Submitted By Tiffany Whitaker
Hospital stays can leave patients feeling bored and disconnected from friends and family. During a pandemic, when visitation hours are limited or visitation policies are highly restricted for safety precautions, these feelings are escalated. Children’s hospitals must find creative ways to keep their young patients engaged and positive, as well as connected with their support systems who cannot be bedside or even with them in the playrooms available on campuses like Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Golisano Children’s Hospital recently caught the attention of a new Naples resident, Lee Rosenbluth. Rosenbluth is founder of Bringing the Outside World Inside Foundation (BOWI Foundation), established to provide hospitalized children with the ability to communicate with the outside world.
After research into Golisano Children’s Hospital and learning of its focus on providing children and families with a facility that is brightly colored, kid-friendly and infused with technology as a core characteristic of the patient experience, Rosenbluth was moved to provide support that would not only embrace these characteristics that align with BOWI Foundation’s mission, but also meet an increased need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BOWI Foundation’s donation of eight virtual reality headsets, seven tablets and two laptops to help patients stay connected with the outside world have made all the difference for recent patients and their families.
“Making this donation was important to the foundation,” commented Rosenbluth. “The equipment allows them to have not only two-way communication with their family, friends and teachers, but also keep up with their studies and play games while in the hospital. If we can bring a smile to a child’s face, if we can distract a child for a few moments from the pain, if we can free the care team of the children for a few minutes, then we have accomplished our mission.”
BOWI Foundation has donated desktop computers, laptops, tablets and now virtual reality headsets to 26 children’s hospitals all over the world. The foundation, which works with the hospital’s development offices to make it easy to acquire the technology equipment, also works with the hospitals’ information system departments to make it available to the children as quickly as possible.
The donation was made through the Little Red Wagon Fund at Golisano Children’s Hospital, which is dedicated to advancing innovative programs, technologies and services. For more information, visit LeeHealthFoundation.org/Golisano.
ABOUT BRINGING THE OUTSIDE WORLD INSIDE FOUNDATION
The Bringing the Outside World Inside Foundation (BOWI Foundation) was created in 1996. Lee and Nancy Rosenbluth first conceived of the idea of equipping children’s hospitals with computers to enhance a child’s recovery period through their experiences with their own children. As they worked to introduce them to electronic communications, they realized the potential of this rapidly developing technology when applied to sick and injured children confined to hospitals. Through computers, software applications, and Internet connectivity, a connection between these children and the outside world could be established and used to improve a difficult hospital stay and promote recuperation. For more information, visit bowifoundation.com.
ABOUT GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three consecutive years by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.