Equipped with a Nintendo GameCube video-game system, Nintendo video games, a liquid crystal television and a DVD player, each Fun Center is designed specifically to provide the ultimate bedside entertainment to hospitalized children.
These state-of-the-art mobile units will be welcome visitors to young patients at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill Campus along with three other hospitals throughout the state.
"Fun Centers are tremendous tools for alleviating the stress and anxiety children typically associate with being in the hospital and for helping to create a sense of normalcy," says Bradie Kvinsland, child-life specialist with Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care. "For patients who have limited mobility, and those who are preparing for or recovering from surgery, Fun Centers are a welcome diversion that make time in the hospital pass more quickly."
In 1991, the first Fun Centers were introduced nationwide, featuring the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Updated Fun Centers were introduced in 1998, featuring the new Nintendo 64. In October 2002, Nintendo and Starlight Children's Foundation celebrated their partnership of more than a decade by rolling out the first of 500 new Fun Centers nationwide, featuring Nintendo's next generation console, Nintendo GameCube. Once the rollout is complete, more than 118,000 hospitalized children across the nation will benefit from these Fun Centers each month.
Nintendo contributed more than $5 million for the development of the new Fun Centers. Over the past decade, Starlight has placed more than 3,000 Fun Centers with Nintendo game systems in more than 1,000 hospitals across the country. Caregivers report important quality-of-life benefits for patients who use the Fun Centers, such as reduced need for pain medicine and lower levels of stress, boredom and loneliness.
Starlight Children's Foundation is an international organization dedicated to providing an escape from the pain and suffering seriously ill children and their families endure by offering fun and entertainment throughout their difficult journey with illness. Through a variety of in-hospital and outpatient programs, as well as many key corporate partnerships, Starlight is able to restore some of the smiles, laughter and companionship taken away by stressful, long and painful medical procedures. The Washington chapter of Starlight Children's Foundation provides these services in hospitals and communities throughout the state.
Starlight Children's Foundation is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families. To learn more about Starlight, visit the foundation's Web site at www.starlight.org.