With a love of books, Ila Blankenbaker helped initiate a new service at Sarah Bush Lincoln called “Tonsils Out Ice Cream In.” Adolescent patients in the ENT clinic will receive a book bag with a book explaining their upcoming procedure, as well as a coupon for ice cream in The Basement Bistro.
Ila wrote an advocacy letter in support of providing children, who are having a tonsillectomy, with a book explaining their upcoming procedure as part of a class assignment. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Library Science while she works in Food and Nutrition Services at Sarah Bush Lincoln.
Ila’s professor encouraged the class to submit their advocacy letter if they desired. Ila passed her letter to SBL Vice President of Medical Affairs James Hildebrandt, DO, who encouraged her to work with SBL librarians Nina Pals and Anieta Trame to initiate the program. The group then worked with SBL grants specialist Molly Daniel and Foundation director Amy Card to obtain funding.
Thanks to Ila’s effort the new “Tonsils Out Ice Cream In” service was born and for her efforts, she was named SBL’s quarterly President’s Award winner in April.
Ila’s passion to improve the experience for children having surgery was demonstrated by her willingness to pursue this project. This is a project that she created independent of her job at Sarah Bush Lincoln. Ila was able to find a way to combine her commitment to Sarah Bush Lincoln with her passion for books and it will impact the live of many of our youngest patients for years to come.