CHILDREN'S WAITING ROOM
“When we got transferred here, I had two little ones and was pregnant with another. We moved at the height of the pandemic, and even getting a doctor’s appointment was a struggle – taking my kids with me absolutely wasn’t an option,” Hilary Gardner, who has been utilizing Children’s Waiting Room for a year now shares. “I actually learned about Armed Services YMCA Children’s Waiting Room from my OB scheduler at Darnall. I hadn’t ever heard of a program like this at any other base, so I called and got signed up the minute I found out about it.”
Medical maintenance can be stressful on its own – add young children and the unique challenges of military life into the mix, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The Armed Services YMCA’s Children’s Waiting Room program provides two hours of free childcare for military parents to attend scheduled medical appointments. The program, which operates at 15 military treatment facilities across the country, became even more important during the pandemic, as patients were not allowed to bring guests to appointments.
The largest Children’s Waiting Room program in the country is run at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Hospital on Fort Hood in Killeen, TX. Last year, the Armed Services YMCA Killeen branch watched more than 3,300 children in its Children’s Waiting Room, giving parents the peace of mind and reliability necessary to take care of their health. The vital program never shut down during the pandemic and, in fact, became even more widely used throughout the pandemic. Thank you to Humana Military for their sponsorship of Children’s Waiting Room at the Armed Services YMCA.
My husband has been serving overseas for over a year and we have no other family nor friends near to help out our family and all of our medical needs. The Armed Services YMCA Children’s Waiting Room has always been available to watch my children at several locations so I can attend not just my own appointments, but appointments for my older son with Autism/ADHD, without my toddler needing to come too. Most of our appointments require radiation and are not whole family friendly kind of appointments, and now with COVID-19 patient/visitor guidelines, it has made bringing both of my children with me to every appointment impossible. Without Children’s Waiting Room, my family’s medical care would not have been able to continue.