NEW YORK, NY – December 18, 2023

The Lions Den Room at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s in New York City has always been referred to internally as our “million-dollar room.” That’s a reflection of both its value to the pediatric patients and the Child Life staff, but it’s also a nod to the room’s location on Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park.

During the pandemic, this room served as a respite from the scourge of COVID. Not only could patients safely visit the room for a few minutes of play or to complete homework assignments, it also provided a safe place where doctors could have confidential discussions with parents. Additionally, the room was a place where staff could safely take a few minutes to drop their masks and catch their breath.

When Diane Rode, Senior Director of Patient and Family Centered Care, heard from administrators that a department shift would necessitate the closing of the Lions Den space, she went into action. Rode immediately began negotiating for a new spot to move the resources of this valuable room. She found that space on another floor and with a slightly different view, but it was going to be a Lions Den.

Working with Companions in Courage Foundation, fabricators from Art Guild and the Facilities staff at the hospital, Rode was able to re-purpose some of the features of the existing Lions Den Room and add a host of updated touches. The new space has a new workstations, a new gaming console and a couple of large screen TVs for video conferencing and watching movies. A variety of soothing videos from MedCalm round out the patient options.

The ribbon-cutting for the new space took place on Monday, December 18th, with Pat LaFontaine on hand to cut the ribbon. He said, “we are grateful to Diane and her team for their commitment to the Lions Den Room and the effort they put in to find it a new home.”

This is how WABC-TV in New York covered the re-opening.