St. Mary’s Awarded Mattel Children’s Foundation Grant

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children is pleased to announce that it has received a generous grant from the Mattel Children’s Foundation in conjunction with the Children’s Hospital Association to support its Sensory Play with Vecta Stations program. The $15,998 grant awarded to St. Mary’s is just one of seven awarded across the country through the Mattel Play Grants program. The grant will enable St. Mary’s certified Therapeutic Recreation specialists to provide patients with rich sensory experiences through the use of two new Vecta Distraction Stations. Vecta Stations are designed to create an integrative, multi-sensory experience for children. Current models have a wide array of features including fiber optic lights, aromatherapy, a bubble column and a projector that can display images on the walls or ceiling.

“We are delighted and honored to have been selected as a recipient of this generous grant,” said Vivian Figueroa, Assistant Vice President and Director of the Pediatric Day Healthcare Program (PDHC) and Therapeutic Recreation program at St. Mary’s. “With support from the Mattel Children’s Foundation, we will continue to improve the daily experience of all our patients—even those with the highest levels of medical complexity—by offering them vibrant sensory experiences. The new Vecta stations will enhance our Therapeutic Recreation activities and contribute to St. Mary’s total healing environment.”

According to Robert Goodwin, Executive Director of the Mattel Children’s Foundation, “The purpose of these Play Grants is to make it possible for hospitals across the country to come up with new and innovative ways to use play as a healing tool for children recovering from surgery and or battling various illnesses.”

The Mattel Play Grants program builds on the success of a 10-year partnership between the Children’s Hospital Association and the Mattel Children’s Foundation that has delivered over a half million toys to pediatric patients at children’s hospitals, helping create positive healing environments nationwide.

“One of the difficulties children face during an extended hospital stay is maintaining the joy of childhood through the many procedures and treatments they undergo,” said Mark Wietecha, Children’s Hospital Association President and CEO. “The Mattel Children’s Foundation Play Grants will support children’s hospitals in their quest to create healing environments that allow children to engage in play and, frankly, just be kids.”

St. Mary’s is grateful to the Mattel Children’s Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Association for their commitment to improving children’s positive experiences and promoting healing while in the hospital. We look forward to enhancing our patients’ daily experiences through the healing power of play.