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Virtual Santa to visit Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.

Contact: Gary Kimsey 970.495.7427 (office)
970.221.2957 (home)

Cisco Systems has selected Poudre Valley Hospital as one of only 18 hospitals nationwide to participate in its annual Santa Connection Program.

PVH is the only hospital in northern Colorado to be asked to participate in the program. The viral Santa will visit PVH 9 a.m. to noon and in the early afternoon, starting at 1:15 p.m., on Dec. 18.

The Santa Connection Program allows children to remotely connect and interact with Santa at the North Pole by using remote video collaboration technology. The program was developed to provide sick kids and their families with happiness during the holiday season.

Using a mobile cart and video monitor with Internet-enabled camera technology supplied by Cisco, hospital staff members are able to bring the electronic, interactive Santa either to gathered groups of children in a hospital or to individual patients who may be confined to their beds.

At PVH, the Santa visit will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in Café F, adjacent to the hospital's cafeteria on the lower level.

During this time, the interactive Santa will visit with patients from the hospital's pediatric unit and children from the community who will receive gifts this holiday through the annual Poudre Valley Health System Giving Tree Project (PVHS employees donate gifts to children whose financially challenged families signed up with the Giving Tree Project).

At 1:15 p.m. the viral Santa will be relocated to the hospital's pediatric unit so he can chat with inpatients who were unable to make it to the morning session in Café F.

One of the scheduled pediatric inpatients is a boy, about 9 years old, who has chronic health issues and will be undergoing surgery Dec. 20.

Santa's helpers (PVH employees) will be on hand at the PVH site to give gifts to each child.

Here is a link to a TV news program covering Santa when he remotely visited the Children's Hospital in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area:

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