Huge gift of computers wires patient rooms at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital

Huge gift of computers wires patient rooms at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital

September 12, 1997

Six companies--Comdisco, Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Comserv, Inc., Microdesign International, Microsoft Corp., and Peters & Associates--have joined together to provide computer equipment, software, and networking for inpatient rooms at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital (UCCH), 5839 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago. On Friday, September 12, 1997 at 8:00 a.m., a patient will demonstrate the first newly installed computer, and the companies will be honored for their collaboration to provide the largest computer technology donation of its kind to a Midwest children's hospital.

The initial donation of 46 computers from Comdisco, Inc., of Rosemont, Illinois, sparked a flurry of interest and support from other corporations to fulfill a wish from the hospital's Family Advisory Board. Families of patients have long-wished for computers in each room to serve as a distraction to kids battling serious illness, who often spend long periods of time in the hospital away from family, friends, and classmates.

"Computers serve as a link to the outside world and provide an educational opportunity for children," said Nicholas Pontikes, Comdisco's executive vice president. "Our long-standing relationship with the University of Chicago provided a wonderful opportunity to initiate this program for seriously ill children who may suffer from isolation and lonelines."

Installation of the computers, software and networking will begin immediately and will be complete in approximately 9 months. Each of the IBM Valuepoint P60/D computers has a CD-ROM, Microsoft® Windows® 95, World Wide Web access, and educational and entertainment software including the Microsoft® Magic School Bus series, Microsoft® Monster Truck Madness, Microsoft® Encarta®, Microsoft® Barney Goes to the Circus, and much more. The computers will be mounted on movable stations in each patient room (except the intensive care and infant units).

"Microsoft is proud to take part in this exciting project to provide a unique experience for children during a very difficult time," said Jeff Raikes, vice president of sales and marketing for Microsoft North America. "We hope that the children and their families find the technology exciting and useful, whether they play games, do homework, or research medical information."

"Many of our patients may not have access to a computer at home or at school," said Kenneth P. Kates, director of UCCH and vice president of the University of Chicago Hospitals. "We are so grateful for this generous donation that will assist us in making our hospital friendlier to our patients and families."

The University of Chicago Children's Hospital is a 152-bed acute care hospital on Chicago's South Side. As a major tertiary referral center, UCCH treats children with complex medical problems from the Chicago area, the Midwest and around the world.