Welcome to iCAN KIDS Michigan!
KIDS Michigan is comprised of an energetic and passionate group of teens ages 13-18, and their families, who are committed to improving and enhancing the care experience of adolescents within the healthcare system. KIDS Michigan is a member of the International Children’s Advisory Network and is based out of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Members of KIDS Michigan focus their energy on learning more about health science professions, research, technology, and collaborating with staff and faculty to create opportunities and programs that enhance the adolescent experience both inpatient stays through outpatient clinic and within the broader pediatric medical community.
The Teen Advisory Council (TAC) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital continues to focus on exciting learning events and hospital improvement activities. Read more for an update.
As the global pandemic entered the nation, C.S. Mott Children's hospital enacted emergency protocols restricting volunteer access to the hospital. In an immediate pivot, the Teen Advisory Council moved to answering surveys online, meeting through Zoom, and having virtual focus groups to better share youth feedback for hospital wide programs. Many of the meetings involved better understanding e-visits, a new and necessary option to helping support patient safety. Youth Member Abby Stevens created wellness activity boxes to donate to the in-patients. Youth Member, Olivia Ohmer traveled to the FDA to provide feedback on medical device wearing and also participated in a panel session with iSPI and Dr. Anthony Chang. Several Youth Members, including Kera Baad, Reece Ohmer, and Olivia Ohmer attended the #iCAN2020Summit throughout the week long event.
During the early part of 2019, TAC welcomed many new members and also, worked on sharing feedback for the process of utilizing Children's Emergency Services (CES) to ensure a smoother flow. Teens also provided feedback on Virtual Doctor's Appointments and how it may help (or hinder) the care of the patient to be seen virtually. Most recently, the TAC listened to a talk from Dr. Kao, GI, on the process of advancing schooling through medical school to MD to PhD by learning about his career path from UCLA to the University of Michigan. KIDS Michigan also worked to support a program that helps to teach future doctors empathy, compassion, and insight into living with a chronic condition. Read more here:
Late in 2018, the KIDS Michigan team held a learning session focused on Music Therapy for in-patients through Michigan Medicine’s C.S. Mott Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. The KIDS Michigan event was inspired by the attendance of three youth members, Reece Ohmer, Olivia Ohmer and Emily Sedowitz, at the 2018 iCAN Research & Advocacy Summit in which young people learned from guest speaker, Brian Smith, a visiting lecture in Music Therapy at Goldsmiths College, Napier University, Trinity College of Music and Thrathclyde University. Brian is managing director of Inscape Therapies, which provides a music therapy service throughout the west and central belt of Scotland. The goal of Music Therapy are non-musical (such as ‘to increase expressive language or ‘to improve gross motor skills‘) with an emphasis on improving the health of pediatric patients through the following: gross motor/physical skills, communication skills, social/emotional skills, cognitive/academic skills, and sensory skills.
In the summer of 2018, TAC members partnered with Michigan Medicine’s Poke and Procedure Plan to provide context to the discussion of what pediatric patients might need to feel less discomfort and anxiety during blood draws and procedures. Several advisors also volunteered during a special ‘Teddy Bear Clinic’ event at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum to help young future patients learn about the process of checking into the hospital and having routine procedures completed. The TAC was later invited to evaluate and provide input on several ongoing initiatives, such as the use of Pediatric e-Visits (online provider visits), the Mott Patient Station, and improving the patient experience throughout C.S. Mott and several off-site Michigan medicine health centers.
In the spring, teen advisors participated in the 2018 Patient Experience Week Expo to showcase the role of the TAC throughout Michigan Medicine. Their presentation was well received and helped spread news about the role of a teen advisor within the hospital community.
2017 - 2016
Wrapping up the 2016-2017 Virtual Reality (VR) work with games like Pokemon and VR Viewers, in early 2018, the TAC hosted a Mario Kart Party for Mott inpatients and participated in an off-campus learning opportunity about therapeutic horse riding through the use of equine robotics and virtual reality technology. Through these means, even patients that are unable to visit stables due to a variety of medical needs are now able to enjoy the feeling and freedom of riding horses through any scenery imaginable.
Joining iCAN during 2014, KIDS Michigan was one of the very first chapters to attend the kick-off Summit held in Washington, D.C.. At this summit, kids shared the work that they had done at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in selecting new games, books, and toys for in-patients. In addition, the group worked with the hospital culinary services to ensure that food was flavored appropriately for kids' tastes - especially the frozen yogurt options.
"What makes our iCAN KIDS Michigan Chapter Great"
From the KIDS Michigan Team Leader:
“In September 2018, our Teen Advisory Council celebrated the new school year with a party! The teenagers requested a music theme, so we partnered with our music therapists to create a fun event.
After some introductions, our music therapists talked with the teenagers about how they chose their career, what a “day in the life” looked like, and the rewards of their work. We then opened the meeting up to our Mott inpatients and their families for the last hour. We had two stations set up with instruments: one was an “instrument zoo” and the other was boomwhackers and bells. The teens and the inpatient families had fun while learning all about the instruments and the sounds they made. Some of our teen advisors helped the younger kids as well. Then it was time for an open mic! Several of the kids who came took a turn at the mic while the music therapists played guitar to accompany them. We heard songs ranging from The Wheels On the Bus to Believer by Imagine Dragons! It was quite a treat to see the teens and the patients enjoying themselves. There was pizza and pop and lots of candy for everyone. Some of the patients participated, while some were content to relax and watch.
There were a couple moments that were highlights for the staff. We had two families come who had met on the floor. Their daughters had similar diagnoses, and both of those girls had siblings who came to the party with them. One of the families had not spent much time outside of their patient room, but the other family convinced them to come to the party. Kids from both families took a turn at the open mic and seeing the parents’ faces light up after long hospital stays was pretty neat. The other pretty great moment was when our teen advisors went to the open mic together to sing a couple of songs. They sounded great and the younger kids thought the teenagers were very cool!
All in all, there were a little over 30 people in the room. It was busy and loud and lots of fun! Thank you to our TAC for hosting our patients!”
KIDS Michigan is delighted to be a part of iCAN Research. To learn more about joining the KIDS Michigan Chapter, please contact Nancy Keumin, Michigan Medicine, at