TUCSON, Ariz. — In the midst of a medical crisis, patients and their families need comfort and support. This is Shelley Zhang, the mother of 3-month-old Ian, who was born premature at 27 weeks.
"I'm kind of here for over two months now back and forth from home and to the hospital to take care of my baby Ian," said Zhang.
Zhang and baby Ian receive massages from a nonprofit organization called Integrative Touch for Kids or ITK. The service provides comfort and wellness care to hospitalized patients, their families and the staff that support them. Services range from wellness education to stress reduction and pain management.
"All sorts of skills that help the families just to rest and heal and get home faster," said Katie Frazee, ITK's program manager.
ITK works in the entire pediatrics unit of Banner University Medical Center. Frazee said it's an honor to work with families in the midst of a medical crisis.
"They're fragile times, and to be able to meet the family where they're at in that moment, is a true opportunity to provide ease and comfort around an extremely challenging time," said Frazee.
"This is much needed. Like, I could not be the way - be at the point I am now - without all the support that I have. My family, my friends, and Katie and you guys in doing the wonderful sessions. Every bit of positive energy is needed," said Zhang.
ITK is a Tucson-based nonprofit that started in 2015. At no cost to the families it services at Banner UMC, ITK is working to change the way people experience healthcare, through healing therapies and wellness education.