Zoos Bring Animal Kingdom to Patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit with amazing animals from the Phoenix Zoo including a prairie dog, kinkajou, giant Flemish rabbit and armadillos earlier today (Nov. 7, 2016), at a gathering at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The special event served to announce a groundbreaking collaboration of the San Diego Zoo, the Phoenix Zoo and Phoenix Children’s Hospital, with the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids.

Funded through a generous gift by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative closed-circuit television broadcast channel that provides family friendly, animal-oriented programming that is both entertaining and educational. The channel is available on TV monitors in every patient room at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

“Phoenix Children’s is excited to introduce this new channel to our patients and families,” said Julie Bowman, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. “The patients can now enjoy a zoo experience without leaving campus. This is more than just entertainment. This channel provides the patients the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop curiosity – helping their minds to heal while their bodies do the same.”

San Diego Zoo Kids offers up-close video encounters with animals, including a wide variety of short video vignettes hosted by San Diego Zoo Global ambassador Rick Schwartz. Viewers can observe the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from zoos across the country.

“San Diego Zoo Kids has the ability to bring the zoo to young patients who don’t have the opportunity to visit,” said Douglas G. Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “The stories we tell through this channel not only entertain children and their families during what can be a stressful time, but hopefully inspire a new generation to appreciate wildlife and their natural habitats.”

The channel also will feature animal stories from the Phoenix Zoo. “We are excited to provide a glimpse into the lives of our animals and keepers for those children who are unable to visit our Zoo,” said Bert Castro, President and CEO of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo. “This collaboration to showcase the wonders of the animal kingdom will undoubtedly bring smiles to the young patients and families spending time in the hospital.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 79 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 26 states across the United States, and in four countries.

About Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only children’s hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals with rankings in all ten specialties. Phoenix Children’s provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children’s provides care across more than 75 pediatric specialties. The Hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the hospital, visit http://www.phoenixchildrens.org.

About the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in the Valley accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a non-profit zoological park, serving 1.4 million guests annually. Home to more than 1,400 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo provides experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. For information on upcoming events, exhibits and activities at the Phoenix Zoo, visit www.phoenixzoo.org