A Family's Need Inspired Incredible World-Wide Change
When Shannon and Bob Goldwater’s newborn triplets struggled to eat, they experienced firsthand the challenges faced by thousands of families each year. Born 14-weeks early, and each weighing a little over one pound, the triplets spent the first four months of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Once each baby was released, Shannon and Bob quickly realized feeding their children would become the greatest struggle for their young family of five. Each child struggled to eat, and all would choke, cough, and gag during mealtimes.
The Building Blocks
In 2006 the Goldwater family founded the Parent Organized Partnerships Supporting Infants and Children Learning to Eat (P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E.) Center. They were quickly joined by three additional local families united by a common goal – to help children with feeding disorders and to create a support system for families. The organization offered monthly support groups for parents and created the now internationally recognized Medical Professional Council.
This small, dedicated non-profit quickly realized the need for the organization reached far beyond Arizona. In 2008, after just two years, the P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center expanded its focus to national outreach, community advocacy and awareness, and developing educational activities for both parents and professionals. The organization established a regularly convening Board of Directors and co-hosted the Pediatric Feeding Disturbances conference, the first of numerous collaborative ventures designed to bring healthcare professionals together to focus on the issue of pediatric feeding disorders.
The following year, P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center formed the Community Advisors board and the Medical Professional Council developed the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire to ensure early identification of infants and children with pediatric feeding disorders. The same year, P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center established an accredited webinar, created feeding workshops, and launched an enhanced website for parents and professionals seeking valuable resources on pediatric feeding disorders.
Through the determination and persistence of the staff, Board of Directors, Community Advisors and Medical Professional Council members, P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center continued to bolster the reach of the organization. With an increased need to serve parents worldwide, the monthly parent support meetings evolved into a peer-to-peer coaching program, the Power of Two. By 2012, the third Pediatric Feeding Disturbances conference welcomed hundreds of attendees and featured internationally recognized feeding experts.
In 2013, P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center became Feeding Matters, aligning the organizations brand with its longstanding mission and ever-growing foothold in the fight to make a better world for children with pediatric feeding disorders. With advancing technologies, Feeding Matters has assembled a comprehensive Virtual Health Resource Platform, including a Provider Directory and Resource Library.
Feeding Matters has accomplished a great deal since P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center’s inception in 2006. Our commitment to creating a world where children with pediatric feeding disorders will thrive motivates us to continuously seek innovative ways to reach the children who need us most. We remain deeply devoted to furthering advances in pediatric feeding disorders by accelerating identification, igniting research and promoting collaborative care for children and families.