• Pediatric Care
  • Renown Health Foundation

Renown Health Foundation Announces Partnership with Forever Young Foundation to Build a Sophie's Place Music Therapy Room

July 09, 2021

Steve Young holds up Reno jersey with Emmalee Sutton (Children's Miracle Network Hospitals) and Greg Walaitis (Renown Health).

At a press conference this week, Renown Health Foundation announced its partnership with San Francisco 49ers legend and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young and the Forever Young Foundation to build a Sophie’s Place at Renown Children’s Hospital. The music therapy room, set to break ground later this year, is specially designed for children and their loved ones to enjoy music and other interactive activities during their hospital stay.


A longtime Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals celebrity ambassador, Young has helped raise over $1 billion to support children’s hospitals around the nation like Renown’s Children’s Hospital. His passion for giving back to pediatric patients, coupled with one remarkable friendship, led to the evolution of Sophie's Place.


Established in 2013 by the Forever Young Foundation, Sophie’s Place was created in loving memory of singer, songwriter and dear friend of the Young family, Sophie Barton. Sophie often sang in hospitals, understanding music’s power to heal people of all ages.


Barb and Steve Young shared, "Research has proven that music therapy fires the synapses to help create new neuro-pathways to replace those that have been damaged. It increases oxygen-saturation levels, alleviates pain, eases anxiety and depression, assists in fine and gross motor-skill development, and so much more. We are honored to partner with Renown Children's Hospital as we share with you the building of our newest Sophie's Place space, a music-therapy room which will bring hope, healing, and harmony to the children being treated in this special CMNH Children's hospital."


“As a pediatric intensive care physician, I’ve seen firsthand how music therapy can positively impact the health and well-being of hospital patients,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, Renown Health President and CEO.” We are proud to partner with the Forever Young Foundation and honor Sophie’s life and commitment to music through the creation of Sophie’s Place to share the healing power of music with our patients and their families at Renown Children’s Hospital.”


Sophie’s Place will feature a stage and seating area for groups, private recording and practice rooms, an editing station and storage space for generously donated instruments. There will also be a healing arts playroom equipped with games, art supplies and TV. This unique, music oasis was thoughtfully designed to help patients create meaningful connections with others, serve as a positive distraction from the unknowns that may accompany a trip to the hospital, and most importantly, encourage expression, creativity and healing. Project renderings may be accessed here.  


“Thanks to the support of Barb and Steve Young and the Forever Young Foundation, we are proud to add a music therapy room to our Healing Arts program,” said Renown’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis. “The first of its kind in our community, Sophie’s Place will provide our youngest patients a calm and beautiful space to take a break from the hospital environment, where they can relax, socialize and just enjoy being kids.”


“We are extremely fortunate to have the Forever Young Foundation as generous partners who share Renown’s commitment of investing for the future,” said Max Coppes, M.D., Ph. D., MBA, Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and pediatrician-in-chief at Renown Children's Hospital. “Sophie’s Place will help countless young patients feel more comfortable along their healing journey, contributing to a brighter and more positive experience here at Renown.”


Sophie’s Place currently provides music therapy to children at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Sutter Children’s Center in Sacramento, Calif., Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Renown Children’s Hospital will be its next location to break ground. 


For ongoing updates on Sophie’s Place at Renown Children’s Hospital and ways you can support this impactful music therapy room for current and future generations, please visit Renown Health Foundation’s website or call 775-982-5545.



About Renown Children’s Hospital

Renown Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated children’s hospital in northern Nevada, and offers a variety of programs and services designed specifically to care for the community's families. It has the region’s only Children’s ER and Pediatric ICU. Renown Children’s Hospital is the only hospital affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) in the region and local CMN Hospitals' programs and events directly benefit children in the Truckee Meadows. It is also the only hospital in the region affiliated with CHA (Children’s Hospital Association). For more information, visit renown.org/children.


About Forever Young Foundation

Founded in 1993 by NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, Forever Young Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization focused on passing on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children. The Foundation serves children facing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges by providing them with academic, athletic, and therapeutic opportunities currently unavailable to them. Forever Young Foundation primarily focuses our efforts in Northern California, Arizona, Utah, and Ghana, Africa.

Media Contacts

UNR Med 

M: 775-287-6788  

E: communications@unr.edu


Renown Public Relations

M: 775-691-7308

E: news@renown.org 

Related News

View All Press Releases