Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Patient Recreation Pavilion offers a healing environment where patients and their loved ones come to discover or rediscover the things that bring them enjoyment.
With floor to ceiling windows, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Recreation Pavilion is filled with natural light. The space is open to all Memorial Sloan Kettering patients and their visitors.
Yolanda Toth, Director of the Patient Recreation Department, demonstrates the proper way to cut and arrange fresh flowers during a class. Patients can complete their own arrangement.
With views of Manhattan’s East Side, the outside terrace is a nice place to spend an afternoon with friends and family who may be visiting.
Stained glass painting is a favorite among many. Recreation therapists are careful to avoid using supplies with any odors, as most patients have strong aversions due to their treatment.
Carnival is an annual event volunteers and staff look forward to. Memorial Sloan Kettering patient and volunteer Alexandra Capellini celebrates with others.
Patients can choose from a variety of books, magazines, and music from the Patient Library. Items can be delivered to patients who may be unable to leave their room.
Staff from The Ritz Carlton volunteer their time every month for a special themed party. The hotel’s pastry chefs share culinary sweets, and “Minute to Win it” – a popular game - brings everyone together. “Friendships are often formed on these days, as patients begin to feel more relaxed and share advice on how they are coping with others,” said Ms. Toth.
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.Back to top
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.Back to top