Oregon's first hospital drop-in child care at Providence

May 01, 2010

Children celebrate the opening of My Little Waiting Room at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center patients and visitors will notice something different welcoming them in the lobby this spring: drop-in child care.

My Little Waiting Room, a project started by two local moms, now has its first home in the hospital's East Pavilion.

The idea was born when one of the mothers, Amy Paterson, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34. At the time, her son was 2½ years old.

She had support from her husband, family and friends. Still, it was difficult to arrange child care for the 144 medical appointments she faced that year.

Through this experience, Paterson and her friend, Melissa Moore, realized there was a simple answer that could surely help hundreds of families in the future: drop-in child care at the hospital.

"We believe that since retail stores, gyms and movie theaters offer drop-in child care, so should hospitals, where families are often in crisis and could use it the most," said Paterson. "We are thrilled that Providence St. Vincent Medical Center has the vision to make this a reality."

My Little Waiting Room is offered to patients free of charge, with donations welcomed. The start-up is supported by grants, local organizations and hundreds of individuals through donations made to Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation. To learn more and join in support, visit My Little Waiting Room.