Mailman Center Receives CVS Grant to Expand Services for Children with Autism

The Department of Pediatric’s Mailman Center for Child Development received a $30,000 grant from CVS Caremark last week to expand its assistive technology services, including bilingual assistive technology evaluations, primary caregiver training, and targeted speech/language interventions for children with autism and related disorders.

CVS Caremark officials presented an over-sized check representing the award during a campus visit on February 7, the pharmacy company’s national “Day of Giving,’’ when CVS colleagues visit nonprofits across the country, surprising them with their requested grant.

“We were thrilled to see CVS Caremark colleagues at our doorstep with a large check for the amount of funding we had requested,” said Michelle Schladant, Ph.D., clinical program manager in the department. “We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust for recognizing the work we do in Miami to make a positive impact in our local communities.”

The surprise visit coincided with the announcement that the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust had awarded $4.3 million in grants, including multi-year grants from previous years, to 98 nonprofit organizations across the country in 2011.

The grant to the Mailman Center, among the top 10 programs in the United States for children with neurodevelopment disabilities and chronic illnesses, will provide language interventions to 50 young children with autism and related disorders. The grant also will help provide instruction in replicable intervention techniques at structured workshops, and a full-day conference aimed at building the capacity of health care and education professionals to provide assistive technology services to children with autism and related disorders.

“We are so excited to help the University of Miami start 2012 in a positive way with much-needed funding,” said Eileen Howard Boone, vice president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “All of the nonprofit organizations we support share our commitment to providing greater access to health care and medical services and improving the lives of children with disabilities.’’

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