Ryan Seacrest Foundation Launches New Broadcast Studio at Children's Medical Center
October 22, 2012
** Editor’s note: Media are welcome to attend the grand opening, but must be credentialed in advance through the Media Relations office at Children’s Medical Center. **
Children’s Medical Center (www.childrens.com), in partnership with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF), announced plans today to open a state-of-the-art, multimedia broadcast studio inside the hospital.
A special-ribbon cutting ceremony at the hospital will feature special appearances by Ryan Seacrest, singer Selena Gomez and musical star Shealeigh.
The new broadcast center at Children’s, known as Seacrest Studios, is part of an entertainment initiative that radio and television host and producer Ryan Seacrest’s foundation developed to help patients explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media. The facility will broadcast entertainment programming throughout the hospital, letting patients unable to leave their rooms take part in the fun. The studio also will include a performance stage, which will serve as a venue for the many celebrities who visit Children’s.
The facility’s equipment will be donated by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, and Children’s is seeking donors to help support other costs. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation founding sponsors include the E! Network and The Coca-Cola Company.
Actress and singer Selena Gomez, a native of the Dallas area who has appeared at Children’s special events and served as grand marshal of the 2009 Christmas parade, is an ambassador for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
“The Ryan Seacrest Foundation does such incredible work with pediatric hospitals across the country, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Gomez said. “I’m particularly thrilled to help Ryan open a broadcast center in my hometown of Dallas at Children’s Medical Center, as giving back to the kids here is so important to me.”
“I’m so grateful to everyone at Children’s Medical Center for embracing the foundation’s mission and Seacrest Studios, which will provide such a unique opportunity for patients in Dallas,” said Seacrest. “It’ll be exciting for me and all the kids to have Selena and Shealeigh join us for the opening event, as we really hope to generate a lot of support in the community.”
“We are thrilled and thankful that the Ryan Seacrest Foundation has chosen us for this special honor,” said Ben Retta, senior director of support services for Children’s. “The studio will be a hub of activity that will uplift the spirits of the patients, families and staff. The programming will have a positive impact and allow patients some normalcy while dealing with a chronic illness. It gives us a unique opportunity to enhance the patient-family experience here and to provide a virtual playroom for children.”
The studio encompasses more than 600 square feet, and an outdoor courtyard lets visitors watch activities taking place inside Seacrest Studios. “This allows us an opportunity to put many of our guest amenities in the same location or in close proximity to each other,” Retta said. “Basically, it will be a neighborhood.”
Two full-time program directors will manage the programming for Seacrest Studios, including game shows, celebrity interviews, performances by the Funnyatrics therapeutic clown team and more. Local college journalism students will intern at the studio, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in broadcasting, programming and operating a multimedia center. Children’s patients also will be involved in the on-air activities. “In order for us to have effective engagement, we need to have patients involved,” Retta said.
Seacrest Studios are operating at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, with others planned at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital.
“This innovative program will allow us to extend many of our existing resources, as well as develop new programs to help children cope with their hospitalization, learn about the hospital environment and connect with other children, both in person and virtually, who are experiencing similar situations,” said Children’s Volunteer Services Director Susan Lakey.
About Children’s Medical Center
The not-for-profit Children's Medical Center is the fifth-largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the only pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.childrens.com.
About The Ryan Seacrest Foundation
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives. RSF’s first initiative is to build broadcast media centers—Seacrest Studios—within pediatric hospitals for patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media. Founded in 2009, RSF currently has Seacrest Studios in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Dallas hospitals, and has plans to expand throughout the nation to Orange County, CA, Cincinnati, and Boston in 2013-14. For more information, visit www.ryanseacrestfoundation.org.