Angels Baseball is a household name amongst Southern Californian’s, bringing championships and star players to the area for over 60 years. In 2019, MemorialCare partnered with the Angels as their official healthcare partner to promote healthy lifestyles for fans. Since the partnership, the Angels have in turn supported the patients at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Angels players would come into Miller Children’s & Women’s and visit patients in the playrooms and at their bedsides. The players would spend time with patients and their families participating in arts and crafts in the playrooms, autographing Angels hats, handing out plush Angels rally monkeys, and taking pictures at bedsides. The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program helped coordinate the players visits to the hospital to make sure they got to interact with and visit as many patients as possible.
During the early stages of the pandemic, most patients were confined to their rooms, only coming into the playrooms periodically. The Child Life Program and the Angels understood how hard it was for the patients of Miller Children’s & Women’s to not have the same social interaction they were used to while in the hospital, and knew they had to do something to help.
Coordinating with the Child Life Program, the Angels were able to visit Miller Children’s & Women’s pediatric patients virtually in an interactive format. Members of the Angels would be broadcasted directly into a patient’s room, where patients could ask them questions, making the visits fun and exciting. In addition to answering questions, the Angels’ manager and Angels players David Fletcher and Jared Walsh, competed against patients in games like “Name That Tune,” where participants try to guess the name of a song based on clues, “Are You Smarter than an MLB Manager?” and a Family Feud style baseball trivia game.
In addition to the visits that the Angels make to patients, they help make holidays like Father’s Day special by gifting fathers with newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) an Angels baseball with their baby’s footprint stamped onto it. One year, in support of the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at Miller Children’s & Women’s, Angels players and coaches shaved their heads during a special fundraising event.
“The Angels have been an amazing partner to us over the years,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “These visits really brighten the day for our patients and their families. I have reached out to the Angels for special patient situations and events and they have always stepped up to the plate. I look forward to continuing to partner with them to help our patients and their families.”