Reflections on 20 years, by Dr. Diane Liebe, Medical Director of Children’s Village

I was involved in the planning process for CV, so have been involved for 20+ years!  What I recall about the planning process was the excitement of community partners in supporting the concept of the Village, and the visioning by the initial Trustee partners.  When I have spoken about the CV model to other communities, that level of community support and visionary leadership are 2 areas which have been hard to replicate.

I remember opening day of Children’s Village: I was 9 months pregnant with my oldest child.  I came to the opening in a lovely maternity frock!  I can always remember how old the Village is, because my son is the same age.  I also remember the large number of individuals and organizations represented at the Opening.  For example, I remember several physicians from Seattle Children’s Hospital made the drive over for the opening.

Having practiced in this community before Children’s Village, as a general pediatrician, I remember the days of sending families all over and back to receive services.  There was little coordination of services, and it could be hard to even find necessary services.  Having Children Village as a centralized location of services for children with special health care needs and their families, has made referrals into services much easier for medical providers and families.  It has enabled us to expand our range of services, such as broadening medical subspecialty clinics and establishing a Developmental and Behavioral medical practice at the village.  But, perhaps the most important part of having Children’s Village in our community is the spiritual support for families that is provided.  Walking through the front lobby and seeing families with children of various ages and needs, in a comfortable and accepting environment, is the true success of Children’s Village!

I have enjoyed the experience of following families as their children grow, develop, and become young adults.  Although sometimes it can be bittersweet, I feel fortunate to watch as these youth transition to the next stage of their lives, whether it is finding a work experience, moving on in school, or changing their residence to become more independent.  I especially enjoy having young adults drop off graduation photos so that I can share in their success.

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