Nestled on the fifteenth floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Upper East Side hospital facility, the Patient Recreation Pavilion provides patients and their families with a calming and relaxing environment, free of the sights and sounds of their hospital room and doctor’s office. Designed as a respite from cancer and its treatments, the sun-filled space hosts many group and individual activities, as well as special events and celebrations.
Its indoor and outside areas also offer a comforting escape for those who simply need quiet time to reflect.
“In the midst of the stress and overwhelming life changes a cancer diagnosis brings, many patients find it difficult to relax and enjoy things in life that once brought them peace,” says Yolanda Toth, Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Patient Recreation Department. “They are so focused on their treatment. We help them to discover or rediscover the things that bring them enjoyment –whether it’s a good mystery novel, an art project, or a game of cards.”
Something for Everyone
During the day, patients and their guests can join recreation therapists leading art projects and other workshops such as copper jewelry enameling, stained glass painting, woodworking, and decoupage. Many patients find creative projects like these to be therapeutic during treatment and long hospital stays, and everyone is encouraged to explore the different offerings and work at their own pace.
On some days, the recreation staff welcomes special guests who bring their talent and interests to the hospital so that others may enjoy it. Popular activities include performances by students from The Juilliard School, music therapy, and celebrity visits.
About the Space
The Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Patient Recreation Pavilion, named in honor of a former member of the board and long-time friend of Memorial Sloan Kettering, opened in 1976. Accessible from the 15th floor of the hospital, the 8,000-plus-square-foot space is connected to the main hospital by a gently sloping ramp that makes it easy for patients to reach even if they are not on foot.
The recreation pavilion also houses a pool table, a baby grand piano, a sitting area where patients can enjoy movies on a big screen, and a library with more than 12,000 general interest books, magazines, and music recordings. An outdoor terrace overlooking the city’s East Side is also accessible from the floor, weather permitting.
Explore our weekly calendar of patient recreation events and other support programs for patients and caregivers.