HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital announced six-year-old Madison Austin as its 2019 Children’s Miracle Network local champion child on Friday, March 15, 2019, at a hokey pokey party in her honor.
Madison was born with a birth defect that requires her to use a tracheal tube to breathe. This leaves her prone to infections that frequently land her in the hospital, sometimes for a few days, but occasionally up to a month. She knows the nursing staff well. When they found her watching hokey pokey videos on her tablet while in bed, they decided to boost morale and bring it to her bedside. Since then, several videos of the parties have ended up on YouTube and gone viral on social media.
“It was just this fun simple idea that really took off,” said pediatric nurse Natalie Serra. “Madison really thrives on the positive attention. It boosted morale among the staff, and everyone is happy to do it.”
In 2017, Madison, who is fondly known around the hall of the hospital as “The Hokey Pokey Queen,” was named the HSHS St. John’s Patient of the Year because she had become very special to many of the caregivers and reminded everyone to smile, and even dance, through the tough times.
As the local 2019 champion child, Madison and her family will represent St. John’s at a variety of CMN events and in marketing materials throughout the course of the year.

St. John’s Children’s Hospital is one of more than 170 hospitals affiliated with CMN. Since 1986, CMN has helped raise more than $8.3 million for children in central Illinois. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and much more. One hundred percent of the money raised here goes directly to programs for children in our area.
For more information about HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital and how Children’s Miracle Network benefits local kids like Madison, visit www.sjchildrens.org.

About HSHS St. John’s Hospital
HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois is a regional medical center offering a comprehensive array of health care services to central and southern Illinois. Founded in 1875, St. John’s is the flagship hospital of Hospital Sisters Health System and is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, St. John’s Women’s Services, St. John’s Neurosciences Institute, St. John’s Cancer Center, orthopedic services and AthletiCare. St. John’s now has one of the most advanced surgery centers in the nation and a renovated patient tower with all private rooms. St. John’s is designated as a level I trauma center, has its own college of nursing and is a teaching hospital for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. For more information about St. John’s Hospital, visit www.st-johns.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

Media Contact

Jennifer Snopko

Manager - Marketing and Communications
HSHS St. John's Hospital
Office: (217) 814-7857

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