The Walt Disney Company announced today a plan to dedicate more than $100 million to reinvent the patient and family experience in children’s hospitals across the globe.
This initiative, which is part of the Company’s “Team of Heroes” community outreach and philanthropy efforts will roll out over a period of five years.
“Disney’s timeless stories have touched hearts and lifted spirits for generations, and we believe they can bring comfort to children and families going through a very difficult time,” said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Using the powerful combination of our beloved characters and legendary creativity, we’re planning to transform the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world—creating a personalized and engaging atmosphere that will inspire young patients and ease the stress of a hospital stay.”
Imagineers will work with patient care experts and use some of the world’s most iconic characters and stories to create many different experiences that will provide a supportive atmosphere that is personal, warm and entertaining for patients and families during their time at the hospital.
Concepts for these experiences include:
- A new RFID-based system allowing patients to customize their hospital visit by choosing their favorite Disney stories and characters, which will surround them during their stay. The system will also unlock special elements to further personalize and enhance the experience, such as “enchanted” artwork that comes alive.
- Themed treatment and patient rooms featuring interactive murals of Disney stories, bed linens and gowns featuring each child’s favorite characters, and personalized in-room entertainment. Additionally, well stocked mobile “play carts” will include Disney-themed games and activities to give families something to do together to help alleviate stress and boredom.
- Disney first-run movies and television shows, available both in-room and in themed pop up movie theaters in the hospital, along with other Disney entertainment options.
- Disney customer-experience training for doctors, nurses and staff. The renowned Disney Institute, a part of The Walt Disney Company that provides professional development training focused on leadership, employee engagement and high quality service, will create a customized program for healthcare professionals designed to foster a less stressful, patient and family-centric hospital experience.
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston will be the first hospital to work with Disney in this new initiative. Disney will gain valuable insight in collaborating with Texas Children’s Hospital which is the largest children’s hospital in the United States and is recognized as a national leader in pediatric health.
“We are honored to be the inaugural hospital to collaborate with Disney on this exciting patient-focused initiative,” said Mark A. Wallace, President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital. “Patient care is at the center of our mission, and in addition to providing the highest-quality medical care to children, we strive to make the hospital experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for every patient and their family. We are looking forward to working with Disney to enhance our efforts in this area.”
The Walt Disney Company is also expanding its work with children’s wish-granting organizations. In 2017, they granted more than 10,000 wishes for children facing critical illnesses around the world. Since Disney granted its first wish request in the early 1980s, it has fulfilled more than 120,000 wishes.