When the Ryan Seacrest Foundation opened its eighth studio, located in Boston’s Children Hospital, those of us here at Advanced AV couldn’t have been prouder, as we’ve been there since the beginning. If you’re not familiar with the work the Seacrest Foundation does, the RSF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children, through programs that use multimedia and interactive platforms to enlighten, entertain and educate. These innovative hospital studios also afford opportunities for aspiring young broadcasters to get some experience behind the microphone. Children learn how to interview others as well as to edit audio and video, and popular artists frequently visit the studio, including Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, and Nick Jonas, in hopes of inspiring the patients as they recover. In fact, the kids can also “network,” so those in LA can talk to kids in Boston of Philly or Cleveland and help share their joys and struggles. They even compare scars. And no one gets left out—even children who are bed bound have the ability to join in and be a participant with other kids and celebrities.
For many patients, focusing on the creation of music and video offers a welcome reprieve from the rigors of treatment.
Meredith Seacrest is chief operating officer and executive director of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “Parents tell us how their kids go to the studio and they don’t want to leave. In some cases, patients haven’t left their room in days, but want to come down when we bring a celebrity like Taylor Swift to the studio.”
As mentioned above, Advanced AV has been a proud partner in making these young patients’ hospital stays a little brighter since the get-go. In fact, we’re still partners, and are currently working on the ninth iteration in Nashville, set to open at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in February. But back in 2011 when RSF built its second broadcast studio at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (their first studio opened in 2010, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Ryan Seacrest’s hometown!), we eagerly pitched in to help.
Helping Sick Kids Feel Better
Using donated equipment, the team had to think creatively in order to create a functioning studio without sacrificing quality. In fact, Advanced AV designed the system that serves at the centerpiece of the Philadelphia broadcast facility, where an internal radio station broadcast is sent throughout the hospital.
And it was collaboration and teamwork that made building that studio possible.
“…we had to make it work,” said Kevin McGinnis, systems design engineer for Advanced AV. “It was a miracle everything came together the way it did.”
All of us here at Advanced AV are committed to and proud of our association with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. We believe strongly that they provide an invaluable service to children who have nothing else to break up long hours at the hospital enduring treatment and tests. By being immersed in an educational—and fun—experience, patients can forget about their troubles and focus on learning and being creative. And if they’re really lucky? They might get to meet one of their favorite pop stars!
We hope we’ll have the opportunity to brighten the day for more sick children in the future. With the RSF aiming to build many more of these innovative studios, that’s certainly a possibility.
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