The Finker-Frenkel Child Life Zone Opens at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida—Providing a Haven for Patients and their Families  

Published by Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation on

For patients at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida, a lengthy hospital-stay just got a little cheerier with the highly anticipated opening of the newest Child Life Zone—a state-of-the-art, therapeutic play area that serves as an oasis to children and their families.

The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation is proud to have provided a significant donation to help fund the construction of this new 2,500-square-foot Child Life Zone, which features a local South Florida motif: an 11-foot-tall, wood-and-acrylic Everglades tree with a 16-foot-wide green canopy. When young patients peep beneath the eaves, they discover a unique play space complete with an activity table and a water table with interactive touch screen electronics.  

With the opening of the new unit, located on the newly built eighth floor, the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital becomes the14th Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Child Life Zone, joining premier children’s hospitals, including the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York City and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. The country music star even visited the hospital to celebrate the opening and sign autographs—to the delight of patients, families and staff.

Founded in 1999, Teammates for Kids partners with athletes, corporations and foundations to help children in the areas of health, education and inner-city life. Its signature initiative, Child Life Zones, is a state-of-the-art therapeutic play area located within hospitals.

From learning how water moves through soil to exploring the life-size DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Mobile Unit to snapping pics in the hexagonal-shaped photo pod, child patients, have a fun and nurturing place to go where they can learn, relax, and, most importantly, play.

While physical space is essential, so is having the tools to cope with the challenges of managing a long-term illness. The Finker-Frenkel Child Life Zone uses child life specialists to help children work through their complex emotions through play, education and self-expression. Child life specialists also teach young patients what to expect during treatment while providing holistic support to them and their families throughout the process.  

The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation’s donation helped to underwrite a large portion of the hospital’s “Catch the Love” campaign, a $170 million effort to expand the hospital from four floors to eight. This expansion includes adding new state-of-the-art patient rooms, cardiac hybrid operating rooms, additional surgical and interventional radiology suites, new intensive care and cardiac intensive care units and an intraoperative MRI.

To learn more about the Child Life Zone Network across the country, visit:


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