CRIS Radio and Connecticut Children’s Launch New First-of-its-Kind Service for Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 4, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: Diane Weaver Dunne, Executive Director, CRIS Radio
(860) 527-8000; dwdunne@crisradio.org

Kelly Coffey, Media and Public Relations Manager, Connecticut Children’s
(860) 837-5701; kcoffey@connecticutchildrens.org

HARTFORD, Conn. – CRIS Radio and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center are working together to offer the children who are patients at the hospital with a new way to pass their time while receiving medical treatment. Connecticut Children’s patients may now listen to CRISKids™, a service that provides audio versions of articles published in nearly 20 award-winning children’s magazines through the hospital’s in-house television system.

Connecticut Children’s is the first children’s hospital in the nation to provide an alternative to printed magazines through an in-house system streamed to each patient TV with audio recordings for patients unable to read or turn pages of a magazine due to their condition or medical treatment.

“I applaud CRIS radio and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for finding new, innovative ways to care for Connecticut’s young people,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “Reading plays such an important role in a child’s development, and this new program is sure to help bring a small sense normalcy to children who are facing tremendous challenges. Connecticut is fortunate to have such support for holistic care for children and their families.”

CRIS Board Chairman William H. Austin also recognizes the importance of the support this project received. “The Board of Directors is excited to form a partnership with Connecticut Children’s and thankful for all the great funding support received to bring this project to life,” Austin said. “CRISKids™ will provide a sense of inclusion for Connecticut Children’s patients unable to read printed material, which is the most valuable part of our efforts.”

Comcast provided technical assistance and a donation of special equipment necessary for the project. Other funders of the project include the Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, and the Ahearn Family Foundation.

CRISKids™, the only extensive line-up of audio versions of children’s magazines in the nation and Canada, was launched in December 2011, thanks to the generous funding of several foundations, including: Help for the Blind of Eastern Connecticut, Fund for Greater Hartford, The Gibney Family Foundation, and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

“Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is extremely grateful for the generosity of those who made this service possible for our patients,” said Martin J. Gavin, President and CEO of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “The availability of CRISKids™ in patient rooms will allow children to enjoy educational entertainment, which is an extremely valuable offering and can be a helpful component of the healing process.”

CRIS Radio records more than 70 newspapers and magazines to provide audio access to printed material for people who are blind and print-handicapped. The audio recordings can be heard with a special CRIS radio, toll-free through the CRIS Telephone Reader, online streaming live or on-demand at the CRIS Radio website, www.crisradio.org, or with any mobile device, including tablets or smartphones.

About CRIS Radio
CRIS (Connecticut Radio Information System) is a 34-year-old nonprofit based in Windsor and is Connecticut’s only radio-reading service providing audio access to news and information for people who are blind or print-handicapped, including those unable to read due to physical, learning, intellectual or emotional disabilities. CRIS operates with nearly 350 volunteers at its broadcast center in Windsor and four satellite studios located in Danbury, Norwich, Trumbull and West Haven. For more information, contact CRIS Radio at info@crisradio.org or call (860) 527-8000.

About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a nationally recognized, 187-bed not-for-profit children’s hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Named among the best in the nation for several of its pediatric specialties in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings, Connecticut Children’s is the only free-standing children’s hospital in Connecticut that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Our pediatric services are available at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, with neonatal intensive care units at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut Health Center, along with five specialty care centers and 10 other locations across the state. Connecticut Children’s has a medical staff of nearly 1,100 practicing in more than 30 specialties.

For more information, visit www.connecticutchildrens.org or connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/connecticutchildrens and Twitter at twitter.com/ctchildrens.