|4/19/2012 10:14:00 AM|
Child care for hospital visitors catching on
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center photo
Fifth-grade Girl Scouts from Findley Elementary and St. Pius X schools listen to founder Amy Paterson at My Little Waiting Room at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
When My Little Waiting Room opened its doors in the spring of 2010, no one knew just how significant it would become to families served by Providence Health and Services. As the drop-in child care center gets ready to celebrate its second birthday and 10,000th visitor plans are under way to expand the idea to a second Providence hospital.
Founded by Melissa Moore and Amy Paterson, a breast cancer survivor, My Little Waiting Room is designed to reduce the stress of hospital visits for patients and visitors to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Infants through 10-year-olds are cared for at no cost, with services supported by donations. My Little Waiting Room works with Volunteers of America to coordinate the center’s staff.
Parents dealing with appointments or visiting hospitalized loved ones have repeatedly expressed their gratitude for the services. Some families – dealing with long-term health issues – use the center daily or several times a week, for weeks at a time. Parents say the center provides a safe, nurturing home away from home for their children, allowing the adults a more focused time with loved ones or during a medical appointment.
Operations are funded through hundreds of donations to Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation, totaling more than $310,000 to date. A large gift last year allowed the center to expand availability to 40 hours a week.
The second My Little Waiting Room is set for Providence Portland Medical Center. “We’ve received calls from other hospitals across the country asking about how they could start their own service," says Moore. "We’ve always believed that if health clubs and department stores can offer a service like this, hospitals can, too.”