Austin Hatcher Foundation Takes Diversionary Therapy Program To Major Market With Visit To Lurie Children’s Hospital Of Chicago

CHATTANOOGA, TENN.(August 2, 2016) – Diversionary Therapy services provided by the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer will benefit children in one of the country’s largest markets on Thursday, as the foundation takes the innovative program to the renowned Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

The Lurie Children’s facility is ranked as Illinois’ top children hospital and sixth-best nationally for 2016-17, by U.S. News and World Report. Lurie Children’s also was named to the publication’s “Honor Roll” for scoring in the top 10 percent in at least three specialty areas. Lurie Children’s was one of 12 hospitals in the country given this designation.

On Thursday, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Austin Hatcher Foundation staff members will team with hospital staff to provide a special experience for young cancer patients and their families. As part of the experience, children will build and race the Foundation’s signature Pinewood Derby cars, a staple of the Diversionary Therapy visits. The Austin Hatcher Foundation partners with hospitals throughout the United States to provide Diversionary Therapy, offering children and families a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a fight against pediatric cancer. The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s services are provided at no cost; all services are paid for by donations received by the Foundation.

This high-profile visit to the Midwest’s largest city is in conjunction with the International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) annual major Midwestern sports car event this weekend at the famed Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Austin Hatcher Foundation, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a “proud charity” of IMSA, which is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Racing Pinewood Derby cars during Diversionary Therapy visits is a spin-off of the Foundation’s link to the motorsports community.

The over-arching goal of the Foundation’s Diversionary Therapy Division is to provide families faced with pediatric cancer with specialized activities that promote the involvement of leisure and recreation by reducing barriers to enjoyment. The aim is to promote self-esteem, personal fulfillment and psychological, social, intellectual and spiritual/cultural well-being.

“Our Diversionary Therapy Division continues to do outstanding work and we are absolutely thrilled to showcase that work at a facility such as Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “We are taking our Diversionary Therapy ‘road show’ to a major stage this week and we could not be more grateful for the opportunity.”