Children’s Hospitals Grow, Thanks to Kind Donors

Children’s Hospitals Grow, Thanks to Kind Donors

Foundation, Philanthropists Bring Compassion For Kids To San Francisco Bay.

Dreamforce 2013 made history as the largest vendor-led technology conference ever, with more than 130,000 registered attendees. This year promises to be even more revolutionary.

The Salesforce.com Foundation continues its tradition of integrated philanthropy at Dreamforce, and 2014 marks the fifth annual concert to raise money for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, featuring Bruno Mars.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, two leading Bay Area hospitals devoted exclusively to the care of children, are recognized throughout the world for leadership in innovation, technology and compassionate care.

The hospitals were born in April 2014, when the University of California San Francisco announced a second gift of $100 million from Lynne and Marc Benioff to the original UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and also its affiliate, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. The gift will be used to strengthen the existing talent and programs in basic and clinical research and patient care at the two premier institutions, as well as attract new expertise to accelerate the development of innovative solutions for children’s health on both sides of San Francisco Bay, nationally and globally.

In recognition of the two hospitals’ affiliation, Children’s Hospital Oakland was renamed UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital restyled itself UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Together, the hospitals are now known as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

The hospitals share a deep and long-standing commitment to public service. Both care for all children who seek help, regardless of their familys’ ability to pay, and they provide millions of dollars of uncompensated care and community services for low-income, homeless and underinsured patients. From offering free children’s health screenings to staffing clinics, the hospitals help meet the needs of Northern California’s most vulnerable populations.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco will be part of a 289-bed inte- grated hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients that will open next Feb. 1 at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

The new 183-bed children’s hospital increases the capacity of the current UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco by 20 beds. It will feature a rooftop helipad to transport critically ill newborns, children and pregnant women to UCSF for treatment; a dedicated pediatric emergency room designed just for children; and a new intensive-care nursery with private and semi-private rooms.

But the new hospital will provide more than just more space. It offers new hope, new opportunity, and a better experience for patients and families.

It will create a home for new therapies such as the multisensory room in Child Life Services. Instead of a hospital bed, there’s a mat and chair placed under a shimmering waterfall of fiber optics, a disco ball and stars that dance around the ceiling and change color. Instead of a TV screen, there are toys with fun textures, some that gently vibrate or light up on touch, a giant column of swirling bubbles, and a 15-rung ladder studded with color-changing lights. And the rubber flooring is interspersed with brightly colored floor squares that make music or silly sounds when you step on them.

While multisensory work has been introduced to select patient populations, UCSF’s Child Life specialists believe they will be beneficial to a broad spectrum of children, based on their ongoing experience with a “Vecta” — a modified version of this multi- sensory equipment that is wheeled around in a single compact unit.

“Children with varying developmental abilities and sensory regulation problems, children in pain or who feel anxious, have been calmed and soothed by watching images that can be projected on the wall of their room or by manipulating toys that change color, says Beatrix Musil of Child Life Services, who was instrumental in establishing the multisensory room at the new hospital. “The equipment can also provide stimulation and offer opportunities to explore using different senses. This multi-sensory exploration can help increase communication for children who may not have the means verbally, and it can increase motivation and build developmental skills.

“Being able to completely change the ambiance of an entire room with the touch of a button can help children feel empowered and in control, which is often lost when they are in the hospital.

The multisensory rooms provides just one example of the six unique areas of Child Life Services that will use the new spaces available to them, allowing them to expand their capacity to aid healing.

Another example of the new hospital’s keen focus on children is its technologically advanced scan suites. Patients undergoing imaging can be transported to the tranquility of Muir Woods or take in the sights of San Francisco from a cable car or boat, thanks to images projected on the suites’ walls and ceiling. They can admire lush visuals, such as a sunset over Golden Gate Bridge, and listen to the sounds of nature or soothing music that they select themselves.

Younger patients at the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco may prefer a more active role. Instead of a stark room with a table and scanning equipment, they may opt for the driver’s seat of a trolley car, where they can trundle around the city, take in local landmarks, and participate in hands-on activities working with a cast of animated critters. Or perhaps they prefer to captain a boat for a nautical expedition.

Making the scan suites child-friendly was the primary focus, says John MacKenzie, M.D., chief of radiology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, who provided a physician’s perspective and worked with the team from UCSF and GE Healthcare to develop this new technology.

“Most children have never encountered an MRI machine before,” notes MacKenzie. “It’s not something they see in a play-ground. Typically. they enter an MRI room and hesitate when they’re told to hop on the table. But if instead they’re told, ‘Let’s go take a ride on the boat, they’re more likely to be intrigued than anxious.”

During Dreamforce 2014, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the site of the future UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.

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