The agreement drawn up with the “Carlo Besta” Neurological Institute provides for actions in three main areas:
Since the beginning of its operations, the Mariani Foundation has allocated funds for social and medical care projects that are implemented by the “Carlo Besta” Neurological Institute, offering either partial or total coverage of their costs. The main services that are supported include:
• Social Care Services
As of 1988, a social worker has been in charge of the support offered to families, in particular of the housing arrangements for parents during their child’s hospital stay, medical treatment to the child, and the follow-up.
• Housing for parents
As of 1989, the Mariani Foundation has placed an apartment at the disposal of the children and their families during the time they receive care from the Institute’s facilities. It is located in a residential building near the Neurological Institute and hosts around 300 guests a year. The service is coordinated by the social worker.
• Support to the CBDIN Association
The special alliance between Luisa Toffoloni Mariani and the CBDIN Association (Friends of the Children’s Departments at the “Carlo Besta” Institute) has lasted in various forms over 75 years and has become stronger with time. The Foundation regularly supports this Association in its operations through directly assisting the young patients’ families - for example, by offering meal vouchers, or buying costly equipment and furniture items for the two Departments at the Neurological Institute dedicated to children.
• Secretarial services offered to the Paediatric Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Neurology Departments
As of 2002, the Mariani Foundation has provided an employee for the position of secretary at the Departments of Paediatric Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Neurology. She works in the hospital's premises, coordinates the details of the cooperation between the Mariani Foundation and the Neurological Institute, and deals with the formal aspects and the administration of the research projects financed by the Foundation.
• Support to the Theodora Foundation
From 2000, the Mariani Foundation has supported the Theodora Foundation’s project aimed at training and employing clowns whose task is to go around the hospital wards playing “Doctor Dreams”, to cheer up the young patients, make them smile, and help them relax for a while.
The Theodora Foundation was set up in Switzerland and has operations in many countries and in several Italian hospitals.
Two clowns work on a weekly basis in the paediatric hospital wards at the Neurological Institute. The same initiative was extended in 2006 to the “C. Mondino” Neurological Institute in Pavia.
• Specialist consultancies
Within the Children’s Departments at the Neurological Institute, depending upon real needs, the Mariani Foundation has since 1986 provided for specialist consultancies involving various specialties (genetics, paediatrics, psychology, occupational therapy, child neuropsychiatry, and so on).
• Refurbishment of the Rehabilitation Room
In memory of their child Luigi, the Gadola family from Madesimo made a substantial donation in aid of sick children. The Mariani Foundation supported them and together they have refurbished a rehabilitation room at the Institute, to be used by young patients affected by language learning disabilities. This was dedicated to Luigi Gadola.
Within the framework of education and training activities, and in partnership with the Neurological Institute, since 1986, the Mariani Foundation has funded and organized its own training courses, addressed to all workers involved in the field. The courses are certified for ECM credits (Continuing Medical Education) by the Italian Ministry of Health. The Mariani Foundation also awards scholarships for different professional profiles of the sector.
The Mariani Foundation supports the researchers of the Neurological Institute within its annual Call for Proposals. Every year, the most promising projects are promoted and financed following the evaluation by external referees and discussion by the Foundation’s Scientific Committee.