NEWPORT — North Country Hospital hosted its annual “Teddy Bear Clinic” last Thursday and Friday. Kindergarten classes from Orleans, Irasburg, Glover, Newport, Derby, St. Paul’s and United Christian Academy brought their favorite stuffed animals in for a routine checkup.
This program, designed to familiarize children with the hospital and staff, is in its 29th year. The furry patients received a full wellness workup including weight, and a quick, painless shot.
The children were given tours of the ambulance, met with emergency staff and received a presentation on summertime safety from the Emergency Room staff.
“It is our intent that these children get to see that the hospital and the staff are here to help,” said Ann Edgerley, RN. “We also want them to become familiar with the ambulances, and hospital surroundings. This way, if they ever have to visit the hospital, it will be a less scary experience for them.”
The program has run every year for almost 3 decades and has been organized by Emergency Room Nurse Ann Edgerly, RN and Director of Volunteers Merrilyn Barry.
“We love interacting with the kids and taking this opportunity to help them become a little less anxious about visiting the doctor,” said Merrilyn. “It feels good to be able to teach them about staying safe and knowing that we may have a small part in preventing childhood injuries.”
In recent years, the coordinators of the Teddy Bear Clinic have started bringing in more heath care professionals to participate in the clinic to ensure that it continues to grow and remain a community tradition for many years to come.