BCH Clowns & Marathon Runners
Boston Children's Hospital May 2017 Report: Springing into Updates!
Broken bones to fragile hearts, stubborn tumors to elusive disease. Boston Children’s Hospital has one mission: To offer unconditional care to every child who needs us. Your gift helps us do what we do best. Heal children. Support families. And save lives, today and tomorrow, until every child is well.
In order to accomplish our mission, we must understand who are our patients are. Boston Children’s average patient age is just eight years old. Last year 88% of patients were under 18 including 51% females and 49% males. Lastly, our families average inpatient length of stay on our campus was 7.76 days.
During these long visits, it is important to provide a positive experience to the patients and their families. Support from donors like you helped the hospital expand child life services into new clinics and continue existing impactful programs that benefit the family holistically like our Clown Care Unit.
Child Life Specialist play an integral part of the team at Boston Children’s, they are responsible for daily programming in the activity rooms and individual sessions with patients at their bedsides and floor-wide programs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some cost that are associated with Child Life activities include: $25,000 annually for balloons, $15,000 annually for crayons, and $10,000 annually for stickers, pinwheels & bubbles.
Weekend child life specialists include our six full-time weekend inpatient child life specialists who cover a total of nearly 400 beds, providing much-needed enrichment, distraction and good old-fashioned fun during a previously slow time of the week. These child life specialists plan and run hospital-wide events in the Patient Entertainment Center; events feature crafts, giveaways, games, music and fun! In the past year, a total of more than 300 patients and family members have attended parties celebrating Halloween, a viewing of the movie Polar Express, the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.
The Big Apple Circle Clown Care Unit has been a part of Boston Children’s since 1995, the Big Apple Circus Clown “doctors” use music, magic, juggling and a variety of performance skills – their customized brand of medical humor – at bedsides, in activity rooms and in outpatient clinics. Our nine clowns interact with up to 80 patients and encounter more than 200 family members and staff each day!
Boston Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for the whole child, not just his or her disease or injury. Child Life Services, while essential, are not reimbursable and are thus among the most difficult to sustainably fund. We are deeply grateful for your compassion and vision in supporting our work and for helping children and their families transcend the difficulties of hospitalization.