We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Mangione Standish, BS, CCLS and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Healthcare is meant to heal, yet the healthcare system may impede health and healing and healthcare delivery can cause trauma. When I visited hospitals around the world, I was sad to see that pain was universal and children were suffering needlessly. Parents and healthcare providers want to help relieve children’s pain and anxiety, but don’t always know how.
When I became a certified child life specialist, it became my passion to find ways to minimize children’s suffering. Year after year, I met patients, families and healthcare providers who wanted to do the same thing. In an effort to organize individuals, maximize resources and make the biggest impact, I started a non-profit organization, Standish Foundation for Children.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
At Standish Foundation for Children we work to transform healthcare experiences for patients and providers. We are volunteer led and live and work in 12 countries. In addition to patients and parents, our volunteers work in: nursing, psychology, medicine, child life, music, art and play therapies and academia.We are innovative, collaborative, loyal, transparent and good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Thanks to our donors, we’re celebrating our 12th anniversary. We’re grateful that we’ve been able to launch all the programs we’ve ever hoped to. Given that non-profit organizations rely on donations, some years are bountiful and others may be stressful. We’ve been fortunate to have a diverse Board of Directors who are passionate about our mission, providing strong financial stewardship and leadership. So, our donors and Board Directors have been crucial to our success.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Austin has so many great spots to visit and experience. Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. There’s no shortage of great music. I consider it the BBQ capital of the world! And BBQ is as much about the food as the experience. Some of my favorite spots to visit are Texas State Capitol, Town Lake, Mount Bonnell, Congress Street Bridge and Zilker Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’re inspired by the children, our patients who have taught us so much. Clifford was one of my first patients. He was a typical 8-year-old, but he struggled with the life changing challenges of kidney disease including dialysis, hospitalizations, surgeries, procedures and injections. Clifford loved to paint, play games and take part in holiday activities. I was honored to work with Clifford and his devoted family until his death on May 27, 2007.