Smoothie King Donates Life-Changing, Sensory Machine to Ochsner Hospital for Children

NEW ORLEANS – The holidays may be over, but not at Ochsner Hospital for Children, now home to the region’s first-ever VECTA Deluxe Machine. This recent donation by Smoothie King’s New Orleans Metro Area Franchisees is a gift that will keep on giving.

The VECTA Deluxe Machine is a multi-sensory, interactive station that has proven beneficial by providing a fun, engaging and non-pharmaceutical way to suppress anxiety in pediatric and special needs patients. The machine, which resembles a massive, interactive lava lamp, allows patients to control bubbles, aromas, sounds and more. The sensory station can provide much-needed distraction and relaxation for young patients.

Patients often have routine procedures done while they are admitted in the hospital, including blood draws, IV placement or drain removal. Pediatric patients, however, might be afraid of needles or have difficult sitting still. That’s where VECTA comes in.

“VECTA provides a sense of control and distraction for our patients that they otherwise might not have,” said Tinsley Somers, Child Life Specialist, Ochsner Hospital for Children. “It’s amazing to see their reaction when it lights up and the bubbles start moving. It takes them to another place.”

VECTA targets multiple senses with music, lights, a bubble column, projector and fiber optic tubes. The machine is designed for individualized treatment. Purchased by Smoothie King, it was delivered as a gift to Ochsner Hospital for Children just in time for Christmas.

“Smoothie King’s mission is to inspire healthy and active lifestyles among all people, and this piece of equipment reflects that in a truly unique and impactful way,” said Joey Schulz, Regional Marketing Director, Smoothie King. “The VECTA Deluxe Machine has the potential to benefit nearly every child that is a patient at Ochsner Hospital for Children, so it truly is a gift that keeps on giving. It gives us great pride to help our community in this way.”

In 2016, Smoothie King teamed up with Ochsner to sponsor the Gladiator Games, a fitness challenge and fun run to kick off the annual King Cake Festival. Proceeds from the event benefit babies and children at Ochsner Hospital for Children. Smoothie King is back in 2017, with a return of the popular King Cake Smoothie, one of two-dozen vendors expected at this year’s event, Sunday Jan. 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information about the festival or to register online, visit www.kingcakefestival.org.

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Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Smoothie King

Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with more than 800 units worldwide. By creating each smoothie with a purpose, Smoothie King makes it simple and pleasurable for guests to achieve their individual health goals as part of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise routine. The franchise also offers a number of healthy retail products, including sports beverages, energy bars, vitamins, supplements and more.

Smoothie King was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health in a tasty way. In 1989, Smoothie King became the first smoothie franchise in the U.S. and currently operates in 33 states, the Caymans, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea. In 2015, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 21st year and No. 79 overall on the 2015 Franchise 500 list. In 2014, Smoothie King partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association to launch the Smoothie King Center, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com; engage on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing; follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smoothieking.

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