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Phoenix Suns players, mascot make special holiday visit to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center pediatric patients

Josh Okogie, Jock Landale, Go the Gorilla brought gifts and laughs to patients

Note to editors/producers: High-resolution b-roll and photos of this event are available for download here.

GLENDALE (Dec. 23, 2022) – Pediatric patients at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center were in for a holiday surprise Thursday, as members of the Phoenix Suns and the team’s mascot brought them some early Christmas gifts and signed team gear.

Small forward Josh Okogie, center Jock Landale, and Go the Gorilla took pictures with some of the patients, their families and staff, bringing joy to those who unfortunately have to spend the holidays in a hospital setting. 

“Throughout the year, we partner with the Phoenix Suns to coordinate visits with our pediatric patients, and each time our patients get more excited to see their favorite players,” said Wendy Pauker, associate director of Child Life Services at Banner Thunderbird. “We are very grateful to the players for making time for our young patients – it truly means the world to them, especially as we approach the holidays.”

About Banner Health
Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 30 acute-care hospitals, Banner also has an academic division, Banner – University Medicine, and a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health-insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits, and Banner operates a free 24/7 nurse line for health questions or concerns. Patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

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