Donation from Major League Baseball, Reds and Starlight Foundation gives Primary Care Clinic a welcoming renovation

Thanks to a generous donation from Major League Baseball (MLB), the Cincinnati Reds and the Starlight Foundation, patients at Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Primary Care Center (PPC) will have a more welcoming, fun and functional waiting room.

MLB is investing $5 million into Cincinnati, as host of the recent 2015 All-Star Game. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the nine organizations MLB chose to support.

To celebrate the new digs, a ceremonial ribbon cutting was held July 12 with several MLB representatives: Joe Morgan of the 1970s Big Red Machine; former outfielder Glenn Braggs; Reds CEO Bob Castellini; Sharon Robinson, daughter of the late Jackie Robinson; Vera Clemente, wife of the late Roberto Clemente, and several of our patients and families, as well as President and CEO Michael Fisher.

The waiting area was transformed from a typical waiting room with only chairs, windows and a few reading materials to a vibrant resource center to help both kids and parents reach their full potential.

While children play with new interactive toys, read inspirational quotes adorning the walls and watch their favorite Reds players read books on TVs, their parents can connect with local resources they need, like legal aid, adult education, public benefits, housing and quality preschool and childcare.

Families can even Skype with local organizations with the center’s iPads. These resources will help families have access to important resources that will help ensure that children are receiving the best care, nutrition and health-related programs available.

Castellini noted that Robinson and Clemente faced many of the same barriers to success, as some of our at-risk families. “One of the inspirational aspects of these players is that they faced adversity. They pushed through their own challenges to achieve greatness.”

Rey Velazquez, whose family recently moved to Cincinnati, spoke about how the PPC has already helped his family through their initial struggles as they settled into the city. When the family moved, his girlfriend was pregnant, they didn’t have jobs or their own apartment, but they knew they could receive care at Cincinnati Children’s. After his daughter was born, their pediatrician at the PPC referred the family to legal aid for assistance in obtaining health insurance.

“Two days after we talked with the doctor, we got a call from legal aid,” Rey says. “And two weeks after that, we had our insurance cards.” Because their doctor cared enough to ask about their home situation, they were able to expedite getting insurance. Once their insurance was in place, the family became more financially stable and able to take on house hunting and job searches.

Now the Velazquez family has their own apartment in the Loveland area, and a stable job because of the help from Cincinnati Children’s and Legal Aid.

“Sometimes you don’t know where to start,” Rey says. “But now, families that come to the PPC will know where they can get help. It’s right here in this very room.”