No one expects to have fun in the hospital, especially kids, but “fun” is exactly what some patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital experienced recently during a visit by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Players and coaches shot hoops, played games and worked on arts and crafts projects with patients, then followed that up with get-to-know-you visits with the children, family members and hospital staff.
UCLA Health and the Lakers share a commitment to building a healthier and more engaged community, celebrating sports and competition and providing the support needed for an active lifestyle.
Read more and watch the Backstage: Lakers segment here!
Lakers legend and UCLA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joined UCLA Health to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in Los Angeles. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) provides patients and their families with support services, promotes awareness and advocates for lifesaving treatments and research.
As part of UCLA Health's fundraising efforts for the walk, Abdul-Jabbar helped to form a UCLA Health sponsored team, #TeamKareem. The team’s top donors received a personal meet and greet with the Hall of Fame center, a Leukemia survivor himself, before the event began at L.A. Live.
Photos from the night can be seen HERE!
During the Light The Night ceremony, Abdul-Jabbar and the Laker Girls led the crowd in lighting and raising their lanterns. Red lanterns were carried by supporters, gold lanterns were held in memory of loved ones lost to cancer and white lanterns were carried by survivors. Abdul-Jabbar and the Laker Girls then joined Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of UCLA Hospital System, at the start of the walk alongside more than 5000 participants.
UCLA Health, with the support of the Lakers and #TeamKareem, helped raise more than $190,000 for LLS. Donations are still being accepted to help reach the $200,000 milestone. To make a donation, visit the UCLA Health team page.
The Lakers invited 25 UCLA Health employees and a guest to a game to recognize their dedication in providing leading-edge patient care, research and education. Each staff member and their guest had the chance to go through the Lakers tunnel and receive on-court recognition from fans.
These employees exemplify UCLA Health’s values of compassion, respect, excellence, discovery, integrity and teamwork in the work they do every day. It was a fun and exciting night to thank them for everything they do to help those in our community.
To learn more about UCLA Health’s commitment to providing the best patient experience, visit the Office of the Patient Experience.
Lakers coach Luke Walton walked through the hallways of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center wearing an honorary physician's white coat when he bumped into members of the interventional cardiology team.
"Sure, let's take a photo. You're the ones who are saving lives every day," Walton said as he exchanged introductions with the team.
There were plenty of heartfelt moments to go around when the Lakers visited UCLA Health's nationally recognized medical center on Jan. 30 to showcase their new long-term partnership. Players, coaches, executives and Laker Girls participated in a ceremonial physician coat/jersey exchange with UCLA Health doctors and leadership before meeting with patients and staff throughout the hospital.
"I'm going to try to go to a Lakers game," said 12-year-old patient Natalie Pembleton, who suffers from seizures, after Walton and some players visited her room. Before leaving, Walton and Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson broke a hands-in huddle with Pembleton to the rallying call, "I love basketball!"
After touring the hospital's helipad, some players headed to the Chase Child Life outdoor terrace to shoot hoops with pediatric patients while others toured CASIT, the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology. There, players got a hands-on demonstration of how surgeons learn to perform robotic procedures and remote surgery. Read more >
During halftime at The Lakers game on November 6, 2016, UCLA Health and The Lakers honored six retired servicemen who received specialized medical, surgical and mental-health care through the UCLA Operation Mend program. Army corporal Pablo Mena, army specialist Joey Paulk, marine staff sergeant Octavio Sanchez, army rangers staff sergeant Oskar Zepeda, army sergeant Jason March, and navy petty officer Michael Lammey were honored on the court after meeting with coach Luke Walton and receiving a practice-facility tour.
The Los Angeles Lakers are proud to partner with UCLA Health in supporting Operation Mend – a renowned surgical and medical program that helps heal men and women suffering from a range of service-related injuries. UCLA Operation Mend is honored to provide leading-edge medical care to those injured during combat or training, as well as comprehensive psychological and social support for wounded warriors and their families. Read more >
Metta World Peace and Timofey Mozgov of the Lakers joined UCLA Health to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in Los Angeles. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) provides patients with support services, advocating for lifesaving treatments and research for the most innovative treatments.
The players arrived with the Laker girls and helped kick off the walk with the lighting of the lanterns ceremony at L.A. Live. They also posed for pictures with participants and took part in the night’s festivities.
UCLA Health had more than 72 teams and 1,000 participants join together to raise more than $142,000 to help fund critical research and patient services in our community. To get involved in the 2017 LLS Light The Night Walk, visit the event page.