Starlight Spaces at Dell Children’s Medical Center 

When seriously ill kids spend day after day in the hospital, sometimes for months on end, they need a break from the constant medical noise and observation. Thankfully, our Starlight Spaces program provides kids and their families with a sense of comfort and an opportunity to connect in an otherwise stressful situation.   

Starlight Spaces transforms indoor and outdoor environments by providing an update, partial renovation, or a total overhaul to an existing space. By re-imagining playrooms, treatment rooms, waiting areas, family kitchens, lounges, and even outdoor playgrounds, pediatric patients and their families can safely escape the hospital setting and relax together.  

At Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, the teen and tween rooms needed a makeover. We partnered with the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation to create two new dazzling Starlight Spaces.   

The rooms at Dell Children's were missing pizzazz that would make the spaces more welcoming.   

Old dark Tween Room at Dell Children's Medical Center
Previous Tween Room
Previous empty Teen Room with some chair and a table at Dell Children's Medical Center
Previous Teen Room

We got to work and, months later, their beautiful new rooms were unveiled!

Updated Tween Room at Dell Children's Medical Center with a foosball table, computer, and tv
Updated Tween Room
Updated Teen Room at Dell Children's Medical Center with basketball hoop game, couches, T.V.s and computers
Updated Teen Room

The furniture is comfortable and easy to disinfect, and there are plenty of games to play! Patients and their families can have a casual game of foosball, battle it out through Connect Four, and find time to connect with each other and other families in a medical-free zone.  

Thanks to Starlight and the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation, Dell Children's is thrilled to offer this new amenity to their patients and families.   

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"The mission of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation is to bring joy to kids when they need it most," said Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation. "We are proud to partner with Starlight Children's Foundation to create bright, cheerful spaces and make things a little easier for teen patients at Dell Children's Hospital."   

These Starlight Spaces are already being used to make the hospital experience more comfortable for seriously ill kids!  

"Private play sessions have been integral to normalizing hospitalization, providing motivation for ambulation, and, of course, providing the opportunity for kids to express their emotions about hospitalization and illness through play," said Kelly Wagnerm, Child Life Specialist at Dell Children's. "Play sessions have been very popular with kids under four-years-old, and I've managed to cajole some teens into a change of scenery, which they appreciated."  

Since 2003, over 100 Starlight Spaces have transformed the hospital experience for 3.2 million children. Each Space provides patients with comfort, socialization, a sense of normalcy, and so much more. 

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