Meet Rose Ovalle, the new coordinator of CHOC’s Family Resource Center (FRC), a space where patients and families can read and take home books, rent movies, play games, utilize a computer lab, research their child’s diagnosis with medical and developmental literature, and decompress with arts and crafts.
What are your responsibilities as coordinator of the Family Resource Center?
I oversee the daily operation of the FRC, including coordinating and developing activities and events that ultimately provide comfort and education. This entails acting as a liaison to volunteers and working with them to meet specific patient and family needs. Ultimately my position is to support patients and families with their emotional and social needs with compassion and kindness.
How does your position support CHOC’s commitment to patient and family centered care?
As the FRC coordinator, I assist patients and their family members while in the inpatient and outpatient settings. If you are a patient or family member and just need a place to relax, or you’re looking to pick out a new children’s book, perhaps searching for a distraction from the patient room to make crafts, or to join us for story time, we are here for you. We encourage patients to engage with our wonderful FRC volunteers who look forward to interacting, listening and supporting our amazing patients and families at CHOC. If you are a parent, please visit our business center should you have any computing, fax, or copy needs, or need resources to help you navigate the challenges of your child’s diagnosis or injury, or just to reach out with whatever needs should arise. Through an open and active dialogue that occurs daily I, along with our dedicated volunteers, strive to personalize how best to serve the individual needs of each patient and family.
What inspired you to pursue a career at CHOC?
I have had the experience of having a child in the NICU, and the fortunate experience of having that sick child cared for by the committed staff at CHOC. My son Elijah, had a serious virus when he was only weeks old. He was on a ventilator for some time, in the NICU, and there were many times we thought we would lose him. Were it not for the amazing CHOC physicians, nurses and staff, I don’t know how our family would have made it through such a difficult time. Elijah is now 15 years old, plays basketball and loves to write stories. He continues with his CHOC neurology outpatient treatment with Dr. Daniel Shrey and his staff, and they have always provided thoughtful and supportive care. This experience has certainly given me valuable insight and empathy in my interactions with other families going through similar experiences.
What excites you about working at CHOC?
I know what it feels like to be scared and desperate in the face of having a sick child—it’s the worst feeling imaginable and can be disorienting without proper support. Providing a refuge for patients and families, where they can momentarily lose themselves in a book, or in a conversation with a volunteer, is a help; and for some, it can make quite a difference. In addition, providing resources to educate parents on their child’s diagnosis or injury helps keep them informed and part of the care plan. Being part of that process is not just exciting, it’s an amazing privilege to support these families and help them get through these challenging times.
What do you want patients and families to know about the Family Resource Center?
We are in the Bill Holmes tower, on the second floor, open Monday through Friday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. We’d love for patients and families to join us for story time every Wednesday at 1:00 pm. Please come by, we would love to meet you and your child if possible. If your child is unable to come by, feel free to pick out a brand-new book for them! Our volunteers are waiting and ready to be of assistance.
To reach the Family Resource Center, please call 714-509-9168.