Recently, Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner paid a virtual visit to kids at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan with the help of an Ohmni Robot, a unique, award-winning telepresence experience from Ohmni Labs that safely allows players and young fans to meet.
Gagner met four patients: Payton, age 12, and his brother Blake, age 14; Tate, age 22; and Charlie, age six.
Afterward, Payton and Blake’s father, Howard, expressed his gratitude for the visit. “Life is all about helping people and the special moments with family and friends,” Howard said. “By organizing this visit, the Detroit Red Wings and Children’s Hospital of Michigan gave us the opportunity to share a special moment with family which is truly what matters in life.”
After Gagner’s virtual visits, team representatives came by with gifts for kids throughout the hospital, including Detroit Red Wings-branded blankets and teddy bears.
“This past year taught us to think differently about how we brighten the days of our youngest Red Wings fans in need,” Kevin Brown, Red Wings and Tigers director of community impact, said. “Even during a pandemic, we knew there had to be a way to keep the team’s decades-long tradition of visiting the Children’s Hospital of Michigan going, and we’re grateful to be able to use technology to do so.”
Previously, this virtual remote experience was used during the Red Wings’ Youth Skater of the Game program, providing local Black youth hockey players access to watch Red Wings players up close during warmups prior to each game.
The Red Wings are regular visitors of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. In past years, the team partnered with local community organizations to buy holiday gifts for kids whose families are in need. Red Wings players would personally deliver these gifts, distributed through the hospital’s Snowpile program, which eases the burden on families during the holidays by providing gifts for hospitalized children and their siblings.
Learn more about the Red Wings’ community-based initiatives at NHL.com/RedWings/Community.