Our Visit to Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital

Our relationship with Novant Health is a healthy one. Every year, the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon is able to make a financial contribution to the Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital which goes towards making the hospital feel more like home during a visit. We are always astonished at how much this contribution impacts their kids. It helps support patient programming items and supplies to help make a hospital stay easier – everything from arts and crafts to video games and movies, wagons and ride-on toys. It also pays for swings, bouncers and mobiles for the little ones.


On our visit to Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital, we learned the kids have their own emergency entrance at the hospital! Inside, all areas of Hemby Children’s Hospital are welcoming and expertly decorated with child friendly décor, from hallways, to patient rooms, and even the exam and treatment areas; some areas even have an under-the-sea theme. The pediatric intensive care unit, or PICU, has recently been renovated with private rooms and provides a calming, child-friendly environment for the hospital’s sickest pediatric patients. Because of our relationship with Novant Health over the years, your contributions, through the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, have impacted their ability to support special programming such as ice cream sundae Fridays, holiday parties, birthday celebrations, and an abundance of patient experience programs to help children cope throughout their hospital stay. This year, proceeds from the event will support playground renovations, which is in the early design phase. The new playground is expected to be completed by late 2017.


The playroom is where a kid can be a kid.  This newly remodeled play room features an “at home” feeling with brand new toys. This play room also doubles as a multipurpose space, holding special events each month such as sing-a-longs, art classes, pet therapy, and ice cream socials! Another great use of this space is for medical play. During these play times, the kids can learn about everything from getting a simple shot to surgical procedures. The kids are introduced to medical play items; from their child life specialist who teach on the child’s appropriate developmental level.  They show patients medical items, just like the real ones they would see during their visit at the hospital. This type of play allows patients to be less intimated when it comes time for their treatment. The room also has a separate area with a smart board that patients may use when classroom video conferencing or as a quiet reading area (not pictured). As you can see, being a participant in the marathon doesn’t mean you’re just a runner, it means you are a part of a bigger cause; helping local children stay comfortable during their hospital stay.

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One of the more popular areas at the hospital is the Hemby Children’s Theater. This room is amazing! It looks like an actual movie theater complete with the red curtains, large screen TV, sound proof walls, and lounge friendly seating. The theater is equipped with a snack bar which includes popcorn, candy and drinks; all free to patients and their families! Not only do they offer bi-weekly movie nights, showing the latest kid-friendly movies, for kids and their families staying at the children’s hospital, they have yoga and ice cream Fridays. Not to brag, but they go all-out for their ice cream Fridays! I was told they have tons of ice cream with all the toppings you could imagine – I think I may have to join them sometime! They also cater to their teen patients with teen movie night and age appropriate activities. The theater may be cleaned to allow kids with immune deficiencies to come and have a break from their room.

*FUN FACT* Last year, through a generous donor, Novant Health was able to play, at the time in theaters, Minions!


Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital is home to a five-bed observation unit; 30-bed pediatric care unit; eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with two procedure bays; and a 14-bed children’s emergency department, including two pediatric trauma rooms. It also has a level 4 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital brings the latest developments in pediatric cancer care and world-class research right here to Charlotte. So rest assured that all of the children at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital are in good hands.

Being a part of the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon means you are a part of the Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.  Whether you run the full, half, relay, or even the 5K, your participation matters. They provide excellent care while making their patients and families feel at home. An option has been added to the marathon registration process for donations.

Any distance makes a difference.

For more information, visit their website: https://www.novanthealth.org/hemby-childrens-hospital.aspx