Today, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California held a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil its newly renovated hospital teen room, a project lead by Ann Kubel, who was the First Lady of Ben Ali Shriners in 2017. The hospital teen room serves patients aged 13 to 18, and intentionally meets the unique developmental needs of teens. The Northern California Shriners Hospital leadership team, staff, Shriners and supporters celebrated together during the virtual event that streamed live on Facebook.
The new teen room is on the third floor of the hospital. It features bold concert graphics and an electric guitar signed by the band FOREIGNER for decorations. The room has accessible furnishings and gaming chairs, the latest Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles, virtual reality technology and flexible group seating configurations – all donated by the Ben Ali Shriners.
“The new hospital teen room is a wonderful addition to the hospital,” said Ann Kubel. “Music is very important in my life and plays a particularly special role in the lives of teens. This room allows us to provide a place teens can call their own, for relaxing and interacting with their peers. With help from friends and supporters, the Ben Ali Shriners and I are very pleased to support this renovation.”
The event was held virtually due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place at the hospital. Hospital staff members attended the virtual event from inside the teen room, and other participants attended from locations outside the hospital. Ann Kubel and her husband, David – the 2017 Past Potentate, attended with members of Ben Ali Shriners, who were instrumental in bringing this project to life.
The room offers teenagers who are experiencing the more self-conscious years of development an escape from the rest of the hospital. This is especially true for teens adjusting to medical conditions or new injuries that have affected their physical appearance. The space gives teens a safe place of their own in which to relax and unwind.
“The teen room was designed to replicate a family room or basement where teens would normally enjoy hanging out with their friends, away from their younger siblings and parents,” said Ann Kubel. “We hope teens will feel at home here.”
Teens can enjoy movie nights, music, games, informal get-togethers, quiet activities, family visits and peer support groups led by child life or therapeutic recreation staff members in the teen room.
“This new space has been on our wish list for some time,” said the Northern California Shriners Hospital’s Director of Development Alan Anderson. “We thank former First Lady Ann Kubel, Past Potentate Dave Kubel, and the wonderful donors from Ben Ali Shriners and the community for helping make it a reality.”
Ben Ali Shriners is one of seven Shriner chapters located in the region that support the Northern California Shriners Hospital. First Lady is the official title given to the wife of the Potentate, or president, of a Shriner chapter. Since 1922, the Ben Ali Shriners name and its fez have been synonymous with wholesome fun, convivial fellowship and the cheerful support of good causes.
The new teen room at the Northern California Shriners Hospital is yet another direct result of the continued outpour of support from Ben Ali Shriners. The contribution to the hospital will make a difference in the lives of countless teen patients for years to come.