The 17th Lion’s Den Room was opened at Cohen Children’s Medical Center at North Shore LIJ on Long Island on Friday, April 12, 2013. The room was donated by Billie & George Ross and their family. Members of the New York Islanders Alumni joined Pat LaFontaine for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Ross’s provided funding for the inaugural Lion’s Den Room at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester, NY in 2005. Former Islanders Bob Nystrom, Jean Potvin and Benoit Hogue joined an overflow crowd at the ceremony, and pediatric patients in other Lion’s Den Rooms on the network virtually visited via WebEx to welcome their new friends at Cohen.
The “Lion’s Den” is located in the 3rd Floor Adolescent wing of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center. The interactive room utilizes innovative communication tools, including Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Xbox 360, flat panel televisions and video conference pods that allow patients to connect to “the outside world” during their hospital stay.
“We are so proud to be working with Billie and George to connect the patients at Cohen Children’s to their schools, friends and heroes for years to come,” said LaFontaine. “This room will be an oasis from the unfamiliarity that is part of any lengthy hospital stay. It will serve as part of the healing process for these special kids and their families.”
George Ross is Executive Vice President and Senior Counsel of the Trump Organization. He said, “Billie and I are proud to partner with Companions in Courage and Cohen Children’s to create this Lion’s Den for the hospital’s pediatric patients. We are also thrilled because we have seen firsthand how Lion’s Dens bring joy to children being treated in hospitals. We know this contributes to the healing process and we’re thrilled to have this special room in a hospital that I support and respect.”
Accepting the donation on behalf of the hospital was Kevin McGeachy, Executive Director, Cohen Children’s Medical Center. “I am very excited that we are now able to offer a ‘Lion’s Den’ to our patients. This space will serve as a welcome respite for our pediatric patients from the stress of hospitalization and illness, and specifically allow them to interact with family, friends, teachers and classmates. We understand the importance of each child’s need for social interaction and play while hospitalized. That is why I am proud to partner with Companions in Courage and the Billie & George Ross Foundation to offer this unique opportunity here.”