Investing in Our Community: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Investing in Our Community: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Jan 18, 2017

For children, the uncertainty and fear that accompanies a trip to the hospital can be overwhelming.

Removed from their familiar home settings and taken to a big building full of strangers and scary equipment often raises anxiety.

Over the past several years, FedEx Ground has made a significant investment in “distraction therapy” tools to help the kids at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC take their minds off their ailments for a while.

For outpatients, FedEx Ground is providing Fun Packs, which contain age-appropriate materials to keep little patients busy as they wait to be seen. They are a welcome source of distraction.

For inpatients, the hospital was able to purchase four VECTA machines, which are mobile multi-sensory devices that incorporate light, sound, bubbles, projection and fiber optics.

The hospital staff has found that the machines calm and distract children who find themselves waiting.

Gretchen Smarto, Chief Financial Officer and SVP, Finance and Administration, is the employee champion of a $125,000 sponsorship of Children’s for 2016 through the FedEx Ground Charitable Contributions Committee.

She has been involved with Children’s for many years, supporting the hospital’s Adopt-A-Book program through FedEx employee donations, support of volunteerism and other initiatives.

“The distraction therapy FedEx Ground has funded is truly unique, and creates a welcoming environment for the child in an otherwise intimidating situation, and can even reduce the amount of drug therapy required for the evaluation,” Gretchen says. “I have seen the benefit first hand.”

The goal of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is to transform the lives of children through science and compassion, Gretchen says, adding that the care provided there leaves a lasting impression on the patients and families it serves.

“It is my pleasure to be involved with CHP, and they are grateful for all of the support provided by the FedEx team,” she says.