Our Mission

The mission of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is to transform the lives of disadvantaged infants, children, and teens suffering from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related healthcare services.



Summer is almost over. It is Back-to-School season for kids of all ages! We hope that you had a fantastic, fun-filled summer break complete with outdoor activities, cookouts, and long lasting memories with family and friends.



Fresh Start would like to wish every student a  wonderful academic year of learning, engagement, and success!
Surgery Weekend
is Around the Corner!

Fresh Start will host its eighth Surgery Weekend on October 8-9, 2016. We are currently accepting applications for potential patients who suffer from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease.

For more information about the medical services provided by Fresh Start Caring For Kid s, please contact our Program Medical Coordinator, Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat at CarolAnn@freshstart.org.
  If you are interested in becoming a patient or know  someone who is on need of Fresh Start's services, please submit an application (available in English and Spanish) at http://www.freshstartkids.org/get-help . 
Meet Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat, R.N., C.N.O.R., C.R.N.F.A. 

Program Medical Coordinator, Fresh Start Caring For Kids

Fresh Start Caring For Kids is excited to introduce our Program Medical Coordinator, Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat, R.N., C.N.O.R., C.R.N.F.A. She completed basic operating room training in Connecticut, and spent her next 20 years learning surgical specialties in California. While in California, Carol Ann furthered her training by completing courses at the University of California, Los Angeles and obtaining national certification as a CRNFA, which enabled her to first-assist surgeons on surgical cases. During her career, she has also gained experience as a Home Health Visiting RN, School RN, Home Visit Hospice RN, while continuing to remain current with new techniques and procedures as a Reconstructive Surgical CRNFA. During her spare time, she enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes. She is passionate about sewing, refinishing antiques, and gardening. In addition, she loves to entertain friends and family at her home for holiday and summer gatherings.
Since 2014, Carol Ann has served as an essential member of the Fresh Start team. Her extensive experience and knowledge have truly made her an asset. Her responsibilities include establishing potential partnerships with other organizations and groups; patient recruitment; providing medical support during and post- surgery weekends; and working as a liaison between Fresh Start and  The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. Specifically, she works very closely with patient families to manage all logistical details in regards to surgery, lodging, travel, and any additional required services. She asserts, "My role is all-encompassing from informing the public of our services; reviewing applications; presenting patients' conditions to the Medical Program Committee; and recommending patients for approval." She continues, "I coordinate all services needed and provide information that is needed for a successful surgical experience from the application process through the end of treatment phase." It is her genuine interest in service that makes it easy for her to connect with people. Carol Ann thrives in establishing relationships with prospective patient families; maintaining relationships with former patient families; and working harmoniously with her colleagues and medical team. She states, "Meeting the grateful families and seeing the efforts of good people volunteering revitalized my faith in the goodness of humanity."

We at  Fresh Start Caring For Kids are honored to have Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat as a member of our administrative and medical team. She offers a message for prospective patient families. She asserts, "There is help for those from Chicago and surrounding suburbs who do not qualify for procedures, because the procedures were denied by insurance providers and considered to be cosmetic." She continues, "My message to the reader is contact me even when in doubt and to share our information with friends and groups with whom you connect." Lastly, Carol Ann wants to encourage families to apply for the program even if they are worried that they may not be considered financially-eligible. She states, "We assess need based on a family's insurance status, family size, financial standing and obligations, and other factors that may prevent affordability of a procedure."
 For more information about the medical services provided by Fresh Start Caring For Kids, please contact Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat at CarolAnn@freshstart.org.

Upcoming Surgery Weekend Dates
October 8-9, 201 6
February 25-26, 2017
May 20-21, 2017

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts (based in San Diego, California) teamed up with The Plastic Surgery Foundation to create Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation in Chicago. The addition of the Chicago site is enabling the organization grow its patient base and outreach. Surgeries are performed three times per year at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital.

Fresh Start Caring for Kids Foundation
c/o The Plastic Surgery Foundation
444 E. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005