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Through video chat, Santa brings cheer to children at Mary Bridge
Thanks to video chat equipment normally used for telemedicine visits between doctors and patients, Santa Claus greeted young patients in their hospital beds Tuesday at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.
In a personalized visit with each child, Santa talked about their favorite toys, did magic tricks, sang Christmas carols and encouraged them to feel better.
"Don't worry about me, I'll be able to find you wherever you are on Christmas," Santa told the kids.
Mary Bridge joined with Cisco Systems this year to bring Santa to its patients – using a video monitor and web-enabled camera. Santa visited with children in their rooms via a mobile cart, pushed by two of Cisco's "elves." Much like children who are able to sit on Santa’s lap, patients had the opportunity to pass along their wishes this holiday season in plenty of time for Santa to make his list and check it twice.
During the 2011 holiday season, more than 15 hospitals throughout the US will participate in the Cisco Santa Connection Program. This interactive experience enables hospitalized children to remotely connect and communicate with Santa using Cisco’s video collaboration technologies. Through the magic of the Internet, the children are connected over video directly to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole where they can share their wish lists directly with Old St. Nick. The Santa Connection Program was developed four years ago to provide children and their families a bit of holiday cheer and happiness during their hospital stay.