For anyone spending time at Sanford Children's Hospital, any kind of a break or distraction from treatment is a good thing. Starting Monday, patients will have even more options on their room TVs thanks to a new partnership between the hospital and the San Diego Zoo.
Now sick and injured kids in Sioux Falls can get up close and personal with more species of animals thanks to a new channel called San Diego Zoo Kids.
"Get that opportunity to decompress and get rid of some stress while watching this program. And that really means a lot to us too. Yes we want them to learn something and have fun but if we can make their stay a little better. We've done our job," San Diego Zoo Global Ambassador Rick Schwartz said.
The new exclusive television channel is made possible by a gift from Denny Sanford. The gift will help patients like Avery Dooley. She's been at the castle since her appendix burst last week.
"It's fun because then we get to watch it and see it because a lot of people, even though we do have the zoo in Sioux Falls, they don't get to see the pandas or the elephants," Dooley said.
San Diego Zoo Kids is available at Sanford Children's Hospital starting today. The channel is in addition to existing programming already in place from the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls.
"It was Great Plains Zoo having the creative foresight to look at doing something similar to this catching the eye of the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo looking to do something on a global basis. Of course, with Denny Sanford's relationship out in that part of the country in San Diego, it was just a natural fit," Sanford USD Medical Center President Paul Hanson said.
Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls is one of just five hospitals across the country showing San Diego Zoo Kids.