Hospital Will Use Jeeps to Drive Away Children's Anxiety

Two motorized toy cars were donated by New York City business

April 07, 2000

Don't be surprised to see a child driving a miniature Jeep down the hallway at Children's Hospital at Strong, maneuvering his or her way to an operating room, or arriving in style for medical tests.

Thanks to MultiPlan, a Preferred Provider Organization based in New York City, Children's Hospital at Strong now has the use of two toy Jeeps, similar to those sold in stores such as Toys 'R Us. Each Jeep can support a child who weighs up to 130 pounds. They will be unveiled at 1 p.m. Monday, April 10, in the hospital's Christie Simonetti Playdeck. Children will be on hand to demonstrate how the toy cars work.

"It will be a much less traumatic journey to the operating room if a child is given the opportunity to drive him or herself from the waiting room to surgery," says Walter Pegoli Jr., chief of pediatric surgery at Children's Hospital at Strong. "We won't be checking driving licenses, but we will make sure their treks are supervised and safe."

Anne Eagar, R.N., MultiPlan's vice president of quality management, says the company has donated similar toys to children's hospitals elsewhere in the U.S. This is the first donation to a hospital in Western New York, and she believes youngsters, especially those about to undergo surgery, will benefit greatly.

"Under those types of circumstances, a child's breathing isn't as stable as an adults would be," Eagar says. "This will definitely help children relax in what can sometimes be a stressful situation."

Children's Hospital at Strong is located at 601 Elmwood Ave. If parking isn't available in the main loop, please park in the ramp. All reporters and photographers will be met at the first-floor information desk.

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