Sunsuper’s Support For kids like Eli living with multiple complex healthcare needs, attending specialist appointments and staying on top of health plans is not easy for any parent; and even harder when they live in regional Queensland. But with initiatives like the Connected Care program funded by Nine Telethon and Sunsuper a network of nurses is helping to make a huge difference to their lives. Sunsuper continues supporting community healthcare programs for sick kids For those families who sadly experience life with a seriously ill child the financial stress can have devastating effect on the family unit. Sunsuper acknowledges that the additional financial impact and pressures can take a toll on families which is why, for a fifth consecutive year, Sunsuper is proudly partnering with the Nine Telethon raising funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Through this partnership, Sunsuper will support the Connected Care Program set up to help more Queensland kids with serious illnesses and those with complex medical needs, particularly in rural and regional areas. Sunsuper’s Executive General Manager Member Growth and Marketing Steve Travis said that initiatives like Nine Telethon with the support of organisations like Sunsuper means the Children’s Hospital Foundation has the essential funding to invest in life-saving equipment research and programs throughout Queensland. “Getting behind Nine Telethon and the Connected Care Program will go a long way in helping sick and injured kids receive medical treatment as close to home as possible, no matter where they live. “Across Queensland, we have more than 900,000 Sunsuper members and staff and whether you’re a parent or have nieces and nephews, knowing there is quality care for sick kids here in Queensland is important to us all. “I recently met a young family in Mackay that benefits from this incredible program. Having regular contact with Penny—Mackay’s Connected Care Coordinator—has had a really positive impact on the family and care for their five-year old son, Eli.” Eli lives with multiple-Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, vision loss and epilepsy and is one of 1,398 children supported by the Connected Care Program. Eli requires constant care and every few months the young family travels to Brisbane for Eli’s specialist appointments at Queensland’s Children’s Hospital. With the support of Penny and a coordinated health care plan, plus better communication between specialists and local doctors has significantly improved Eli’s care and the overall family wellbeing. There are thousands of families who battle childhood illnesses every day here in Queensland. Whether it’s Eli’s story or Mila and George (Nine Telethon Ambassadors) everyone can agree that every child should have access to the best possible care. In Queensland more than 100,000 children are patients at Queensland’s Children’s Hospital each year, and 42 per cent travel from rural and regional areas to receive care. Among the thousands of young patients visiting the hospital in South Brisbane, there are more than 1,300 children with chronic and complex health needs who require constant care and multiple visits to hospital each year. To better support the sickest 1 per cent of children and their families across Queensland, the state-wide Connected Care Program launched in 2015. The program aims to measurably improve the outcome for sick kids through greater coordination of care, a family centred approach, partnerships, family empowerment and cross-speciality teamwork across Queensland. From Stanthorpe to Thursday Island and as far west as Mt Isa, a network of nurses and Queensland’s hospitals coordinate the care of children with complex health needs through the Connected Care Program, ensuring families receive quality and consistent care no matter where they live. The program drives greater coordination of health care and has helped prevent hospitalisations, empowered families to self-manage and reduced prolonged parental absences from work. The program also assists families in navigating increasingly complex health care systems, makes caring for children with medical complexity easier, for the family and the clinician, and most importantly helps to improve the quality of life for children and their families. The Connected Care Program is one of the many life-saving programs that are made possible through the generosity of Queenslanders who donate to Nine Telethon – which raises funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Each November the Nine Telethon and the Children’s Hospital Foundation bring together families, communities and corporates who understand the importance of investing in programs, equipment and research that helps our smallest patients. Sunsuper, one of Australia’s fastest growing superannuation funds, has a 30-year history in Queensland and supports local communities all over the state through initiatives like Nine Telethon and its Dreams for a Better World grants program. Tune in to Nine Telethon on 16 November 2019 and watch Sunsuper’s contact centre become a hive of activity as Queenslanders dial in to donate.