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January 15, 2020 • 
  • News

SAFE Credit Union provides $20,000 grant to Sutter Medical Foundation to support Child Life Program

FOLSOM, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2019) – SAFE Credit Union provided a $20,000 grant to Sutter Medical Center Foundation to support the Pediatric Emergency Room and Child Life Program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.

The funds will be used for equipment used in the program to benefit children and their families, as well as for environmental enhancements in the Pediatric Emergency Room to provide a cheerful environment and visual consistency with the pediatric unit in the Anderson Lucchetti Women’s & Children’s Center.


The Child Life Program at Sutter is staffed by professionals with undergraduate and graduate degrees in child growth and development, specifically focusing on how hospitalization affects children. Child Life specialists work directly with patients and their families to create a warm, friendly environment for young patients and support their coping with their medical experiences. Sutter introduced the long-time program into its Pediatric Emergency Room about two years ago after finding it successful in the pediatric inpatient areas.

“Patients are distraught, little, scared, and don’t know what’s happening to them” says Sheri Burns, Emergency Department nursing director at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “This grant will go in part to purchase bright, cheerful decorations because it’s important for children to focus on other things since the hospital can be a scary environment. The funds will also be used for equipment like iPads, iPods, and videos to help entertain children and provide distractions for medical procedures that may be painful or scary. We also provide toys they use during their stay that they can take home with them as a memento of their treatment and that the hospital is not such a scary place to go.”

The Child Life Program is part of Sutter’s mission to provide compassionate and excellent care, according to Reese Olander, development officer for the Sutter Medical Center Foundation. “Those are the things that make this hospital a place people want in their community. We provide care above and beyond what they are expecting.”

Grant funds went toward colorful sea-theme decorations that liven up the Pediatric Emergency Room and its private waiting room.

The Child Life Program offers a variety of services at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento to help children better cope with their stay. These include a classroom staffed by a teacher as well as Sophie’s Place, a music room complete with recording studio, instruments, and stage lighting that provides music therapy to pediatric patients.

SAFE Credit Union will provide $400,000 in philanthropic giving in 2020 to organizations that support health, education, and military personnel in the Greater Sacramento Area.

“SAFE is proud to support the Child Life Program at Sutter Medical Center,” says Amanda Merz, community and advocacy engagement manager at SAFE Credit Union. “Helping reduce children’s fears and anxieties during an emergency room stay is so important for their wellbeing and their families. The Child Life Program is such an important part of Sutter’s mission to provide quality and caring healthcare to our community.”  


About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with nearly $3 billion in assets and about 235,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person care for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region and a mortgage lending office serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA. www.safecu.org

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