Mercy Springfield is celebrating children the entire month of August, and the community is invited to participate.
It all kicked off on Thursday, Aug. 1, with a school supply drive in coordination with James River Church’s “Stuff the Bus” program. Last year, Mercy co-workers loaded 275 backpacks with supplies for local children in need, and this year we surpassed that mark by collecting 299 with community support!
On Aug. 9 at 10 a.m., Mercy Springfield is breaking ground on the region’s first pediatric emergency room (ER). The existing ER will be expanded to create a dedicated area for kids. “We see everything from traumatic brain injuries to burns and everyday injuries,” said Dr. John Burson, Mercy pediatrician and vice president of Mercy Kids. “Having to go to the hospital is scary enough but having to go to the ER bumps up the stress for both kids and parents. We want a separate space that’s as comforting and low-key as possible.” The groundbreaking ceremony will feature a performance by kids, and children will be turning the dirt for their new ER.
That announcement will be quickly followed on Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. by the free “Mercy Kids Health Rally,” an event at Mercy Kids children’s hospital that’s designed to get kids excited about health and safety as they head back to school. The first 100 children will get a free bike helmet and fitting, and car seat checks run throughout the event. In addition, there will be bounce houses, therapy dogs, face painting, giveaways and much more!
Then on Sunday, Aug. 18, celebrations kick off as Mercy’s Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center marks its 10th anniversary as a member of the St. Jude Affiliate Program. The program makes the cancer and blood disorder treatments developed at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital available right here at home, so families travel less for care. About 3,000 patients and their families are invited to come back for a birthday party that includes cake, door prizes, games, and entertainment provided in part by the patients themselves. The event is not open to the general public.
It all wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 1 as the Springfield Cardinals host our Mercy Kids pediatric cancer patients and kick off Pediatric Cancer Awareness month as they take on the Midland Rockhounds. The kids will get the chance to run the bases and then go onto the field to participate in Sing-a-Long Fireworks.
“With our wide array of pediatric subspecialties, patients from across the region come to us for care, and our providers become a very important part of families’ lives,” said Brent Hubbard, president and COO of Mercy Hospital Springfield. “During August, we want them to know how special they are to us, too, and I hope families get to participate in at least one of our many events.”