When NFL Hall of Famer and legendary 49er Ronnie Lott decided that his All Stars Helping Kids Foundation should help children enhance their lives in the hospital, he and foundation members poured a million dollars into the project. They also contributed time, energy and thoughtful planning.
Monday, October 22 is the official dedication for the result of their efforts: the All Stars Technology Room and children's garden at UCSF Children's Hospital.
Lott will lead the private ceremony, along with UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret and UCSF Chair of Pediatrics Larry J. Shapiro, MD. They will be joined by athletes and friends of All Stars Helping Kids Foundation and UCSF Children's Hospital
Lott said that each project of All Stars Helping Kids is based on the practical idea that a community can help raise a child. â€śYou find that there is a star in everybody,â€? he said. â€śItâ€™s up to us to help these children find the stars within themselves.â€? For the project at UCSF Childrenâ€™s Hospital, cash donations from Lottâ€™s foundation exceeded $850,000. Including in-kind donations, the estimated cost of the project exceeds a million dollars.
Lott and members of the foundation were closely involved in four years of design and construction at UCSF, leading to an exciting, welcoming environment for learning, socializing and having fun.
The star-studded computer room houses STARBRIGHT World technology, including a proshare video conferencing system that allows one on-one connections for children and adolescents at UCSF with thousands of other seriously ill children in more than 100 other hospitals nationwide. Young users also can gain supervised access to the internet and find information about their medical conditions in â€śkid-friendlyâ€? language.
The All Stars Room opens out onto the sheltered rooftop garden, a sanctuary for children and families in the midst of an urban medical setting.
â€śThe All Stars Room and garden give an added dimension to the expert care we provide to children,â€? said Shapiro. More than 150 pediatric specialists and hundreds of staff dedicate their efforts to treating youngsters at UCSF Medical Center, where children and adolescents are one-third of the patients.
This fall, the UCSF community is celebrating a new name -- UCSF Childrenâ€™s Hospital -- for the child-centered, family-centered portion of this renowned academic medical center.
While the All Stars Roomâ€™s official dedication takes place October 22, young patients began enjoying the computer portion of the project in the spring, when Lott and his wife, Karen, led a children's-only opening. Some of the hospital's most computer-savvy kids have been invited to demonstrate the room's capabilities during the dedication event.
The All Stars computers, as well as portable ones that travel to bedridden children's rooms, offer access to the interactive private network of STARBRIGHT World, a non-profit foundation for children with chronic and serious medical conditions. Kids meet each other online using video and audio conferencing technology, chat spaces, and email. They are able to relate their experiences to others, enjoy entertaining and stimulating activities and learn about illness and about coping strategies.
"The kids clamor to come to the room. We have children as young as four and five who navigate on the computer. The videoconferencing is their favorite part -- it helps them feel less isolated in the hospital," said Child Life specialist Camilla Sutter, who worked with All Stars Helping Kids, the STARBRIGHT Foundation and the architects of UCSFâ€™s Design and Construction division to help ensure that the finished project meets children's needs.
For Sutter and her colleagues in UCSF Child Life Services, the All Stars room and garden offer new opportunities for their work of helping each young patient maintain the normal life of a child and cope with the stress of a hospital stay.
The All Stars Room is bright and well lighted, designed to fit a small space yet give ample room for kids using eight computers. Constellations of stars twinkle in the ceiling, and a rotating exhibit of sports memorabilia shows the achievements of Lott and other top athletes. The room opens out onto a garden of welcoming benches and pleasant plantings, with starry lights in the paver stones.
For more information on the web: Ronnie Lott's All Stars Helping Kids Foundation (www.allstarshelpingkids.com) and STARBRIGHT World (www.starbright.org)
NOTE TO REPORTERS, ASSIGNMENT AND PHOTO EDITORS:
Media are invited to the All Stars dedication on MONDAY, OCTOBER 22
9: 30 - 10:45 am: One on one interviews and photo opportunities with Ronnie Lott, other athletes, UCSF children and Child Life specialists
10:20 - 10:40 am: Opportunity to watch a big-screen video conference with Lott, UCSF children and children in another hospital
10:45 - 11:30 am Dedication ceremony: 49er Ronnie Lott, UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret and UCSF Chair of Pediatrics Larry J. Shapiro, MD.
RESERVATIONS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THESE MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
UCSF escorts will guide all photographers/reporters to the event in UCSF Childrenâ€™s Hospital. Phone UCSF News Services for access and to reserve one-on-one interviews:
415-476-2557 or leave voicemail at 415-502-4608.
All-Stars Helping Kids source:
Jill Peterson-Burns, (415) 831-4000
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.allstarshelpingkids.com