Munroe-Meyer Guild

The mission of the Munroe-Meyer Guild is to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities through fundraising for the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute. Over the past 40-plus years, the major fundraiser for the Munroe-Meyer Guild has been the annual Garden Walk held in June. Proceeds from that event and others total more than $1 million over the past four decades. These funds that are generated through the Garden Walk are used to help fund programs at the institute that might otherwise go unfulfilled.

The Munroe-Meyer Guild Garden Walk is held the second Sunday in June each year.

The Munroe-Meyer Guild supports innovative projects and training at the institute. Project funding requests are being accepted for the coming year. All grant applications must be received by December 21, 2018.

In 2018, the following grants – totaling $78,700 – were funded by the guild:

Physical Therapy Department: GoBabyGo! BIG, $9,000
GoBabyGo!Nebraska! was funded by the Munroe-Meyer Guild in 2016, with a partnership between Students of University of Nebraska Physical Therapy Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln biomedical engineering students, University of Nebraska at Omaha Peter Kiewit Institute students, and the MMI/Children's Hospital & Medical Center physical therapy departments. This program modifies ride-on cars for preschool children with movement difficulties, offering independence through mobility. To date, GoBabyGo! has donated 39 cars to children from the greater Omaha area, Lincoln, Columbus and Verdigre. 

GoBabyGo! BIG takes GoBabyGo! to the next, BIG level: modifying 12-volt cars for elementary-aged children. These cars can accommodate two riders up to 8 years of age and include a "trunkbed" for medical devices (ventilators or pumps). The 12-volt cars were in immediate high demand! Children demonstrated the ability to activate the car, social participation increased as peers "rode along," and children needing medical devices experienced newfound freedom!  12-volt cars were delivered to settings where multiple users benefit, and manuals were created for future build teams.

Physical Therapy Department: Embracing Women’s Health, $27,500
Individuals with developmental disabilities experience institutional and attitudinal barriers to women’s and sexual health services. Yet they have sexual encounters at a rate commensurate to their peers without disabilities. In Omaha, none of the physical therapists are specially trained in women’s health to address sexual health, pelvic pain and incontinence in the general population. This grant lays the foundation for a transdisciplinary Omaha clinic, equipped to address women’s and sexual health for those with developmental disabilities. It establishes the training and community partnerships necessary for a sustainable, billable and critically necessary service.

Psychology: Supporting Early Identification and Access to Treatment via Interactive Technology for Young Children with Developmental Concerns, $30,700
Parent often discuss developmental concerns with their pediatrician, yet only 57 percent report that their child’s development is being assessed. Identification and access to services during early, formative years are critical. Early identification and intervention enables families to learn critical skills needed to overcome challenges and for children to experience improved functioning and health. This grant will develop and test the feasibility of an innovative interactive electronic application for use in primary care. The app would facilitate effective early identification and efficient developmental screening, enhance parental education, and provide access to early intervention resources for use by primary care providers.

Speech-Language Pathology/Psychology Departments: Planning for Tomorrow -- Screening Tool for Children with Communication Impairments, 11,500
Each child has unique needs that providers must consider when recommending a form of communication. If a provider selects an inappropriate communication system, children may experience increases in problem behaviors and further delays in communication. However, no known research-based screening tools are available to providers, which means they must rely on their best clinical judgment to select a communication system. This grant will create a communication screener (a questionnaire designed to identify the most appropriate form of communication) for non-verbal children. It will develop a free communication screener (on-line questionnaire) that can be used by qualified professionals in Nebraska who are regularly making decisions about communication systems that are currently available to children who are nonverbal and referring children to the appropriate communication specialist.