McKnight's Long-Term Care News, October 2018, Careers

This is not about an average trip to Disney World. It’s going to require 36 staffers, including two physicians and an FBI agent, and will cost about $170,000.

The “spectacle” is arranged by Exceptional Care for Children, Delaware’s only pediatric skilled-nursing facility. With 42 beds, the facility provides long-term and end-of-life care for kids up to 21 years old, all of whom depend on medical technology to survive.

Staff plans to take eight children to Disney World in Orlando next year, hoping to give them a slice of sunshine in their frequently trying lives. This will be the fourth such trip, dating back to 2011. It’s all part of its “Exceptional Care for Children Magical Journey” program, which was recently named the American Health Care Association’s 2018 Not-for-Profit Program of the Year.

Exceptional Care has kept the tradition going every other year, with a break in 2017. The group of staff and residents will spend six days and seven nights in a 12-bed villa. Though it may seem extraordinary to an outsider, Annette Moore, administrator of ECC, said each is just another day for the kids, and that’s exactly how she wants it.

“They don’t understand the capacity of what it takes to get them there, and that’s the most satisfying to me as the administrator, and to this organization,” she said. “It’s just another day.”

—Marty Stempniak