Navy hospital offers fun place for kids to wait
CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — After a three-month shake-down period, a ground-floor waiting room just for kids officially opened Friday at the U.S. Naval Hospital.
Sponsored by the Armed Services Young Men’s Christian Association, the Children’s Waiting Room provides free child-care for up to two hours for parents or siblings with appointments in the hospital. The association contracts with two full-time employees to run the program.
“Since opening in June we serviced over one hundred families from the community,” said Allison Rad, a volunteer coordinator, according to a hospital news release.
And the program just keeps growing, Rad said.
“We have parents who utilized the waiting room who are now volunteering their time so that others can make the most of their medical appointments,” she said.
Community support has been overwhelming, according to association employee Lori Goto.
“Squadrons are donating entire days to volunteer at the waiting room as a group and numerous others have donated office supplies, crayons, and craft projects for the children, and that really helps,” she said.
The waiting room’s official opening was celebrated with an open house with a cake, and a party that attracted some of the hospital staff who were impressed by the program, said Amanda Woodhead, hospital public information officer.
“Allowing the parents to use the waiting room when they have appointments offers them peace of mind that their children are in a safe place so they can give their full attention to the doctor and their examination,” said Hospital Corpsman Jamal McCornell of the Optometry Clinic, according to the news release.
The Children’s Waiting Room is open from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 643-8009 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.