Smoothie King donates rock-climbing wall for Children’s Hospital rehabilitation patients

Therapy at Children’s Hospital’s Metairie Rehabilitation Clinic just got a lot more fun thanks to an innovative climbing program made possible by Smoothie King New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – In March, a new Adaptive Climbing Wall with companion activity guide and locking mat system was installed at Children’s Hospital’s Metairie Rehabilitation Center thanks to a $10,000 gift from Smoothie King New Orleans. Children’s Hospital will celebrate this gift with a dedication ceremony and check presentation Monday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Children’s Hospital’s outpatient physical therapy facility in Metairie, located at 4310 Waverly Street, Metairie, LA 70006.

Children’s Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services will use the climbing wall for all types of patients, ranging from those with orthopedic to neuromuscular conditions, and sensory processing disorders such as Autism or ADHD. The rock-climbing system will help therapists care for children and adolescents with special needs through an innovative climbing-based therapy program.

“Children’s Hospital is grateful for the ongoing support of the Smoothie King organization,” says John R. Nickens IV, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “As a hospital dedicated to caring only for kids, creating environments where kids can heal while still being kids is a continuous priority. This innovative rock-climbing environment allows children to have fun while improving strength, balance and motor skills.”

The climbing wall features a smooth, dry-erase surface that can be written on and also accepts magnets to provide learning opportunities for children with cognitive or communicative disabilities. The Adaptive Holds include grab-bar style hand holds and ledge-style foot holds to provide stability and extra support for children with physical disabilities, and are color coded to provide varying degrees of challenge based on the patient’s age and climbing capabilities.

The climbing wall is ideal for adapted or inclusive physical education, occupational therapy and physical therapy. It offers a fun and interactive environment for therapy, while developing balance, body awareness, muscle strength, motor planning and more. Climbing also helps patients improve sensory integration.

“At Smoothie King, we believe that everyone should be able to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, regardless of their physical limitations,” said Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be part of the positive impact that the new wall will have on so many children in the New Orleans area.”

The Adaptive Climbing Wall is also well suited for special education classes where learning and movement can be integrated and problem solving, visual attention and concentration are required.

Outpatient services provide continued therapy for patients discharged from the hospital or the inpatient rehab center when additional skills or training are required. Services are also available as recommended by the child’s physician for a wide variety of diagnoses, even if the child has not been treated as an inpatient in the hospital.