We are innovative leaders in relieving the pain and stress of illness, regardless of prognosis.
George Mark Children’s House was the first freestanding pediatric palliative care center in the United States. Since 2004, it has been a leader and model for the pediatric palliative care movement. We continue to help other homes across the United States get started, and our hope is that one day centers like ours will become a standard of care for every child facing a chronic or terminal medical condition.
Our goal is to achieve the best quality of life possible.
The George Mark model of pediatric palliative care strives to achieve greater well-being and quality of life for children and their families.
We make a substantial difference in the lives of the children and families that we serve, at significantly less cost than that of an acute care hospital facility.
How we began
George Mark Children’s House was founded by Kathleen Nicholson Hull, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, in California.
Dr. Hull knew through firsthand experience that a life-limiting child’s diagnosis, or the death of a child, has a devastating and life-long impact on parents, siblings, extended family, and the family’s community as a whole. She felt that there was a better way for these children to get exceptional, loving care than spending time in hospitals.
George Mark is named for Dr. Hull’s brothers, Mark and George, who died at the ages of 16 and 30, respectively.
We hope that one day, homes like ours will become the norm.
Homes like ours are well-established in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany. Our vision—and hope—is that one day, centers like ours will become the norm in the U.S., operating in partnership with the medical community so that every child facing chronic or terminal medical conditions, as well as their families, can get the care and support they need.
How we are funded
We rely largely on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporate donors for approximately 80% of our annual operating budget. Only a portion of our actual costs are funded by reimbursements from Medi-Cal and insurance companies. Since the field of pediatric palliative care is still relatively new in the United States, it has taken considerable time to educate insurance companies that this care is both available and less expensive than hospital care for the same level of service.