The patient experience at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) is about to become a little more magical.
The Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Robert Iger and Texas Children’s Hospital president and CEO Mark Wallace debuted a new initiative that aims to bring Disney’s timeless stories to life within the walls of hospitals.
On Weds., March 7, against the backdrop of Texas Children’s new Legacy Tower lobby, Iger outlined a $100 million program that will roll out over five years at various children’s hospitals around the world.
But Texas Children’s will be the first hospital to work with Disney on the program.
Texas Children’s was a good fit to be the first for the initiative, Iger said, because the hospital is a global leader in pediatric care and the largest children’s hospital in the country.
“We are committed to making a difference and reinventing the experience in children’s hospitals all over the world,” Iger said. “Hospitals can be a scary place for children, and we want to use Disney resources for bringing hope, happiness and laughter to the patients who have to be there.”
Some of the new concepts, according to the Walt Disney Co., include:
- A new system that allows patients to customize their hospital visit by choosing their favorite Disney stories and characters, which will surround them during their stay. The system will also unlock special elements to further personalize and enhance the experience, such as “enchanted” artwork that comes alive.
- Themed treatment and patient rooms featuring interactive murals of Disney stories, bed linens and gowns with each child’s favorite characters, and personalized in-room entertainment. Additionally, well-stocked mobile “play carts” will include Disney-themed games and activities for families.
- Disney first-run movies and television shows, available both in-room and in themed pop-up movie theaters in the hospital, along with other Disney entertainment options.
- Disney customer-experience training for doctors, nurses and staff. The Disney Institute, a part of The Walt Disney Company that provides professional development training focused on leadership, employee engagement and service, will create a customized program for health care professionals designed to foster a less stressful hospital experience that is patient- and family-centric.
Disney has put together a team of patient care experts, clinicians and “imagineers” to explore the hospital experience and locate stress points for parents and patients.
“The partnership between Texas Children’s and Disney is a natural, magical fit,” Wallace said. “We have the ability to create a new paradigm in health care, and this is a shining example.”
While at Texas Children’s, Iger toured the Family Center, where some of Disney’s iconic friends were on hand to meet the patients. Wallace also presented Iger with a copy of an illustration Walt Disney made in 1952 after visiting Texas Children’s Hospital, when it was under construction.
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Elvis Arthur Mason. Arthur served from 1942 to 1946 and 1950 to 1952. Elvis was born in October 1921 in Elberfeld, Indiana. He moved to Oakland City, Indiana and was drafted into the Army at the age of 20. Elvis completed basic training at Camp Swift, Texas and was assigned to an infantry regiment. He also completed swamp training, desert training and mountain training in Louisiana, California and West Virginia, respectively. Elvis’s unit was deployed to Europe and landed in England shortly after D-Day. Elvis traveled to France and volunteered to drive gasoline to other allied camps. His unit engaged in combat for 100 consecutive days and moved through France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland to push the German army back. Elvis took over as platoon leader during this campaign and credited the platoon’s camaraderie for helping the soldiers get through the difficult time. Elvis briefly remained in Europe after Germany surrendered and participated in the liberation of a poorly maintained camp of German citizens. He then returned to the United States and was preparing to travel to Japan when the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Elvis continued to serve at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and Camp Butler, North Carolina before he was honorably discharged in December, 1945. He joined the Army reserves and was called to join the Korean War in 1950. He reported to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in October and served in Japan and Korea, where he helped to build roads and airstrips for artillery planes. Elvis was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He passed away on July 14, 2012 at the age of 90. We honor his service.
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