The Panda Cares Foundation — the philanthropic arm of the restaurant chain Panda Express — has pledged $5 million to create the “Panda Cares Center of Hope” within OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The new space, which was unveiled in October, provides specially curated programs that promote a holistic approach to health care, including addressing children’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs.
OHSU Doernbecher’s Panda Cares Center of Hope is housed in the South Acute Care Unit located on the 9th floor, which includes 24 patient rooms to care for children who may be hospitalized for a variety of reasons, ranging from acute illness to recovery from surgery. The center will offer therapeutic play, art therapy, meditation and counseling services — all designed to provide children the comfort, courage and strength needed to face their illness or injury. The partnership enables Doernbecher to hire a dedicated nurse coordinator, who provides resources and support for patients and their families in 15 counties across the state.
“Facing chronic conditions and end-of-life care is a difficult journey for a patient and their family, both physically and emotionally,” said Dana A. Braner, M.D., physician-in-chief at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital; and, Credit Unions for Kids chair, professor and chair of pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine. “Ongoing philanthropic efforts like the Panda Cares Center for Hope allow us to go beyond basic medical care and provide services that not only optimize treatment, but also allow kids the opportunity to live each day to the fullest. We’re thrilled to see the impact the center will have on our patients, staff and greater community.”
OHSU Doernbecher employs 1,000 clinicians and staff who care for more than 66,000 patients each year. Panda Express will provide continued support to the Doernbecher community through ongoing, year-round fundraising campaigns and events that make it possible to provide the region’s most comprehensive and advanced pediatric care.
“We are proud to partner with Doernbecher to bring the vision of the Panda Cares Center of Hope to life and are humbled to be part of the healing journey for the families and kids at these hospitals,” said Peggy Cherng, Ph.D., co-founder and co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. “Children are our future, and through this partnership and curriculum designed to give children the strength to thrive, we will bring smiles and hope to communities nationwide.”