In an effort to improve the life and health of children and families in the Phoenix area, Thunderbirds Charities have partnered with Starlight Children’s Foundation and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center to support pediatric patients through sponsorship of two Starlight® Site treatment rooms and a Starlight® Tablet. These generous gifts will help the hospital support more than 5,000 children and families every year, directly at the point of care.

A ribbon-cutting dedication and tour of the treatment rooms took place at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center from 4 – 5 p.m. on June 4. The ceremony was hosted by Tom Dickson, CEO of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center and Tom King, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds, host organization of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Other ceremony participants included Wendy Pauker, the hospital’s Child Life Manager, Starlight representative Allison Gentry who designed the rooms, in addition to current patients and family members from the hospital.

Starlight Sites are beautifully designed, welcoming and child-friendly hospital environments that support the healing of pediatric patients during their hospital experience. Since 1990, Starlight has been transforming designated areas of sterile hospital environments into colorful, entertaining oases that can be enjoyed by young patients and their families. Starlight Sites help ease young patients’ stress by stimulating the senses, providing an antidote to loneliness and an escape from the isolation of a hospital room. For young patients confined to a hospital, the opportunity to have fun in a well-equipped, welcoming atmosphere assists in the healing process.

Starlight Tablets are a critical resource for healthcare professionals to support the ongoing needs of kids while in the hospital. Housed in a protective cover that complies with hospitals’ strict infection control protocols, Starlight Tablets also serve as distraction therapy for young patients: during procedures or lengthy wait times, kids can play games, complete homework, communicate with friends, watch videos and log in to the Starlight World® online community for chronically ill teens and their siblings. Patients with very limited mobility are also able to use the Tablet, making it a critical resource in many pediatric units, and feedback from Child Life Specialists and other healthcare experts indicates that having a Starlight Tablet allows them to deliver superior patient care.

“We’re proud to support the creation of two Starlight® Site treatment rooms at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center,” said King. “We hope the Starlight treatment rooms will help ease children’s fears of the hospital and assist in their healing process.”

“Starlight has gotten rid of all the visible medical equipment and it is so much less scary and sterile,” explains Wendy Pauker, child life senior manager at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. “The décor is very bright and cheery and it is age appropriate for all ages as well as male or female.”

“We are so grateful to the Thunderbirds for their sponsorship of two Starlight Site treatment rooms and a Starlight Tablet at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center,” said Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim, Starlight Global CEO. “Thanks to their generosity, these two Starlight programs will improve the point-of-care experience for over 5,000 of kids and families who visit the Medical Center each year. We are proud to partner with Tom King and the Thunderbirds who, like Starlight, are dedicated to supporting children and their family members in local communities.”

About Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Ariz., specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, Emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care and pediatrics including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 24 hospitals in seven states. For more information, please visit www.BannerHealth.com/Thunderbird.

About Banner Health
Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system manages 24 acute-care hospitals, the Banner Health Network and Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including family clinics, home care and hospice services, and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com.

About Starlight Children’s Foundation
Founded in 1982, Starlight Children’s Foundation is a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year. To learn more, visit www.starlight.org, or follow us on Facebook at StarlightChildrensFoundation and on Twitter at StarlightOnline.