Dr Michael Cheung, Mia Cowley, Lindsay Smalley and Terry Hopkins
The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and HeartKids, with the support of The Honda Foundation, have launched a first-of-its-kind-in-Australia, interactive website to shed light on the hospital experience for the thousands of children diagnosed with a heart condition each year.
More than a quarter of a million dollars was donated by The Honda Foundation for the creation of the Howie’s Place website, which features colourful and informative videos designed to assist parents in preparing their child for cardiac treatment, tests and hospital admissions.
The Honda Foundation and the Victorian Honda Dealer Network have worked closely with the RCH and HeartKids since 2006 to develop the ground-breaking tool, which is expected to be used by families across the country.
Mr. Lindsay Smalley, Chairman of The Honda Foundation said, “The Honda Foundation is very proud to partner with HeartKids and the RCH on this project and we’re really pleased with the outcome.”
“Howie’s Place is a wonderful concept and we’re confident it will make a positive difference to children and parents alike as they prepare for their hospital visit,” said Mr. Smalley.
The videos, which are narrated by Playschool’s Rachael Coopes and feature the voice of the late Bud Tingwell, were developed to reduce the anxiety families can feel before they enter a hospital environment.
Lyndall Cowley, mother of seven-year-old cardiac patient Mia Cowley said, “When we looked for something that would help us explain to our daughter Mia what would happen when she went to hospital, the only material we could find was an old book with black and white pictures.”
“Howie’s Place will be such a great tool for families preparing for a hospital visit with their child.”
The RCH is the largest paediatric cardiac centre in Australia, performing more than 10,000 echocardiograms and over 1,000 heart operations each year.
RCH Director of Cardiology, Dr. Michael Cheung said, “Having a tool that allows our patients to gain an understanding about life in hospital when being treated for a cardiac condition, before admission and from the comfort of their own home is invaluable”.
For more information on The Honda Foundation and the organisations it supports, please visit www.hondafoundation.org.au.
For more information on Howie’s Place, visit www.rch.org.au/howie.