Toyota Grants Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach $45K to Fund Child Life Specialist For Pediatric Emergency Patients

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Toyota Gives Grant to Fund Child Life Specialist For Pediatric Emergency Patients

Caption: Rita Goshert, child life manager, Miller Children’s and far right, Kathy Lingle, board member, Memorial Medical Center Foundation, accept a check from Les Unger, director, Toyota Motorsports.

Representatives from Toyota Motor Sales, USA recently visited Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach to present a check for a $45,000 grant. The grant will help fund a Child Life Specialist for the pediatric emergency department (ED) at Miller Children’s for every single day of the week, including weekends.

Child Life Specialists are part of the unique Child Life Program that is offered, free-of-charge, to pediatric patients and families to provide a safe, secure and pediatric-friendly environment. This particular position will help reduce the negative impact of hospitalization through distraction techniques and medical play. Child life specialists talk through procedures in words kids understand and use dolls to “show” young patients what procedures may happen to them. This helps normalize the scariness of an ED visit for children and families. This position is critical, since being in an “emergency setting” can be particularly traumatizing.

In the ED alone, this particular Child Life Specialist sees more than 20 patients per day and more than 7,000 patients per year on average. The Child Life Program at Miller Children’s is one of the few programs of its kind to be offered at a children’s hospital with a goal of reducing anxiety produced by the stress of hospitalization and understanding of medical procedures. A Child Life Specialist provides medical play, informative and reassuring psychological preparation, play, diversion, distraction and support before and after medical procedures and helps children with coping skills.

“We are so grateful for the continued partnership with Toyota Motor Sales for this grant,” says Rita Goshert, manager, Child Life Program at Miller Children’s. “Child Life is an indispensible part of the ED healthcare team for our patients and families. This grant will allow us to provide a child life specialist in our emergency department 7-days-a-week.”

For more than 19 years, Toyota Motor Sales, USA has been supporting Miller Children’s in some capacity, from helping purchase medical equipment to capital campaigns such as helping build out the new Miller Children’s pavilion.

“The relationship we have with Toyota is so valuable,” says Jim Normandin, president, Memorial Medical Center Foundation. “We look forward to partnering with them in their future philanthropic endeavors.”

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