Streetlight supports adolescents and young adults, ages 13-30 here at UF Health. Our patients live with a variety of chronic illnesses, including cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, autoimmune illnesses, organ transplantation, gastrointestinal illnesses, and other chronic and life-limiting illnesses. Medicine can do a lot, but there are some issues that medicine does not cover. Sometimes a friend can be a powerful source of support. The Streetlight team is made up of 60+ college-aged volunteers that focus on building friendships through peer companionship. Dealing with a serious medical condition is a difficult journey, but you don’t need to go it alone.
Streetlight’s mission is to build meaningful and consistent relationships, communities of support, and legacy projects for hospitalized adolescent and young adult palliative care patients throughout the course of their illnesses. Streetlight aims to build patient resilience and identity through the power of friendship and shared social support through a dedicated team of undergraduate UF Volunteers.
Streetlight Program Goals
- Provide consistent psychosocial support and opportunities for peer socialization for adolescent and young adult palliative care patients throughout hospitalizations.
- Adequately educate and support volunteers in their role in providing psychosocial support in healthcare.
- Empower the coping skills and psychosocial resilience for program volunteers and adolescent and young adult palliative care patients.
- Provide adequate emotional support and training to volunteers to help process the emotional intensities they may experience throughout Streetlight involvement.
- Provide ongoing emotional bereavement support to patients and families of deceased patients.
- Evaluate, research, and improve Streetlight program components to investigate and optimize the role of social support in improving health outcomes for frequently hospitalized adolescents and young adults.
It’s a tough place—that gap between being a kid and being an adult. You are trying to figure out who you are, why you are here, and what you will be. Sounds pretty complicated, right? Okay, now throw in a serious medical condition and try to make sense of your life. Everything starts to look a little different. Tests, football games, jobs, social plans, everything gets disrupted when your health starts acting up. When hospital stays get in the way of your life, Streetlight is there.
Streetlight is supported by the Department of Pediatrics and through the generosity of private donors. If you are interested in supporting this program and the work we do, you can call our office at 352-273-9596 or email Emily Marchi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!