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CHOP Idol: Seacrest creates multimedia center at Children's Hospital

Ryan Seacrest! Is awesome! The media mogul has chosen Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to build The Voice, a state of the art multimedia studio. The Voice, a freestanding broadcast center funded by The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, is being built in the main lobby of CHOP, in the Colket Atrium. It will be accessible from the hospital's 34th street entrance and will serve CHOP patients and their visitors and families as a much-needed distraction.

Elana Brewer, CHOP's Director of Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy, explains the setup: "Within the actual physical studio, there is a space designed for a DJ, as well as tabletop space for up to five patients, family members, siblings, celebrity visitors or guests to interact with the DJ."

Off mic, there will be additional seating for children who want to come to the studio but may be less inclined to jump on the mic. Two video cameras will capture the action in the studio, and the entire audio and video feed will be available throughout the internal TV system in the hospital buildings. Due to legal and privacy issues, Brewer says The Voice broadcasts will be strictly in-house, aimed exclusively at patients, families, friends and staff.

The Voice is designed so that passers by in the lobby can peer in through the curved glass partition, and its location in the atrium means that rooms and balconies overlooking the vast open space will have a direct line of sight into the broadcast center.

Brewer explains that tween, teen and young adult patients are the target audience for participation. It's a bit of a forgotten age, because younger children use playrooms, but there's not a lot to keep the older set happily occupied. "It's a great distraction," says Brewer. "The chance to use a state of the art studio will have a normalizing effect, and will give patients a sense of control often lost in the hospital environment." Brewer looks to The Voice as a creative outlet and a great opportunity for socialization, which is especially important for the adolescent population. Kids who are unable to leave their rooms will still be able to participate through on-air trivia quizzes and giveaways.
Seacrest selected CHOP as the second children's hospital in the country to be outfitted with The Voice. The flagship is at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital. The Philadelphia location is scheduled to go live this summer.

Source: Elana Brewer, CHOP
Writer: Sue Spolan
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