Zoos Bring Animal Kingdom to Patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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SDZG and Children's Hospital LA logos

Today, in the presence of a rare California condor from the Los Angeles Zoo, a unique collaboration designed to entertain and educate patients and their families about wildlife was announced at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Funded by a generous gift by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and San Diego Zoo Global announced the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids in Los Angeles, a television broadcast channel that features programming about unique and endangered animal species and is available on TV monitors in every patient room and waiting area.

“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is thrilled to be collaborating with the San Diego Zoo on this entertaining and educational partnership to benefit the hospital’s pediatric patients,” said Mary Dee Hacker, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN, vice president for patient care services at Children’s Hospital. “The San Diego Zoo Kids channel will broadcast over the hospital’s GetWellNetwork, which provides a variety of programming to our inpatients. The partnership also provides an excellent complement to our longstanding Amerman Family Foundation Dog Therapy Program that comforts thousands of patients every year. We want to thank Denny Sanford for making this possible and also recognize our local partner, the Los Angeles Zoo, for their support and for providing some of our lucky patients today with an up-close look at Dolly, a California condor.”

The channel features video from the Zoo’s famous Panda Cam as well as other live, online cameras, fun and educational pieces about a variety of animals and up-close video encounters of popular animals with the Zoo’s national spokesperson, Rick Schwartz.

“We have always believed in the importance of putting people in touch with animals as a way to conserve species,” said Doug Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “What we have heard from medical care professionals is that animal interaction and animal stories can also help promote well-being. San Diego Zoo Global has a wealth of animal stories and, through the generosity of Denny Sanford, we are able to bring these stories to the families at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.”

The event included a female California condor named Dolly, a resident of the Los Angeles Zoo who needed special medical care to help heal a broken wing. This rare bird’s medical story is included in the programming of the television channel.

“The Los Angeles Zoo is very excited to collaborate with San Diego Zoo Global and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on this very important project,” said John Lewis, director of the Los Angeles Zoo. “We chose to share the story of Dolly because we felt it could be an inspiration to the patients and their families.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego on December 18, 2013.

CONTACT: Lorenzo Benet, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at 323-361-4823 or San Diego Zoo Global Public Relations at 619-685-3291