendall Glen

Square Baby COO

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/23/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.