Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Receives $150,000 Donation from FedEx Ground for Distraction Therapy

August 7, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - August 7, 2012 - Pittsburgh-based FedEx Ground, the small-package ground unit of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) has donated $150,000 to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in support of the hospital’s distraction therapy program and to continue the ongoing sustainability of supplies of the playroom on inpatient unit 8A (recognized as the FedEx Ground Playroom after its contribution to the new building in 2008). This donation will help experts at Children’s Hospital expand the distraction therapy methods they use to improve patient care by expanding the colorful, animal-themed rooms in the outpatient clinics.

Distraction therapy involves using special techniques to take a child’s attention away from a procedure he or she is undergoing and potentially alleviate pain or discomfort by helping the child focus attention elsewhere. They can also help patients cope with anxiety and fear about an upcoming procedure. Many methods of distraction therapy can help children of all ages. Some techniques Children’s Hospital therapists use include colorful, themed distraction rooms for patients who are undergoing, MRIs and other imaging procedures. Other techniques give patients the opportunity to view something visual or tactile like bubbles, pinwheels, glitter wands, light-up toys and stress balls, which can help to alleviate anxiety. In addition, music therapy plays a significant role in relaxing patients by incorporating different musical instruments and singing songs.

“Pediatric distraction techniques are vital to improve the patient experience, both for the child and the parents, and reduce anxiety about upcoming medical procedures,” said Greg Barrett, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. “With generous and ongoing support from FedEx Ground, Children’s is able to enhance our ability to provide optimal patient and family-centered care.”

In addition to this donation, FedEx Ground has recently chosen Children’s Hospital as the beneficiary of the Pittsburgh Marathon Corporate Challenge, making a $5,000 contribution to support the hospital’s greatest needs.

Beyond these two charitable contributions, FedEx Ground has collected thousands of books annually from community members to contribute to the Elsa M. and Alma E. Mueller Family Resource Center at Children’s, which provides resources and access to literature for patients, their families, and siblings. Also, on a weekly basis, FedEx Ground employees volunteer at Children’s using the FedEx Ground Care Carts, to pass out snacks and books to families and staff in waiting rooms and on patient floors.

“We are committed and honored to be involved with Children’s Hospital in so many beneficial ways and to be able to support such impactful programs for the institution,” said Gretchen Smarto, senior vice president and chief financial officer at FedEx Ground.

FedEx Ground has been a supporter of Children’s Hospital since 2002. With this recent donation, FedEx Ground will have supported the hospital with gifts totaling more than $500,000 to programs such as the Free Care Fund and Sickle Cell Camp. Most recently, it contributed $150,000 toward a new building campaign to name one of the hospital’s playrooms.

About FedEx Ground
FedEx Ground specializes in cost-effective, small-package shipping, offering dependable business-to-business delivery or convenient residential service through FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost. Visit to learn more.

For more information about Children's Hospital, please visit

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,