Respite and Fun at Pony Power Therapies
Mahwah, NJ – September 1, 2021 – Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Pony Power Therapies came together for its seventh year to support pediatric patients through the magic of ponies, horses and nature.
Young patients receiving care for serious and chronic illnesses at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari’s Children’s Hospital participated in therapeutic, nature-based, non-riding sessions funded in part by the Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run.
In partnership with Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, patients from Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital are able to visit Pony Power’s 13 acres of property in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains every year. Patient visits to Pony Power Therapies are made possible by Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and the Run for Sue Committee, which oversees the annual planning of the Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run.
“We are so pleased to work closely with the Run for Sue Committee again this year to honor the memory of Susan Zabransky Hughes,” said Clare Q. Ward, interim executive director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “Every spring, we look forward to participating in the Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run and making it possible for our smallest patients from Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital to visit Pony Power Therapies, a wonderful organization that provides patients with confidence, strength and much-needed respite.” “I am overjoyed that our pediatric patients and their siblings were able to visit Pony Power Therapies and experience the excitement and beauty of the farm this year, especially after a challenging seventeen months,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., physician-in-chief, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, Hackensack Meridian Health. “It is so important for our youngest patients to be able to explore and find comfort outside of the hospital setting for healing and fun. We are thrilled to work with Pony Power Therapies and Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation every summer to bring this day of wonder to our patients.”
“We’re grateful for this enduring partnership with Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and the Run for Sue Committee,” said Dana Spett, executive director, Pony Power Therapies. “We hope that time spent on the farm and with our horses gives these patients and their families an opportunity to learn, laugh and experience joy together, while taking perhaps a much-needed break from the pressures of daily life.”
This year, Pony Power Therapies celebrates 21 years of providing unique recreational opportunities to children and adults with special needs, or those in need of extra support. Pony Power Therapies, a non-profit based in Mahwah, New Jersey, provides special needs and at-risk individuals an opportunity for therapeutic horse-riding, horse-grooming and gardening.
To donate to the Run for Sue Committee and Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, please visit www.saddleriver5k.com.
About Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health
Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and highest level of quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network is comprised of two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health hospitals are the only two in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital also ranks among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. Visit www.hackensackmerdianhealth.org/kids for more information about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.
About Pony Power Therapies
Founded in 2000, Pony Power Therapies gives special needs and at-risk children and adults a unique opportunity to ride, care for and interact with horses. Its riding and non-riding activities enhance individuals’ physical, social and emotional well-being in a safe, nurturing farm environment. Pony Power offers recreational activities that help riders gain greater flexibility, balance and muscle strength, as well as explore and develop unique relationships with the horse, which can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem, and foster feelings of independence and pride. Pony Power instructors are either certified or in training to be certified by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. For more information, please visit www.ponypowernj.org.