Nov. 6 was a special day for patients and families at Children's National, as Ryan Seacrest and other celebrities helped open the Seacrest Studios at Children's National, a 920-square-foot multimedia studio that will provide programming for all patients and give kids a chance to share their talents on air. Seacrest was joined by musician Robin Thicke, actress Lucy Hale, country artist Cam, and gold medal swimmer Katie Ledecky, as well as patient representatives Nate, Arabelle, and Kat. See "Seacrest Studios at Children's National" on Storify for photos, video, media coverage, and social media posts.
Seacrest Studios at Children’s National will operate under the station handle WPAW-90. The closed-circuit television and radio station, located in the main atrium of the hospital on the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Children's Medicine at 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, will broadcast entertainment programming throughout the hospital. The new studio was made possible by donors including HITT Contracting, the Board of Visitors at Children's National, Pepco, the GetWellNetwork, and James Lintott and May Liang.
Before cutting the ribbon and hosting the first broadcast, Seacrest shared the inspiration for the studios. "This idea came to me after spending time at different hospitals around the country, talking to patients and their parents and asking them what they do in the hospital," he said. "A lot of them said they often got bored and run out of things to do. So I tried to figure out what I could do to tangibly help with that, and I thought that creating a diversion or distraction in the hospital might be a way that we could give them something to do, and help them forget why they are there for a minute, and put a smile on some faces may not be smiling so much.
"This is the only thing I know how to do -- stand in front of a microphone and press play," Seacrest said with a smile. "I can't perform, I can't play an instrument. But I can speak, I can talk, I can host, and I can produce people, and we're going to do something very special in this hospital today." He added, "The way this works is so cool, because it's all-inclusive. No one is excluded from what happens inside this studio. Patients can see it on their TVs, and they can participate by picking up their phone and dialing in, just like any other radio station across the country. No one's left out, and that's a really special part about these studios."
Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National, said the studio is aligned well with the organization's mission. “We want our patients and families to not only have the best possible care, but also the best overall experience," he said. "The addition of Seacrest Studios will contribute to the healing process by providing an engaging and creative outlet for patients and their families. We are so grateful to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation for bringing this wonderful studio to our young patients, and creating a place where they can have fun and just be kids.”
With the help of their founding sponsors E! Entertainment and The Coca-Cola Company, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation has opened eight other Seacrest Studios across the country -- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (the first studio, opened in 2010), Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.