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Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida

Meet Your Care Provider

Meet Your Care Provider When a child is hospitalized, especially during the school year, concern about his or her ability to maintain homework and grades adds pressure to an already stressful situation. At Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, a teacher is on staff to assist and ensure children do not fall behind in school.

“I visit as many school-aged children as I can,” explains Garrett Gablehouse, hospital teacher. “I offer my services to help them with whatever subject areas they need help with.”

There is not a specific timeframe that a child needs to be hospitalized in order for Garrett to work with him or her. “If a child is going to miss more than 15 days of school, I set them up for homebound educational services,” he says. “This provides an assigned teacher who will come to the hospital or the home to tutor the child. There are serious gaps when a child is hospitalized and missing school; I just do everything I can to make sure they don’t fall behind.” To determine the educational needs of his patients, Garrett sits down and speaks with the child and his or her parents. “I often help the children with subject areas that they are already struggling with,” he says. “I can also obtain permission from parents to contact the school—especially if the child will be here for long periods of time—to find out what the child should stay caught up on.”

Before joining Golisano Children’s Hospital, Garrett was a substitute elementary and middle school teacher in Alaska. In his current role, Garrett says he appreciates being able to help kids who would love to be in school, but can’t. “The children miss school and really want to learn as much as they can while they are hospitalized,” he says. “It makes me love coming to work, knowing I get to help educate kids who want to learn.”

For children who don’t require his services, Garrett still offers fun things for them to do, like educational board games, time on a computer or even science projects.

“This is definitely my dream job,” Garrett says. “I love it.”

The program costs are covered by some insurance companies. Lori says that families who enroll in the program find more than just medical support. “We really are like a family here,” she says. “We get to know the children, their siblings and their parents. We celebrate milestones and birthdays with the families. We try to help in any way we can.”

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“I visit as many school-aged children as I can,” explains Garrett Gablehouse, hospital teacher. “I offer my services to help them with whatever subject areas they need help with.”

Philanthropy Helping Hospital Classrooms

Like many programs and services at Golisano Children’s Hospital, our hospital school teacher is supported by philanthropy. Since 2007, a grant from Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation has been instrumental in helping to build and provide this important classroom experience. To date, Suncoast has given $206,148. Those dollars fund almost the entire budget for the hospital school teacher program. Additionally, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation pledged $250,000 for a classroom where the children can gather in the new hospital.

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