New Starlight Fun Center Lifts Spirits Of Pediatric Patients At Holston Valley Medical Center

Pediatric patients at Holston Valley Medical Center will smile wider and laugh a little more with a new multimedia unit donated by Encompass Group and Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The Fun Center contains a Nintendo Wii, DVD player and LCD television. Starlight’s unique design enables the Fun Center to wheel into a patient’s room so even a bedridden child can enjoy games and movies.

“We thank Encompass and Starlight for this generous donation,” said Laurie Kaudewitz, Holston Valley’s director of women’s and children’s services. “This unit is going to brighten the days of so many sick and injured children.”

For nearly 30 years, Starlight, an international organization, has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children who are in the hospital and their families by providing entertainment, education and family activities. Encompass, a charity partner for Starlight, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of reusable textiles, professional apparel, therapeutic support services and disposable medical products.

 “Fun Centers address the isolation and fear sick children often experience in the hospital,” said Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim, global CEO of Starlight. “A Fun Center is a welcome guest when parents and other visitors aren’t able to be at a child’s bedside.”

Holston Valley unveiled the Fun Center during a ceremony on Thursday, March 15, in the pediatrics unit. Staff members from that unit and the hospital’s administration, as well as representative from Encompass, were on hand. The hospital also invited current pediatric patients and their families to join the unveiling and see the Fun Center for the first time.

 “This center not only brings some amusement and fun into these children’s days, but the Wii lets them be a little more active while still in the safety of their room,” Kaudewitz said.

Holston Valley is home to one of the region’s largest pediatrics units, complete with experienced staff and highly-trained pediatric specialists. As one of Wellmont Health System’s hospitals, it benefits from additional programs and services funded through Children’s Miracle Network.

Holston Valley also works with programs such as Starlight’s, which aim to distract children from discomfort, help them better understand their illnesses and connect families facing similar challenges so no one feels alone.

In 2010, Encompass selected Starlight as its national charity partner, helping bring Fun Centers and other programs to hospitals and medical centers throughout North America.

 “We are thrilled to partner with Encompass because they’re committed to easing loneliness and anxiety while helping kids be kids, even if they’re in the hospital,” Hart-Ibrahim said.

To learn more about Encompass and Starlight, please visit