OKLAHOMA CITY –Express Employment International and the Ace Foundation are making a $100,000 investment in the well-being of children at the Child Study Center (CSC) at OU Health. Patients and their families will now be able to access and use the playground equipment at the Child Study Center at OU Health.
These grants will allow the CSC to build an ADA-compliant playground that will meet all safety requirements that are regulated by the state. The new playground will offer a variety of activities for children of all ages and will have special areas created for children with mobility issues and other challenges.
“Express Employment International is honored to continue its support of Children’s Health Foundation,” said Bill Stoller, CEO and chairman of the board at Express Employment International. “The much-needed renovation of the CHF playground located at the Child Study Center will provide a safe and fun place for children of all abilities and their families to enjoy while receiving valuable services.”
The CSC offers assessments and treatment programs for a wide variety of childhood developmental disabilities, social and behavioral challenges, emotional disorders, Autism, and ADHD, as well as assesses and treats children who have been exposed to drugs/alcohol before birth and children who have been exposed to trauma. CSC partners with the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program to provide family-centered, culturally sensitive interdisciplinary care to children and teens.
CSC is a critical piece of the Department of Pediatrics providing clinical services, medical education, and important research shared in the medical and education communities. In 2021, 1,626 evaluations and patient encounters with 638 unique children presenting with developmental delays/disabilities and/or Autism visited CSC for assessments, therapy, and ongoing medication management. Many of these children have motor or global developmental delays that make it challenging for them to participate fully on playgrounds
with less accessible equipment.
Researchers and educators report the many benefits of outdoor, free play for children of all ages. Free play with a variety of loose and structured playground equipment encourages creativity, socialization, critical thinking skills, physical activity, and independence in children as they meet and interact with children from different races, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and intellect. Used in a clinical setting, the community the playground provides unstructured time for a child to relax and have fun during often-times days of tedious and challenging assessments and treatments.
“We are thankful to Express Employment International and Ace Foundation for their commitment to the health of children in Oklahoma,” said Kathy McCracken, Executive Director of Children’s Health Foundation. “We know that the playground renovation is an essential piece to helping these children be able to receive the care they need at the Child Study Center. The renovation will include an updated space for the staff to go outside and enjoy their breaks and lunch, which they all deserve.”
Children’s Health Foundation funds pediatric research, education, and clinical care programs, ultimately supporting children from every county in Oklahoma. All funds raised through the Children’s Health Foundation stay in Oklahoma so children will have access to exceptional pediatric specialists without having to leave the state.