Visitors and staff in the Pediatric Surgery Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital–34th Street will need to watch out.
Young patients can drive themselves from the pre-operative area to their procedures in a pint-size Mini Cooper.
Before introducing this little buggy, the surgery team went to the Sala Family and Youth Advisory Councils for input on how to present the program in a sensitive and supportive manner to all patients and families. They listened to parents’ concerns, along with ideas from teens and families about how to make rides to the operating room as fun as possible, while developing alternatives for children who may not be able to drive for safety reasons.
“Our intention is to improve the experience overall for children who are having a procedure,” says Jennifer Holohan, senior child life specialist in the pediatric surgery unit. “We know that surgery can be particularly stressful for children and parents alike, so we are happy to do anything we can to make it distracting and a bit more fun.”
The new ride was brought to Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital thanks to The Paul Luisi Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research and for therapeutic tools for children’s hospitals. The foundation was created in honor of Paul Luisi, who was diagnosed with leukemia at an early age.