Zoos Bring Animal Kingdom to McLane Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple, Texas

Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a special visit by animals from Waco's Cameron Park Zoo earlier this morning at McLane Children's Hospital. The event announced a new collaboration between San Diego Zoo Global, Cameron Park Zoo, McLane Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple to bring the first installation of San Diego Zoo Kids to Texas.

Funded through a generous gift by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative closed-circuit television broadcast channel that provides family-friendly, animal-oriented programming that is entertaining and educational. The channel is available on TV monitors in every patient room, as well as in waiting areas at McLane Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple.


"We are very excited to team up with San Diego Zoo Global to provide San Diego Zoo Kids to our patients and their families,"stated Dr. John Boyd, president and chief medical officer, McLane Children's Hospital. "Putting smiles on our patients faces always warms our hearts. These entertaining and educational animal stories can be a welcome distraction for our young patients who may be dealing with serious health challenges. We want to thank Denny Sanford for making this programming available and recognize our local partner, the Cameron Park Zoo, for their support in providing animals for today's announcement."

San Diego Zoo Kids offers up-close video encounters with animals, including a wide variety of short video vignettes hosted by the San Diego Zoo's national spokesperson, Rick Schwartz. Viewers can observe the San Diego Zoo's famous Panda Cam and the other online cameras as well as content from other zoos and aquariums across the country.

"San Diego Zoo Kids has the ability to bring the zoo to young patients who don't have the opportunity to visit," said Doug Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "The stories we tell through this channel not only entertain children and their families during what can be a stressful time, but hopefully inspire a new generation to appreciate wildlife and their natural habitats."

The channel will also feature animal stories from Cameron Park Zoo. "We are so pleased to be a part of this collaboration," said Jim Fleshman, Director, Cameron Park Zoo. "Connecting people with animals and nature is what we are all about; we hope this programming can bring smiles to the faces of the children who are dealing with health challenges."

San Diego Zoo Kids is also making its debut at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple. "We are proud to offer San Diego Zoo Kids in our Ronald McDonald House," said Susan Bolton, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple. "This wildlife programming provides a wonderful activity that both children and their families can enjoy, making their stay in our home away from home' more positive, during what can be a difficult time."   

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 54 other children's hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 17 states and two countries.

About McLane Children's Hospital

McLane Children's – Temple, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, is an integrated pediatric health care system including a 112-bed, fully-accredited, not-for-profit hospital, ground and air transport, a five-story children's specialty clinic and 10 pediatric clinics located throughout Central Texas. McLane Children's provides more than 40 specialty services including general pediatrics, pediatric surgery, cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, and pulmonology services.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple, TX

The Ronald McDonald House of Templeopened in September, 1986 with 8 bedrooms. In 2002, it was expanded to 19 bedrooms and an extra kitchen and laundry room. This House serves as a home away from home for families with seriously ill children receiving medical treatment at area hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House is near Scott & White Memorial Hospital and McLane Children's Hospital, part of Baylor Scott & White Health. Families must have a referral and pass a background check to be able to stay here. Each family is asked to pay $10 per night, but nobody is turned away because of an inability to pay. Located inside McLane Children's Hospital, Scott & White, the Ronald McDonald Family Room provides a quiet place for parents of hospitalized children to get a snack, a cup of coffee, take a shower, and wash a load of clothes. The Ronald McDonald Family Room opened in October, 2011.

About Cameron Park Zoo

Cameron Park Zoo rests on 52 acres of lush native vegetation adjacent to the Brazos River in Waco, Texas. And in the midst of all this beauty, visitors see that the wild ones not only survive in their natural habitats, they flourish.

About San Diego Zoo Global

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is made accessible to children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children's hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

B-roll includes:

  1. Cameron Park Zoo animal encounter with patients at McLane Children’s Hospital
  2. Patients watching San Diego Zoo Kids television channel
  3. Interview with Dr. John Boyd, chief executive officer and chief medical officer, McLane Children's Hospital
  4. Interview with Susan Bolton, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple, Texas
  5. Interview with Jim Fleshman, director, Cameron Park Zoo


About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com