October 18, 2012

Detail of the back wall of the CAMC Play PatchCharleston Area Medical Center is teaming up with the Charleston Town Center to build a children’s playscape on the first floor of the mall near JCPenney. The playscape will feature soft play equipment that encourages active play for young children.

The play area, to be called the CAMC Play Patch, is themed with fruits and vegetables to support the national “5-2-1-0” campaign—five fruits and vegetables each day, less than two hours of screen time, one hour of vigorous activity and zero sugary drinks.

CAMC saw the need for a children’s play area and approached the Town Center with the idea last fall. The Town Center was on board right away.

“As we’re preparing for our 30th anniversary and are undergoing major renovations in the mall, this is the perfect addition for families,” said Lisa McCracken, marketing director at the Charleston Town Center. “This is an exciting and much requested service we can offer to our patrons and guests.”

After extensive research of similar play areas in other malls, CAMC’s graphic designers sketched the initial design for the Play Patch. The blueprint was then sent to the company fabricating the playscape to finalize the layout.

“Throughout this process, the team of folks from the mall and CAMC were diligent about making this playscape truly functional and top notch,” said Elizabeth Pellegrin, chief marketing officer. “Aside from being colorful and educational, we designed it to be parent-friendly, with stroller parking, cubbies for shoes, and comfortable bench seating that encircles the play area. Plus, there is only one way in and out, making it safer for kids and easier for parents supervising them.”

Not only does the Play Patch give parents and guardians a place to let their children play, but it gives CAMC the opportunity to educate families about healthy eating and healthy living.

“As the largest provider of pediatric services in southern WV, we’re committed to not only taking care of the region’s children when they’re ill, but also to improving their overall health,” said Dave Ramsey, CAMC President and CEO. “We have been a leader in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, and this playscape is a wonderful way for us to reach many more children.”

In addition to the play area, CAMC will sponsor a family restroom on the third floor that will feature curtained areas for nursing mothers who want privacy, as well as toddler-sized sinks and toilets. The bathroom will also feature a large seating area and a small kitchen area with a sink and microwave, ideal for making bottles.

“With the addition of the Play Patch and the family restroom, we can make a trip to the mall a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for families,” McCracken said.
The Play Patch will open mid to late December. Construction of the family restroom will be complete in December.

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