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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Need to expand or renovate? Use celebrities and corporations to help pay for it

Photo by Steve Jurvetson - edited by CPacker [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Joy Daughtery Dickinson is executive editor of the Hospital Group of publications at AHC Media in Atlanta and long-time editor and writer of Same-Day Surgery. She has won nine national awards from the Specialized Information Publishers Association and the Association of Business Information & Media Companies for her blogging, news writing, and editing. She makes her home in southwest Georgia.

Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health recently built 4,200-square-foot child play zone with funding from the Teammates for Kids foundation, which country singer Garth Brooks co-founded.

The “Child Life Zone” is the 11th in the country, and the largest. It includes a video game wall, billiards, foosball, a craft kitchen, an arts and crafts area, and of course, a recording studio. Children can broadcast live TV programs through the hospital’s closed-circuit TV channel. The city of Indianapolis is highlighted with a motor speedway, “yard of bricks,” and Colts and Pacers team displays.

An added bonus? When the star contributor show up for the dedication, the public and the press flock to your facility. Coverage of Brooks’ appearance mentioned how he rode up in a race car that was driven by IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball. The story discussed the large crowd and how the star, a father of three, was “teary-eyed” sharing how the therapeutic play area is a “miracle” because it helps children forget their sickness.

Child life zones are staffed by child life specialists who help children and their families work through the challenges they are facing with play, as well as education and self-expression. At Riley, the area is open for outpatients and inpatients.

Media coverage of Riley’s child life zone included an interview with an 11-year-old patient who met Brooks. She mentioned the kind words he shared with her. She also discussed how she recorded James Brown’s “I Feel Good” in the recording studio.

At Akron Children’s Hospital, a $200 million seven-story medical tower, named the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, followed a $10 million gift form Kay Jewelers to the hospital’s capital campaign. The building includes a new neonatal intensive care unit with 75 private rooms, a new ED, an outpatient surgery center, and a labor and delivery center for high-risk births.

Rascal Flatts has been recognized for donating more than $3 million to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The donation, which was reported to be the largest in the hospital’s history, allowed a new specialized radiology suite to be added to the “Rascal Flatts Surgery Center.” John W. Brock III, MD, surgeon in chief of the Children's Hospital, said, "All parents and children who enter the area will walk under the Rascal Flatts sign, but the words we write will never adequately express what they have done and how people like them, as well as others, allow us to do what we do. I continue to be amazed, as I have told them, by their level of commitment to this hospital."

Why not look to celebrities or corporations with ties to you area and consider what they could do for your facility? A multi-million dollar donation could be music to your ears.