Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of The Auen Foundation Children’s Play Area, made possible by the Foundation’s grant of $100,000 at the Jill & Barry Golden Pavilion on February 18.
Sherrie Auen, program director of The Auen Foundation — a non-profit, grant-making organization based in the Coachella Valley — said the partnership with Children’s Health – Indio was inspired after a tour of the state-of-the-art medical facility, where they decided to focus grant funds on the clinic’s waiting area.
“We saw an opportunity to make the clinic’s waiting area a little happier,” Auen said. “The Children’s Play Area is meant to be comfortable and fun — to let a kid be a kid. It will be a therapeutic space for children and families.”
Loma Linda University Children’s Health administration, officials from the City of Indio, Big Hearts for Little Hearts – Desert Guild board members and patient families attended the ceremony to celebrate The Auen Foundation’s gift.
Patients and their families who were in attendance received teddy bears and books donated by the Foundation.
Emmanuel Presichi, 6, a former patient, stood up with his parents to thank Children’s Health – Indio for caring for him and to thank The Auen Foundation for partnering with the clinic.
More than 3,000 children in the Coachella Valley receive care from Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio, Jill & Barry Golden Pavilion that opened in 2018. The clinic offers a broad scope of pediatric services including general pediatrics, behavioral health counseling, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric neurology, pediatric endocrinology and dental services.