When a child becomes ill or injured, these normal activities and relationships are disrupted, often resulting in increased fear and stress. The Patient Media Program provides many opportunities to engage children in normal day-to-day activities, support their development and enhance their ability to cope with the hospital experience.
Patient Media Program
Matt Piontkowski: Patient media programs is a part of the Child Life Department here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and we are responsible for working with the patients and families to kind of normalize the patient experience here. We do that through a variety of different ways: programming in the studio, special events both in our main spaces as well as up on the unit.
Andrea Dillard: Our Patient Media Program produces over 25 hours of live television content weekly. That content consists of different types of game shows, a televised radio show, a morning news program, private karaoke for our patients and families to come down and enjoy singing and dancing.
Eric Newby: Seacrest Studios is our internal and centralized radio station. That was provided to us by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. It is our base of operations to put on all sorts of different shows, house all sorts of new pieces of technology and equipment, and really be this fun, safe place for patients to come down or to call down and interact with us.
Dee Rodriguez: Galaxy 51 is CHOP’s internal television network. We are able to broadcast to over 500 television screens throughout the entire hospital. Patients and families are able to interact with us through Galaxy 51 by just calling down to 55555. They can hear themselves on air and they can also see themselves on TV if they join us here in our studio. Our patient media mobile carts provide patients upstairs in their units with an opportunity to do different type of gaming, whether it’s virtual reality where they get to play some stuff in different type of virtual sets. They can also be a DJ as we have DJing equipment on our cart, so they can kind of mix their own songs.
Eric Newby: All of our events are amazing, but some of the best ones are our movie nights where we get the latest movies while they’re in theatres and we can bring those movies to CHOP and to the patients in the form of movie night.
Matt Piontkowski: My favorite event at CHOP, it’s called “CHOP Idol.” “CHOP Idol” is a talent show that is dedicated to our patients in which they can submit a short, talent video of any kind and then they get to actually perform it live on the show day.
Dee Rodriguez: So, our Child Life Department is really lucky to receive a ton of generous donations. We get a lot of monetary and non-monetary donations. We’re really lucky to get them because they directly benefit our patients here at CHOP, whether they’re outpatient or inpatient and it also directly benefits the families as well.
Eric Newby: Working at CHOP is seriously one of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done in my life.
Dee Rodriguez: This team and the Child Life Department in general is really focused and dedicated on making the hospital experience as normal and as fun as possible for the patients and the families.
Andrea Dillard: One of the best aspects of my job is the impact that we make on children and the impact that they make on us. The moment that kids step into our studio, we do not discuss anything medically, so they’re able to just be kids.
Eric Newby: The Patient Media Programs is this awesome chance for so many patients to experience something fun, creative, or at least have control over something in their lives.
Matt Piontkowski: Some of these families are going through what might be the hardest times in their lives and our job is to just make that experience a little bit better. Our team really coincides with the mission of the Child Life Department of helping a family heal and cope through their journey, but the media team really wants to create memories that these patients will never forget.
Related Centers and Programs: Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy