Sanford Health is breaking ground on a unique park and respite area in front of the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for its pediatric patients, families and staff.
Named the “Billion Pavilion,” the park will include accessible play equipment for pediatric patients, several shaded areas, including a covered picnic shelter for patients who cannot be in the sun, a caterpillar climber, spring rider, patterned path routes, an oodle swing and sound arch.
“We know that play is very therapeutic and an important part of the healing process for children,” said Sheri Fischer, executive director of Sanford Children’s Hospital. “Even though we are very blessed to have indoor play spaces within our Sanford Children’s castle where children can go to get out of their patient room, play for a while and just be a kid, we also know that children want to be outside and not trapped indoors when it’s nice out. This outdoor park and respite area will allow children to play and experience the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors as they heal and recover from their illness.”
Other elements in the new space include physical therapy steps and ramps for patients to do their physical therapy outside, planting gardens, work benches, flower beds and garden benches with wheelchair space and decorative seating.
“We are so grateful for the generous gifts from members of the community to make this project possible,” said Erin Sanderson, executive director of the Sanford Health Foundation in Sioux Falls. “This has been a dream of Sanford Children’s staff for years and today we get to make it a reality, all thanks to our generous donors.”
The $1.4 million project is 100% funded by local donors, including a $1 million gift from David H. and Christine Billion. Other large donors include Henry Carlson Company, Panda Express and Northwestern Mutual along with many others. Donations are still being accepted to assist in providing additional enhancements and maintenance for the park into the future.
The project is scheduled to be complete in October. For more information about the Sanford Health Foundation, or to donate, visit sanfordhealthfoundation.org.
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