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Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital opens one-of-a-kind therapeutic oasis for patients

Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital opens one-of-a-kind therapeutic oasis for patients

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- The multi-sensory room in Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital has a remarkable quality that makes occupants feel like they are no longer in a bustling hospital. It’s a therapeutic space that can relax or stimulate a patient as needed, and Upstate Golisano is the only children’s hospital in the country that has one.

“The equipment in the multi-sensory room encourages pediatric patients to interact with their environment,” says Thomas Welch, MD, medical director, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. “The room is specially designed to meet a variety of needs in the treatment of our patients and, most importantly, promote recovery.”

The multi-sensory room, accessible by appointment to pediatric inpatients, can help provide non-pharmacological pain control, stress relief, stimulation and relaxation depending on the patient’s needs. Against a stark white canvas, customizable features are applied, including floor-to-ceiling bubble tubes, a waterbed, climbing and crawling surfaces and mats, projectors that show words and images on the walls and a suspension swing.

“The patient is put in control from the start,” explains Certified Child Life Specialist Regina Lozito, who works with patients in the room. “They are given a remote control that governs the colors in the room and they can interact with whichever features they want.

When illness or a hospital stay makes them feel like they have no control in life, this can give that back to them.”

Treatment in the multi-sensory room was first made available to patients in 2011. Planning and construction of the space took over a year to complete. The cost of the project was $50,000. Funding was made possible through a combination of donations and grants.

Caption: In the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital multi-sensory room, tall tubes filled with bouncing bubbles create light, sound and changeable color for patients to interact with and control. The room is the only one of it’s kind in the country that is in a children’s hospital.