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Family Support Program offering services for families of trauma patients at IU Methodist Hospital

comfort carts
Posted at 9:56 PM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 21:56:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS— A program manager at IU Methodist Hospital is turning her experience with trauma into helping others.

In July, Kelsey Miller launched the Family Support Program. It offers supportive measures to families of trauma patients.

"Providing supplies and services to end of life trauma patients and their family and friends," said Miller, manager of of the Department of Clinical and Organizational Ethics.

Part of that program includes what she calls comfort carts. The cart is full of toiletries, snacks, phone chargers, and activities.

“Tooth brushes, tooth paste, lotion, deodorant,” said Miller pointing out some of the items on the cart.

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Miller thought of the idea after her own experience in 2019.

"My husband's best friend was traveling to a job site for work and he was on a small private plane and it crashed," said Miller.

She and her family rushed to a hospital in Michigan and didn't have time to bring much with them.

"The support we got as his family and friends was just exceptional," said Miller. "We didn’t have to pay for any of the food. We didn’t have to pay for parking."

It's that same kind of support and care she wants to show families at Methodist.

"You want to think more about patient experience and experiences of loved ones who are in your hospital," said Miller.

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She launched the program in July of 2023. So far, they've served 15 families and more than 100 people. Chaplains at the hospital take the carts to meet family members with them.

"I know it can be scary when you see the title chaplain, most of the time that means bad news but at least with the cart it doesn’t always mean bad news," said Rob Wolpert a chaplain at Methodist Hospital.

Wolpert and the other chaplains say the carts have helped them connect with family members.

Miller wants to continue expanding her program and be able to offer meal vouchers and parking validation. Right now, the program is funded for two years through grant money.

If you would like to donate or find out more information you can email Kelsey at or call 317-962-9258.