Friday, February 12, 2021, marks the beginning of Lunar New Year, a celebration of family and friends coming together to feast and welcome the new year. It is also the culmination of another year of fundraising by Panda Express, totaling $444,604 for Children’s Miracle Network at UC Davis Children’s Hospital in 2020.
These funds from the Panda Cares Foundation support the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy department, staffed by professionals who help minimize the anxiety of hospitalization, increase understanding, strengthen coping skills and help children continue their typical growth and development.
“From the beginning, Child Life set us up for success. The team tailored everything to meet the needs of Marshall and our family,” pediatric patient mom, Kyle Westbrook, said. Her son Marshall was diagnosed with B-cell high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was treated at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Not only was our child getting the best medical care, we were all learning how to cope. They offered skills and ideas well beyond the confines of the hospital room.”
Specialized programs like the pediatric pain team are also funded by Panda Express donations. The team provides inpatient and outpatient consults and provides guidance on pain management and therapeutic options in collaboration with patients, families and care providers.
“Programs like this address the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of children, bringing them courage and hope to heal and thrive,” said Michelle Tafoya, program director of CMN at UC Davis. “We are so grateful for the ongoing partnership with Panda Express and look forward to continuing our holistic approach to kids’ health with Panda’s support.”
Since 2007, Panda Express has been raising money for millions of kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by asking for donations at the register all year long. Funds donated stay local and benefit patients and families in the area. In 2020, Panda Express associates and guests donated to 131 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, bringing the total to more than $100M over the lifetime of this partnership.
UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children’s surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.