Patients at Shriners Hospital Portland now have access to a new world of opportunities thanks to a generous gift from The Harrington Family Foundation. The foundation includes Joey Harrington, former University of Oregon standout quarterback and current NFL backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, his wife Emily, brothers Michael and Nick, as well as parents John and Valerie. As long time supporters of the hospital, the Harrington Family Foundation has given $167,000 over the past 5 years.

As the area of assistive technology grows, the rehabilitation therapists at the Portland hospital have recognized the tremendous potential for helping their patients to meet mobility, communication and other daily living goals. The dream of outfitting a dedicated room, where an assortment of assistive technology devices could be gathered together, where children could be evaluated on which technology pieces would best work for their needs and where these patients could be taught to use the devices, was launched with the help of HFF.

The Harrington Family Foundation contributed the necessary funds to put together this special Assistive Technology Room. With their assistance, patients can now try out many different technology devices and systems, giving them increased independence, communication, adaptive play opportunities and access to various environmental controls.

A special event, to thank the Harrington family, was held on February 9th at the hospital. Several patients and their families joined the Harringtons, staff, and board members to celebrate the new Assistive Technology Room on the 4th floor. Patients anxiously awaited the opportunity to demonstrate how technology in many forms has enhanced their lives. Among the group was ten-year-old Matt who had prepared a short Power Point presentation on his assistive communication device to share with Joey and his wife, Emily. When it was finally Matt’s turn to demonstrate what he had crafted, it became immediately apparent what tremendous potential assistive technology has unlocked for these patients. Such technology is fast becoming an integral part of helping children with physical challenges overcome obstacles and lead a more engaged and productive life.