On Friday, Aug. 5, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach brought the beach to the hospital for pediatric patients who are currently receiving treatment at Miller Children’s & Women’s and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village outpatient centers.
Due to their hospitalization, the pediatric patients of MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s are not able to enjoy the beach, like many children would during the summertime. To help provide them with a positive summer experience while in the hospital and make their stay at the hospital more enjoyable, the Child Life Team worked with employees from MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s, and community members to transform a large conference room into a seaside paradise.
Staff from different departments at Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s set up their own beach-themed booths filled with decorations and goodies to give away to patients. Patients were able to stop by each booth to collect toys, games, and prizes to make their hospital stay more exciting and fun.
Last year, due to COVID-19 precautions, this event was made exclusively for hospital employees, patients, and families. This year, members from the outside community were able to participate and interact with event attendees. Several community members set up their own booths to give patients gifts and interact with them, providing magic shows or drawing pictures for the patients.
“We’ve had this program for over 30 years,” says Rita Goshert, director, Child Life Program, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “I’m so glad that we’re able to do this again, even if it’s in a limited capacity compared to years prior. I think it’s so important to be able to bring the beach to the children and allow them to have their own unique summer fun while they’re in the hospital.”
The staff of MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach were extremely excited and thankful to have the community come back and support the pediatric patients. It means a lot to the patients to see additional support from these community partners.