Hummers for Sick Children

You can’t get everything on the net. I got this from a trade magazine distributed to R.N.’s. It is not posted on Advance Nurses website. I offer it to you, readers, because I really don’t know what to make of it. Any comments…?

Hospital’s Tiny Patients Ride in Style To the O.R.

In an effort to help reduce children’s anxiety before surgical procedures, Dobles Chevrolet-Buick-Hummer donated a mini Hummer to Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH. Pediatric patients will be invited to drive the small, motorized vehicle to the operating room at Elliot Hospital or the Elliot 1-Day Surgery Center. The mini-Hummer was delivered in high style in the back of an adult-sized Hummer H2SUT to the front of the hospital. The donation was made possible by the Hummer. Courageous Kids program, which has donated similar mini-vehicles to hospitals across the country.

Okay, I do have a few things to say.

1. Does a child going in to surgery, accompanied by anxious parents, really need a mini-Hummer to make them feel better? I’m sure there are particular kids who would get a real thrill out of this, and for them I’d say, ‘what the heck?’ If they want candy cigarettes, toy guns and Star Wars light sabers, and all the ice cream they can eat, I’d say, ‘fine, enjoy it kid.’

2. But I don’t know what percentage of kids who need surgery are thinking about Hummers. I hope the staff will be sensitive to the fact that a lot of the kids will be thinking about stuffed animals, pets, hugs, and how soon they will get to go home.

3. I’ve never seen the pedi ward of Elliot Hospital, but in my experience there are two things in short supply in any medical facility. Time and space. Where are they keeping the mini-Hummer, and who is responsible for hauling the thing out of the storeroom, keeping it charged, etc. I have personally had such headaches with motorized wheelchairs that I have to wonder who does the logistics here.

4. How much press coverage was there when the mini-Hummer was ‘delivered in high style’? Would you call that ‘product placement’ in the children’s hospital?

5. Will the hospital be required to accept tiny vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Chevy and Ford? Will they need to construct tiny freeways and have off-duty police to direct the traffic?

6. Hummer has been running commercials that feature children in a pitch to the inner child of the guy who can afford 35 grand for a vanity car. Is the Courageous Kids program a seamless part of the marketing?

I have to make a disclosure here. A relative of mine was paid to do some art for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The brothers Hassenfeld are good businessmen, but they have a sense of balance. The hospital is full of original art, collections and excellent design. There is an interactive sculpture in the lobby. It’s not like you walk in and G.I. Joe is in your face. Also, it is the premier children’s hospital in our state. A class act.

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18 responses

  1. I think it’s a great program that helps kids keep ease their fears when going into surgery. The program, which has been rolled out all over the country, is created as ‘Diversion Therapy,’ and has been recieved quite well by doctors and hospitals. When you see the kids faces in the story below, I think it’s well worth the minimal investment!

    http://www.hummerguy.net/hummer-news/mini-hummers-donated-to-courageous-kids-in-dallas

  2. Nancy, have you ever seen the “debbie downer” character on SNL?

  3. Guys who drive Hummers must have some really serious adequacy issues.

    Seriously, sell the thing and use the money for something…useful. What is it with America? Is our national psyche so immature and our inferiority complex so large that we feel this need to parade around in these monstrous vehicles? What’s up with that? And it’s like conserving energy makes us wimps or…Europeans. Why do we have this infantile need to waste resources to show how wealthy we are?

    And, please, this isn’t about the hospital, or about the kids. It’s a car dealership looking for some cheap advertising. Let’s face it: with $3 gas, the allure of something so needlessly large has faded. So, someone figured out that the $40k (I have no idea what these things cost) or $80k the thing cost would only buy a few late-night TV ads. Better to “spend” the money by donating it, getting a couple of minutes on the local news, and the free publicity of having the thing driving around town.

    And, did you realize that many companies are tailoring their ads to young children? These companies have realized that kids will often whine their overworked parents into getting a certain type of car, etc. Nor do you have to take my word on this; BusinessWeek has had several articles to this effect over the past couple of years.

    Get real, people.

  4. Klaus: “So, someone figured out that the $40k (I have no idea what these things cost) or $80k the thing cost would only buy a few late-night TV ads. Better to “spendâ€? the money by donating it, getting a couple of minutes on the local news, and the free publicity of having the thing driving around town.”

    You do realize, Klaus, that these are toy Hummers that cost around $199, not $80,000 right? I highly doubt the kids will be driving them around town on their way to the surgury room down the hall. I suggest Toyota does the same thing with a toy Prius, and then let the kids decide what they’d prefer to drive. I also believe that if Hummer was trying to market to children with this promotion, they would have chosen a larger target market than kids who are extremely ill.

  5. Give me a break. There’s lots of things sick kids need, but filling up the hospital with toy cars is not one of them.

  6. I just think the idea of easing the fear and anxiety of a child going in to surgery shouldn’t play out the green vs. not in the world. I remember when I was a kid, many years ago I might add, I used to draw cars. The really ccol ones were the ones with big engines and big wheels… Let kids wait to grow up and let them have some fun while they still are innocent.

    IMOH it seems the green are getting to be a bit too military and green about their view. What about a democratic process?

  7. ninjanurse, wouldn’t you agree that fun is something these sick kids need. You people need to lighten up. You are so down on business that your willing to tear them apart for donating toys to sick kids.

    And klaus, once again you have failed to actually read what others have said. THE HUMMER IS A TOY! The kids won’t be “driving it around town,” they’ll be driving it down the hallways of the hospital ward.

  8. Klaus…You are the epitome of ignorance and ill founded liberal loser notions..I’m surprised you can even complete a sentence with such narrow minded factless drivel…Let’s focus your stupidity on the fact that 9 out of 10 SUVs get about the same and in more cases, worse mileage than the HUMMER…Putting that aside, your real issue is that you can’t handle the responsibility and maturity it takes to own a HUMMER, so it is evil..You are such a freaking hypocrite to even sit there and type this BS on so many environmental damaging electronic pieces of equipment, in a place eking with formaldehydes and plastic toxins…You picked this topic to air this anti-HUMMER BS…not me..So **** and appreciate the cause this TOPIC is all about.

  9. Mark in Dallas

    Klaus,

    I actually pity narrow-minded folks such as yourself. In your zealous attempt to vilify a specific brand of vehicle and those who drive them, you have failed to comprehend that this was a toy, given free of charge, to a hospital, in an effort to bring a smile to a sick child’s face.

    God forbid that when you are someday lying on your deathbed,(with a crushed sternum due to your out of control tree hugging activity)someone tries to do something to make you SMILE.

    Get over it and go do something useful.

    And yes….I drive a Hummer.

  10. Oops. My bad.

  11. Dennis, Just for future reference, we don’t allow profanity or even some profanity short-cuts on Kmareka. Hence the *** in your comment. Please be mindful in future comments.

  12. Okay, Sorry…But then you forgot to ** my BS short-cut too..let’s be consistant please.

  13. I said “some profanity short-cuts.”

    But thank you for commenting. Your emotions are strong on this, so I would ask you to consider what this is about for you. We are all trying to learn here. I have worked in a children’s ER — 2 years dealing with children nearly drowned, children with bullets in their bodies, children badly burned in fires, children needing to go into emergency surgery. I have not worked a lot with children dealing with long-term illness. My general sense of the hospital setting is more in line with Nancy’s — professionals need to stay focused on giving health care. If kids are being offered special treats to help boost morale, I think there should be choices — not just one option. I like better the “Make a Wish Foundation” model that helps kids realize their own dreams.

  14. Yes I do feel very strongly about a campaigne to help brighten a little terminally ill or sick child’s day and to put a smile on their little faces…My HUMMER group helped sponser an EASTER BUNNY for KIDS effort last spring for just the same kind of kiddos….So it infuriates me when someone stomps all over a cause such of this with their personal idiotic ill informed, ban waggon agendas…And for the record, BS is profanity and if one short-cut is disallowed, they all should be..I agree with your policy, I just can’t support inconsisitancy..it appears to be a Liberal typicallity.

  15. Dennis, You are to be commended for your work with sick children. It’s my job every day to try to brighten the lives of the children I serve, many of whom are from broken homes and have medical conditions along with psychiatric problems. One of the guys I work with most nights drives a great big car — not a hummer, but if he could afford one he might be driving one. When we do groups or talk with the kids over dinner or figure out how to deal with a kid who is having a particularly hard time, we are on the same team.

    I imagine you and I are on the same team.

  16. Yes indeed we are..God bless you Kiersten.

  17. Kiersten:
    First, thanks for the work you do to help children every day. HUMMER started this program based on overwhelming positive response it received when the plant made the first donation in Shreveport, LA.

    GM expands local idea for child-size Hummers in hospitals
    January 8, 2007
    Shreveport Times
    By Alisa Stigley

    An idea by a Shreveport General Motors worker is going nationwide.

    GM’s Hummer division is expanding a program to donate child-size Hummers to hospitals so children can have a little fun as they head off to surgery, making the hospital experience a little less scary.

    Shreveport’s GM plant is the only North American GM facility to produce Hummer H3s.

    The idea for the child-size version came from Shreveport GM employee David Burroughs, who approached plant manager Dave Gibbons. He, in turn, made it happen in 2005 by seeing that two of the toy Hummers were donated to Christus Schumpert Sutton Children’s Medical Center in Shreveport.

    “We plan to expand this program, in order to provide children’s hospitals around the country with ride-on Hummers to help put smiles on the faces of their young patients,” said Martin Walsh, Hummer general manager.

    Sutton Children’s received the two Hummers in November 2005. Driving a Hummer to surgery “is a way to alleviate some of the stress, fear and nervousness,” Dr. Mark Brown, a surgeon at Sutton Children’s surgeon, said at the time.

    Christus Schumpert spokeswoman Sally Croom recently said the Hummers have had an impact on young patients. “One 4-year-old patient has to come in weekly to have a procedure in surgery and always cried and cried when they came to get him from his day surgery room. Now he eagerly goes so he can drive ‘his’ Hummer.

    “Our staff enjoys it too because they get to provide a special experience for their little patients,” she said.

    In December, Hummer expanded the program by donating toy Hummers to University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor and Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

    Said Hummer’s Walsh: “We believe this mode of transportation beats a gurney ride and can help take young patients’ minds off their fears.”

    To date more than 40 dealerships have made donations to children’s hospitals around the country, and the feed back we’ve received from hospital professionals, kids and parents has been overwhelming.

    Does HUMMER expect to sell more cars because of this? No. This is a chance for HUMMER to give back to the community. The fact is that kids love trucks, HUMMERs included. And if more auto manufacturers want to step up and make donations to children’s hospitals too, I can’t see how that could be a bad thing. Every hospital has the right to accept or decline a donation.

  18. [...] Hummers for Sick Children: Nancy has some funny, insightful, and provocative things to say about Hummers making their way into hospitals as the vehicle of choice for the ride to the surgery room. Many Hummer devotees came by to share their own views. [...]

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