The Butterfly Program
The Butterfly Program, originally founded by Children’s Hospital Colorado and Porter Hospice of Centura Health at Home, has filled a unique and relatively empty niche in the Denver metropolitan community since 1999. The program was initially designed to provide comprehensive pediatric palliative care, serving children and their families who had been diagnosed with a life limiting illness. Since then, medical science and technology has enhanced the life of children with chronic and terminal diseases. The program once aimed to help children primarily at the end of life is now inclusive of children and their families who are contending with serious illnesses.
Children and their families enrolled in The Butterfly Program are able to access supportive services including nursing, social work, chaplaincy, and expressive therapy while receiving curative and therapeutic medical interventions aligned with their goals of care. The focus of the program is solely on the quality of life for the child, and their families. Members of the program’s interdisciplinary team work with the child and their family to identify specific goals in physical, psychiatric/psychological, social, spiritual, cultural, ethical and legal aspects of care. The interdisciplinary team includes the medical director, nurses, social workers, non-denominational chaplains, expressive therapists, bereavement counselors, and volunteers.
The Butterfly Program partners with the following organizations to provide pediatric palliative care education to healthcare professionals:
• University of Colorado Hospital –residents, fellows
• Life Quality Institute—Physician Assistants
• University of Colorado, Anschutz—Advanced Practice Nursing Students
• Denver School of Nursing—Undergraduate Nursing Students
• Professional Pediatric Home Care, Inc.
The Butterfly Program has been nationally and internationally recognized by:
• The Children's Hospice International 16th World Congress in Edinburough, Scotland
• National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's 1st Annual Conference on Pediatric Palliative Care
• American Hospital Association Citation of Honor (Circle of Life award)
• The Denver Business Journal’s Champions in Healthcare award for community outreach