San Diego Zoo Kids Channel Begins Broadcasting at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

Television Programming Features Wildlife Stories from Saint Louis Zoo

Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a virtual adventure, complete with meeting animal ambassadors from the Saint Louis Zoo—at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital earlier today (Oct. 22, 2020). This special virtual event was held to announce the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids, a closed-circuit television adventure channel, at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative television channel with programs produced primarily for medical facilities that serve pediatric patients and their families. A Tilles Foundation grant from the Saint Louis Zoo has made the channel available on TV monitors at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis.

San Diego Zoo Kids’ programming offers family friendly, animal-oriented stories that are both entertaining and educational.

“SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is proud to partner with the San Diego Zoo and the Saint Louis Zoo to offer our patients a special experience when hospitalized,” said Michelle Romano, vice president of patient care, chief nursing officer, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. “This new programming provides a unique opportunity for our patients to experience an adventure from the comfort of their hospital room. It can be a welcome distraction from the hospital stay by allowing the kids to focus on something other than their illness.”

The channel has also been installed at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis.

 “We are proud to offer San Diego Zoo Kids to our Ronald McDonald House guest families, and we are grateful for the generous support from the Tilles Foundation grant from the Saint Louis Zoo that has made this partnership possible,” said Dan Harbaugh, president, Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis. “Many children and their families will benefit from the wildlife programming, which will help make each of their stays with us a more positive experience during a difficult time.”

The channel offers up-close video encounters with animals and stories about caring for animals – including stories form the Saint Louis Zoo. “We are so pleased to be a part of this partnership,” said Michael Macek, director, Saint Louis Zoo. “Connecting people with wildlife and nature is what we are all about; we hope this programming can bring smiles to the faces of the children who are dealing with health challenges.”

In addition to wildlife stories, the San Diego Zoo Kids channel also offers quizzes about animals and habitats, and a wide variety of short video vignettes. Viewers can see best-of videos from the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from other zoos around the world. Children also learn how they can help protect the planet.

“We continue to be humbled by the healing properties of San Diego Zoo Kids,” said Dwight Scott, Zoo Director, San Diego Zoo Global. “Parents and caregivers share that the channel, which has no commercials or inappropriate content, not only calms children but makes them happy.”

Today’s virtual launch event can be viewed on the San Diego Zoo Kids Facebook page Facebook

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 354 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 48 states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia, and in facilities in 13 countries including Australia, Curacao, Canada, India, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

About SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is the only free-standing, not-for-profit Catholic pediatric hospital in the United States. Located in St. Louis, MO, it is designated as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in both Missouri and Illinois. A Magnet designated hospital, the 195-bed facility is a member of SSM Health, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the country. The hospital has a long-standing relationship with Saint Louis University School of Medicine. It serves as one of the teaching facilities for the School, with its staff being part of SLUCare Physician Group.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis
Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis provides comfort, care and a home-away-from-home to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at St. Louis hospitals. The organization has grown from an eight-bedroom facility in 1981 to now include three Ronald McDonald Houses, eight extended-stay apartments, and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, which are located inside Mercy Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. RMHC programs not only provide access to quality health care, they enable family-centered care ensuring that families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s medical journeys. For more information, visit

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Home to over 13,000 animals representing 555 species, the Saint Louis Zoo is recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research, and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo attracts approximately 3 million visitors annually and is the most-visited attraction in the region. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Saint Louis Zoo is part of an elite group of institutions that meet the highest standards in animal care as well as provide fun, safe and educational family experiences. The Saint Louis Zoo and the other AZA-accredited institutions collectively dedicate millions of dollars annually to support scientific research, conservation and education programs. For more information, visit

About The Tilles Foundation
The Tilles Foundation is dedicated to finding the most effective and impactful ways to help children in the Greater St. Louis Region through innovative charitable partnerships. We only fund non-profit 501(c)(3)

San Diego Zoo Kids
San Diego Zoo Kids reaches out to millions of children each year who might not otherwise be able to experience the wonders of animals, plants and their habitats, with the goal of making nature accessible to children everywhere. As part of San Diego Zoo Global, an international nonprofit conservation organization that works to save plants and animals worldwide, San Diego Zoo Kids seeks to fight extinction by raising awareness, building respect and igniting a passion for wildlife and conservation among younger audiences. The San Diego Zoo Kids website ( provides a learning experience about animals, habitats and conservation for children anywhere. San Diego Zoo Kids provides free and discounted education programs in San Diego that meet LEAD standards for science curriculum and provides teacher training ( The San Diego Zoo Kids channel ( broadcasts television programming in more than xxx children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses around the world, providing joy, comfort, laughter, and learning to children and their families who are experiencing challenging times. To learn more, visit the links above or connect with us on Facebook and YouTube.