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2007 News Releases

For Immediate Release

June 8, 2007

Applications Now Being Accepted for the “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project

Aims to develop and promote hospital playrooms in line with countries that have advanced pediatric care

Tokyo - The non-profit organization (NPO) Children’s Health Forum (Director: Minoru Tanabe), as part of its initiatives to improve the medical treatment environment for children in Japan, through a special sponsorship from Manulife Life Insurance Company (President and CEO: Geoff Crickmay; hereinafter “Manulife Japan”), is now accepting applications from Japanese medical facilities for the “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project, a project which aims to develop model playrooms in Japanese pediatric facilities and raise awareness of the significance of the “playroom” concept, which is central to caring for the minds of children who are hospitalized or are undergoing outpatient treatment. There are currently few such playrooms among Japan’s pediatric healthcare facilities.

The “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project is based on the “WakuWaku Room”, a playroom at Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center (Ohbu-shi, Aichi Prefecture), a prefecture-supported hospital which is known as one of the most advanced children’s hospitals in Japan. The “WakuWaku Room” and its method of administration is based on ideas from other countries, led by Canada, which have comparatively advanced pediatric medical treatment programs. Using the Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center’s “WakuWaku Room” as a model, the “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project, using donations provided by Manulife Japan, aims to support the development of playrooms free of charge at applicant children’s health care facilities nationwide.

In the event that many medical facilities apply for funds to develop playrooms, the NPO Children’s Health Forum will select the recipients. A number of hospital children’s wards or outpatient programs will be selected and their sites studied, their particular individual requirements determined, and furnishings procured, with the aim of opening the new rooms by next year April.

Details regarding the “WakuWaku Room”, the playroom at prefecture-supported Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center which serves as the model for the “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project, are as follows:

This full-fledged playroom, approximately 30m2, is set up outside the ward on the third floor of Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center, with the purpose of providing care for the minds of children who are hospitalized or who are receiving outpatient treatment. There are very few playrooms of this type in Japan. The room is divided into 5 play areas, and many kinds of hand-picked, high-quality toys have been brought together, which are used by experienced full-time regular childcare staff to care for children of various ages, illnesses, and disabilities.

 

 


The “WakuWaku Room” at Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center

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Application Summary


1. Application Period:

Applications must be received at the offices of the Children’s Health Forum by mail by July 30, 2007. (An application form may be downloaded from the Children’s Health Forum website, http://www.npo-cln.org/).

2. Target Applicants:

Hospitals with children’s wards or outpatient facilities which satisfy the following conditions:

- Space to set up a playroom (20~30m2), or an existing playroom
- A management structure in place to maintain/administer the playroom (full-time regular staff or other childcare staff)
- A hospital that understands the importance of the medical treatment environment on children and possesses a mindset for continuing to maintain and improve its medical environment

3. Content of Application:

Expected costs and required assistance for playroom toys, furnishings, and decorations
The NPO will discuss the above with recipients based on the content of the Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center’s “WakuWaku Room”
(The NPO will also ask hospitals that receive assistance to report periodically concerning their ongoing situation and activities.)

4. Amount of Assistance:

A total of JPY 4.0 m or items that add up to that amount. It is planned that a number of children’s wards or outpatient facilities will be supported.

5. Schedule:

 

 August - Evaluation of application materials, presentations
 September - On-site examination of locations
 October - Final evaluation, selection of donation recipients
November to January - Detailed planning for setting up “Manulife WakuWaku Rooms”
February to March - Site preparation, purchase of furnishings
April - Completed set up of “Manulife WakuWaku Rooms”


For Reference


About the NPO Children’s Health Forum
The guiding philosophy of the Children’s Health Forum is that children need an environment that fosters their hopes and aspirations for the future. Having started first with Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center (Ohbu-shi, Aichi Prefecture; Center Director: Masami Nagashima), the Forum provides support for pediatric furnishings and playrooms and holds events concerning children’s health in a number of advanced Japanese pediatric hospitals. The Forum has received acclaim for creating hospital environments that facilitate recovery for sick children as well as their families and which provide an atmosphere for receiving medical treatment with courage.

About Aichi Children’s Health and Medical Center
This world-class pediatric hospital became fully operational in May 2003 following a partial commencement of operations in November 2001. With 22 departments and 200 beds, and expertise in both preventative care and medical treatment, the Center provides comprehensive services for a wide variety of pediatric health concerns. It is the largest such facility in Aichi Prefecture and widely studied by other facilities nationwide.

About Manulife Japan’s Fundraising Campaign to Improve the Medical Treatment Environment for Children
Manulife Japan strongly supports the aims of the NPO Children’s Health Forum, and raises donations for the Forum through internal fundraising from its employees nationwide. Based on these donations, the Forum, in order to promote improvements in the medical treatment environment for children, solicits new and useful ideas from medical facilities nationwide that provide hospitalization or outpatient services for children, and provides funding for the best ideas.

The “Manulife WakuWaku Room” Project is a special project being carried out to further complement the “Manulife Japan Fundraising Campaign to Improve the Medical Treatment Environment for Children,” which has been carried out annually since 2005.

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For information related to this press release please contact:

Children’s Health Forum
Shinohara
Tel: 0561-36-6643

Manulife Life Insurance Company
Satoko Miyoshi
Communications DepartmentTel: 042-442-7180