The vibrant new spaces help ease children’s journeys throughout the hospital.
“A lot of these murals are placed in areas of high stress and anxiety, such as procedure rooms, the operating room hallway, and the Emergency Department,” Goldberg says. “As these places can be scary and overwhelming for patients and their family members, they give children an opportunity to be distracted from all of that and be a kid, play, and interact.”
Mariana agrees. “It just makes my mind go way off the stuff in the hospital.”
A few floors away, Gireinny Garcia, 10, who often stays in the hospital for cancer treatments, comes out of her room and spots the new Disney mural in the hallway. As an alternative to the standard hospital gown, children can choose a Disney-themed Starlight Gown, and Gireinny recently dressed up as Anna from the movie Frozen. Together with Goldberg, the child life specialist, they point the tablet at Winnie the Pooh. Gireinny laughs as the lovable bear splashes head first into a jug of “hunny.”
“It’s great to see her smiling,” says her mother, Giselle Silva. “She looks very happy and very distracted. She doesn’t think about everything that’s going on.”
Goldberg says the Disney spaces help parents too.
“Parents love these murals because it can help to decrease their anxiety seeing that their children are interacting and playing, even while they’re at the hospital,” Goldberg says.
Khan enjoys watching the reaction of families experiencing the Disney magic.
“The most exciting part is seeing the impact of this gift on the faces of children, their families and our workforce,” Khan says. “We are so excited to transform the experience for our patients and families.”