Why Riley's PICU Team Gives Back

November 15, 2017
Topics: Donors, Riley Staff Profiles

melissa b blog image
Melissa Bales with her son

As a fellowship coordinator and clinical research specialist for pediatric critical care, Riley has a soft spot in my heart. I support six fellows who are becoming the next generation of intensivists that will impact care in Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) across the country.

As someone who spent little time in a doctor’s office growing up, working in Pediatric Critical Care has been eye opening. My colleagues say that we treat the “sickest of the sick” in our units. Learning that your child is being admitted to the critical care unit, and knowing how ill that small part of yourself truly is, can be overwhelming. And yet, they are receiving care from the best. The intensivists understand a parent’s stress as many of them are parents as well. I offer the back office support the faculty needs to be on the front lines.  

I became involved with Riley Children’s Foundation as a way to give back. My small portion won’t build an entire wing or purchase life-saving equipment, but it can make a difference. Pennies count.

Giving became more important to me as I became a mother. Luckily, my son is whole and healthy. But I love knowing that should the day come that Alex is admitted to the PICU, my caring faculty members are only a phone call away.  

To give back, our section developed the Pediatric Critical Care Walk-a-thon. We gather once a year for fun and games, while also paying tribute to those lost too soon. A short walk takes place near the hospital after a balloon launch and moment of silence to honor those who live in our memories. It allows our survivors and their families to reunite with the staff members who had a direct impact on their stay at Riley.

The PICU can be a scary place, but it is full of kind and loving people. Thanks to my job, I can help them be at their best. Through employee giving, I can also help our patients receive the best care available. I like knowing that my small gift could help a child have a big future.

Riley Hospital staff members and the public are invited to give through The Gift of Hope Happens Here holiday season giving campaign. Gifts are being matched by French Lick Resort (up to $200,000) through December 31.

Melissa Bales

Melissa Bales has worked as a fellowship coordinator and clinical research specialist for pediatric critical care at Riley Hospital for Children since 2013. She is a resident of Greenfield, Ind. Melissa and her husband, Ron, have been married for seven years and are the proud parents of 2-year-old Alex. Melissa graduated from Taylor University with a double major in psychology and English. She loves reading, being outdoors, traveling, photography and spending time with her family. Melissa considers herself truly blessed to be a part of the Riley family.

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