About the Camp

Each spring in Miami - Florida, Nicklaus Children's Hospital hosts a free week-long overnight camp for ventilation assisted children (children needing a tracheostomy ventilator, C-PAP, BiPAP, or oxygen to support breathing) and their families. Overnight campers come from throughout the United States and internationally. South Florida families and youngsters from local residential care facilities join in as day campers.


The Dr. Moises Simpser VACC Camp gives families a fun opportunity to socialize with peers and enjoy activities not readily accessible to technology dependent children. The program includes swimming, field trips to local attractions, campsite entertainment, structured games, "free play", and more - all to promote family growth and development while enhancing individual self-esteem and social skills. Parents have formal and informal opportunities to network among themselves.

Mission Statement

 

Since the program was founded in 1986, more than 180 families, some of whom have traveled from 27 states and three countries, have benefitted from this unique experience.


 

Map & Directions

 

VACC Camp takes place in part at A.D. Barnes Park.

A.D. Barnes Park
3401 SW 72 Avenue
Miami, FL 33155
305-665-5319

A map to the park can be found here.


 

About the Camp Director

Maria E. Franco, MD
 

Dr. Maria Franco, a pediatric pulmonologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, became the Director of The Dr. Moises Simpser VACC Camp in October 2017. Dr. Franco was the Asthma program director from 1998 to 2005.


 

About the Founder

Dr. Moises Simpser, MD, FAAP, FCCP (1946-2017)
 

Dr. Moises Simpser, pediatric pulmonologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, was the VACC Camp's founder and director for 30 years; he led the camp since its inception in 1986. Dr. Simpser was honored multiple times for his community service and his efforts to improve the quality of life of children afflicted with respiratory conditions. Dr. Simpser passsed away in late 2017.


 

Our Staff

 

Each and every one of our Staff, Pals, and Volunteers are VIPs (Very Important People) for without them and love, dedication and direction of VACC Camp Founder Moises Simpser, M.D., camp would not be a reality for the campers and their families.


 

History

 

In 1986, the first Ventilation Assisted Children's Center Camp took place during the summer and operated in collaboration with SKIP of Florida. The first camp was known as SKIP Family Learning Retreats. Carol Montiel, RN was actively involved in the creation of the camp and participated every year thereafter until the year 2002. Barbara Donahue, ARNP and the parents of two of Dr. Simpser's patients were also involved in the camp start-up. When the local SKIP chapter dissolved, Dr. Simpser elected to continue camp as offshoot of Nicklaus Children's Hospital Ventilation Assisted Children's Center (VACC Camp).


 

Photo Gallery

 

Photo galleries and albums from previous VACC Camps and VACC Camp events.