Foundation gift helps young patients be kids
North Colorado Medical Center pediatric playroom entertains patients, siblings
Jean Krajec, pediatric registered nurse at North Colorado Medical Center, helps 3-year-old Alejandro Vasquez play a new game in the playroom.
The games, lights and sounds provide an outlet for kids and a distraction from the pain and anxiety that often comes with hospital visits.


GREELEY, Colo. (Aug. 31, 2017) – The North Colorado Medical Center pediatric department received a grant from the North Colorado Medical Center Foundation of $60,000 for a new pediatric playroom which was completed this month.

The pediatric jungle-themed playroom includes wall and carpet murals, climbing apparatus and five interactive wall panels featuring LED light and color displays, sounds and interactive games. The pediatric department hosted an opening house earlier this month for guests to tour the playroom, view the updated department furnishings and meet Brian Money, MD, the new pediatric hospitalist.   

“The vision for the playroom was to make patients’ stays more enjoyable,” said Tammy Piccone, director of Women and Infant Services and Pediatrics at NCMC. "The games, lights and sounds provide an outlet for kids and a distraction from the pain and anxiety that often comes with hospital visits.”

The playroom was made possible by a $60,000 grant from the NCMC Foundation through the M. Lucile Harrison Pediatric Fund. Harrison was a longtime professor of elementary education at the University of Northern Colorado, an author of numerous textbooks and scholarly articles, and was an early pioneer in developing reading readiness programs.

The new playroom was one of many donations by the NCMC Foundation this year. The group awarded nearly $900,000 in grants and scholarships to fund various hospital department programs and community initiatives.

“Seeing young patients utilizing the new pediatric playroom makes it all worthwhile,” said Chris Kiser, NCMC Foundation president. “Through the years we have teamed up with community members to provide vital services that enhance health care for our entire community. We take pride in not only supporting hospital expansion and renovation projects, but also purchasing specialized medical equipment and technology upgrades as well as providing scholarships for aspiring healthcare professionals.”  

“At North Colorado Medical Center, we understand children – when they’re well and when they’re not. Our team of physicians, nurses and health care professionals know what children like, what frightens them, and most importantly, what helps to heal them,” said Debra Clark, pediatric manager at NCMC. “Children’s treatment is much different from adult treatment, demanding different techniques, technologies and therapies. Our professional, compassionate team is dedicated to helping kids heal, giving exceptional care in a caring, family-centered setting.” 

For further information: Sara Quale --