I never imagined that my live television debut would happen from the ground floor of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. But a couple of weeks ago, I joined a group of carolers (staff, care team members and the hospital's music therapists) who volunteered to spread some holiday cheer to patients and their families. Our first stop — Sophie’s Place Broadcast Studio.
Tucked away in the corner of the main lobby, the studio provides daily entertainment that is streamed through the hospital’s closed-circuit television channel. Mat Vido and Brianna Chambers, media coordinators in the Sophie’s Place Broadcast Studio, kicked off their first live broadcast in October. A recent Healthier, Happy Lives blog post describes how the studio not only provides a fun distraction for the kids, but also gives patients a sense of community, which is important, especially while they are in the hospital.
From the piece:
During their stay at Packard Children’s, the youngsters can tune in and see kids who look just like them and are also receiving treatment for illness or recovering from injury.
'We had one little girl share her cancer diagnosis and remove her princess tiara to show the audience her bald head,' said Vido. 'Other children watched the bravery of the girl, then took the courageous step to participate on-air after previously feeling too self-conscious.'
In addition to the live talk show, the studio offers daily live and recorded shows including game shows and 'kids choice' programs. Patients can also come into the studio to participate on-air or call in from their hospital room to interact with the studio team and other patients.
Back in the studio, my fellow carolers and I gathered at the center of the room. Earlier that day, Vido and Chambers asked patients to vote for their favorite holiday song. The studio lights turned on and we watched the countdown on the screen: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. With song sheets, handheld bells and a little TV magic, we sang "Frosty the Snowman" live from the North Pole, to every patient in the hospital.
Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford