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Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023

Longtime Children’s Miracle Network partner Panda Express® makes 10-year commitment to Niswonger Children’s Network

Donation supports Panda Cares® Center of Hope at Niswonger Children’s Therapy Services

In its latest commitment to children’s healthcare in the Appalachian Highlands, longtime Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner Panda Express® has committed to donating $418,000 from its locations in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City over the next 10 years to benefit the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network.

Panda Cares® representatives teamed up with the Niswonger Children’s Network and Ballad Health Foundation to cut the ribbon of the first part of the donation – the Panda Cares® Center of Hope. The new center opened in the Niswonger Children’s Therapy Services gym on Tuesday, Nov. 14, made possible by the generosity of Panda Express® associates and guests.

“We’re humbled by the generosity of Panda Express® associates and guests and can’t think of a better way to enter the holiday season than providing this valuable resource to the children and their families who need it,” said Chris Jett, CEO of Niswonger Children’s Network. “Pediatric therapy is an essential part of the Niswonger Children’s Network, and the Panda Cares® Center of Hope will be a wonderful addition for our patients.”

The new center at Niswonger Children’s Therapy services gym includes a main therapy gym, speech treatment area, sensory gym and pediatric treatment area.

The Panda Cares Center of Hope inspires hope and promotes healing by providing specially curated programs that address each child’s entire well-being, including their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. Programs offered at the Niswonger Children’s Therapy Services Panda Cares Center of Hope include therapeutic play, art therapy, meditation and counseling services, and it is designed to give children the courage and strength to thrive.

“We are proud to partner with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Niswonger Children’s Network to bring the vision of the Panda Cares® Center of Hope to life, and we’re humbled to be part of the healing journey for the children and their families of the Appalachian Highlands,” said Dr. Peggy Cherng, co-founder and co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. “Children are our future, and through this partnership and curriculum designed to give children the strength to thrive, we will bring smiles and hopes to communities across the nation.” 

Panda Cares® Centers of Hope are made possible by donations from Panda Express® associates and guests across the country. Funds raised in-store and online at Panda Express benefit each store’s local community.

“Panda Express® is one of our biggest community partners every year, and we’re floored by their dedication to better the health of children in our community,” said Jack Simpson, president of Ballad Health Foundation. “The best way for us to reach a healthier future is if we do it together, and Panda Express® associates and guests have consistently shown that they support our children, our families and our future in the Appalachian Highlands.”

To date, Panda has raised more than $150 million for hospitals affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including Niswonger Children’s Hospital and the Niswonger Children’s Network. Panda Express guests and their associates in the Appalachian Highlands have raised more than $160,000 Niswonger Children’s Hospital from 2018 to 2022, averaging out to about $40,000 per year.

Following a multimillion-dollar commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to fund Panda Cares® Centers of Hope, Panda and Children’s Miracle Network have debuted Center of Hope locations at several hospitals in the U.S. from California and Texas to Hawaii and Washington D.C. Since 2007, Panda Express and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have partnered together to change kids’ health and change the future.

In addition to fundraising by Panda Express and other community partners, donations to the Niswonger Children’s Network can be made year-round by visiting www.balladhealth.org/foundation.

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