The Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach was months away from opening. The brand-new building would serve as a one-stop-shop for children with multiple health care needs. As the clinical teams prepared to re-locate several medical offices into this new building with brand new equipment, they had one hurdle left to address - what to do with all the old medical equipment?

That’s when Christy Bowers, supervisor, Rehabilitation Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s, knew what had to be done. She made a few phone calls and found two local places to donate equipment to, the Tichenor Clinic and California Children’s Services

“These are two wonderful organizations that serve children in the community like we do,” says Bowers. “We work closely with both organizations, so we reached out to see if there were any items they needed.”

Both organizations came in-person to see what rehabilitation equipment they could use. The donated items included child-size furniture, adjustable benches, tumble floor mats, high-lo therapy tables and much more. 

Karsti Schelin, lead physical therapist at the Tichenor Clinic, was grateful for the donations because they came at the right time. 

“Many of our patients can get easily distracted,” says Karsti. “It’s important for us to set up an environment that’s conducive to productive sessions. Now, we have more than what we need to use in our regular in-person therapy sessions. We loan out the items to families who cannot afford them, or it isn’t covered by their insurance. When their child outgrows it, they give it back, and we loan it out again.”

The move to the Children’s Village not only created centralized care but gave back to multiple communities. 

“We know how blessed we are to be able to move into the Children’s Village,” says Bowers. “It would have been such a disappointment to see good equipment just be discarded. Being able to find new homes for this equipment was a huge win for us because it will would live on with kids who need it.”