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Hope Hits Harder will make it a little easier to be a kid in the hospital

Being a child in the hospital can be scary and stressful, so making the new University Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital, now under construction in the South Texas Medical Center, kid-friendly is an important priority. Today, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Hope Hits Harder Cancer Foundation, the hospital’s Child Life Center will be a place for kids to play games, engage in crafts and activities, enjoy shows, and become more comfortable about upcoming procedures in a medical playroom.

“Hope Hits Harder has been a wonderful champion for our pediatric patients for years, especially those undergoing cancer treatments,” University Health Foundation president Sara Alger said. “It is truly inspiring to see how they have activated our community in support of this project. We look forward to working with Tom “Tbone” and Jacqueline Bounds with Hope Hits Harder to make this center a place where kids can create some happy hospital memories, and feel the love and support of all of us and the entire community.”

The Hope Hits Harder Child Life Center, in tribute to Jana M. Bounds, will be the new home of University Health’s Child Life specialist team. These specialized health care workers focus on the psychosocial needs of pediatric patients to reduce stress, fear and anxiety. They also help children understand what is happening to their bodies and what to expect during their hospitalization, through age-specific educational activities and therapeutic play. According to a January 2021 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Child Life services are associated with improved quality, outcomes, and patient and family experiences as well as decreased costs in pediatric care.”

"Improving the quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer in the San Antonio area has been our primary mission for over 20 years,” Tbone Bounds said. “In that time, we have seen the positive impact that child life programs like these have made on children and their families. Hope Hits Harder is honored and excited to partner with University Health on the creation of the Hope Hits Harder Child Life Center."

The 14-story, 300-bed University Women’s and Children’s Hospital, on schedule to open in the summer of 2023, will provide much-needed facilities to meet the needs of our growing community and region. It will be the first hospital in San Antonio dedicated to the unique health care needs of women, newborns and children with serious health conditions, ensuring that families do not need to travel to another city to receive advanced treatments or procedures.

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