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This executive summary of the preliminary report documents the major findings, to date, of the first two components of a needs assessment being conducted for the Hole in the Hills at Wa-Shawtee (HITH). The purpose of the study is to determine if a new, medically-equipped and professionally-staffed therapeutic camp in the Great Plains region of the Midwest has the capacity to be a success. There are almost 3.5 million children between the ages of five and seventeen in the 6-state HITH region, 1 an unknown number of whom are seriously-ill and/or have special medical conditions and health care needs, who could potentially benefit from a therapeutic camping facility.

The first two completed sections of the needs assessment are: 1) an inventory of existing camps and camp programs for selected pediatric conditions in the 6-state catchment area and 2) an inventory of the population to be served, including the prevalence of priority illnesses/conditions and the levels of unmet need or potential camp demand in the HITH region. The remaining two components of the assessment, which will be included in the final report are: 3) the identification and ranking of the needs of seriously-ill children in the priority disease groups, and 4) the identification and ranking of the needs of these children’s parents and families.

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