August 2016 Feature Story: Children’s Miracle Network

A new ‘miracle’ worker

Kristin M. Stockwell was named development manager for Samaritan Medical Center’s Children’s Miracle Network program in June. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Kristin M. Stockwell was named development manager for Samaritan Medical Center’s Children’s Miracle Network program in June. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Personal experience motivates CMN development manager

By Joleene Moody, NNY Business

The north country is about to experience the Children’s Miracle Network like never before. In June, Samaritan Medical Center appointed Kristin M. Stockwell as its CMN development manager.
Ms. Stockwell not only brings knowledge and eagerness to her new role, she brings experience as the mother of a miracle child as well.

“For me this is personal,” she said. “When my daughter Madalyn Mae was born here at Samaritan, she was two months early. Something wasn’t right. After a series of blood tests, doctors found out she was born without a thyroid. She was sent to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse where she stayed for a month and a half. I traveled back and forth during that time.”

Ms. Stockwell was 20 when Madalyn was born. Children’s Miracle Network services were offered to her, but she refused it.

“I was young. I was 20, and I was too proud to take it,” she said. “But now that I’m in this position, I feel like I have such an opportunity to educate others about the various services and let them know that CMN was created to help them and their children.”

Samaritan has been a member hospital of the Children’s Miracle Network for the past 26 years. The program is supported 100 percent by locally raised money. The money helps children who live in the tri-county area and who are in medical crisis.

This is where Ms. Stockwell comes in. She is responsible for spearheading and managing events to raise money for children that qualify for CMN services. The money raised is used to handle co-pays not paid for by insurance, travel costs (if what is needed for the child isn’t available at Samaritan), and for equipment that helps support the child’s needs.

Beth Fipps, vice president of Samaritan’s foundation and community services division, said the hospital chose to become a franchise of CMN more than 20 years ago because there was a crucial element missing in the North Country for at crisis children, one that Samaritan felt compelled to fulfill.

“Samaritan recognized there was more we needed to do for the pediatric population here in the north country,” Mrs. Fipps said. “And while we realize that we can’t always fulfill the needs of a particular child here at Samaritan, we can help with travel expenses if they have to go outside the area to get the services they need.”

As Ms. Stockwell settles into her new post, her heart comes fully with it. Her 12-year-old daughter Madalyn has had many trying times as she’s grown. These trials are the same, if not more intensified in some cases, as so many other children who come through the doors of Samaritan Medical Center. In order to fully understand the needs of CMN children and their families, Ms. Stockwell said she plans to spend as much time with the families as she can, from the time they register at the hospital to the time they leave.

“I have to look at this process through the eyes of the patients and their families. That is a crucial element,” Ms. Stockwell said. “I want to be with them to ask questions and understand what they’re going through.”

Ms. Stockwell’s daughter also struggles with Central Auditory Processing Disorder, a hearing problem that affects about 5 percent of school-aged children. Those with this condition can’t process what they hear in the same way other kids can because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate.

Ms. Stockwell said, “The way I explain it to people is like this: If you were to have a conversation with her, it’s kind of like Groundhog Day. But we’re figuring it out. We’re fortunate that Maddy is still here with us. She can play sports and ride her horse. Some kids that come through CMN won’t have those kinds of opportunities. But if we can give them what we can when we can, that can make all the difference sometimes.”

As Ms. Stockwell grows fully into her role, the Children’s Miracle Network franchise also grows. Ms. Fipps said the hospital is finalizing plans for a new women and children’s center.

“Very soon we’ll be seeing outward signs of that, including a brand new labor and delivery area with additional beds and operating rooms,” she said. “We’ll also have a brand new mother baby center with private and expanded rooms. In addition to that, the center will be expanded off the backside of the Sherman Street entrance. There will be a dedicated entrance and elevator for the women and children’s center.”

It’s an exciting time for CMN, and it’s only going to get more exciting with a new development manager at the helm.

My Maddy is my inspiration behind this new position,” Ms. Stockwell said. “I just love her so much. I want to be able to help families help their children move through times that can be challenging and sometimes, very difficult. I can do that in this role. And I couldn’t be more honored to be here doing it.”

The Kristin M. Stockwell file

Age: 34

Family: Daughter, Madalyn, 12, son, Bentley, 5; partner, Adam LaClair

Job: Children’s Miracle Network development manager, Samaritan Medical Center

Professional: Children’s Home of Jefferson County, marketing and development coordinator; Northern Credit Union, marketing.

Hometown: Belleville; lives in Watertown

Education: Master of arts in elementary education, University of Phoenix; bachelor of
science in elementary education, SUNY Oswego

On Her iPod: “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele; “Fools Rush In” by Ingrid Michaelson and “Home” by Michael Buble

 

Joleene Moody is a freelance writer, blogger and speaker who lives in Oswego County with her husband and daughter. Contact her at takeyourvoiceback.com.