TMC Helping to Foster Love of Reading in Young Patients

It is said that a truly great book should be read once in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age.

Tucson Medical Center is well on its way to nurturing at least the first part of that journey.

With the support and encouragement from Dr. Cathy Cosentino, TMC is launching a program that will allow young patients to pick out a book to take home.

Upon admission to the pediatric or pediatric intensive care unit, children will get a coupon that will allow them to select a book from a homemade bookcase located right outside the treehouse library in the pediatric unit.

The hospital began collecting and purchasing books at the beginning of the year, with more than 700 on hand in early May.

As TMC celebrates Hospital Week May 11- 18, it is also asking employees to donate children’s books to TMC for Children. Books will be collected during Family Zoo Night on Wednesday, May 16, and also during a special lunch on Friday.

Melissa Weisphal, manager of patient care services in pediatrics, said it seemed a disservice to have so many books in the library that never went home with children. “We thought, what’s the best thing, besides health, that we could send a child home with? Books were really the first thought that came to mind.”

Child Life Specialist Betsy Tran said the hospital staff works hard to try to incorporate activities kids might do in their normal routines outside the hospital. Reading seemed a natural fit. “There aren’t many things you can control when you’re in the hospital, but you can control your imagination, and reading is such an essential part of that,” Tran said.

“And since reading is such an important key to learning, we wanted to be able to encourage parents and children to enjoy it together in their everyday lives.”

Hospital staff, including members of the executive team, will also host story times several times a week in the reading corner.


  1. […] of what we can do to support the whole child. The Father’s Read-In marks the beginning of the new Books for Kids program which provides all our pediatric patients with a book to take home and will feature read […]

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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