GREELEY, Colo. (June 15, 2019) – More than 500 stuffed animals and dolls were treated with a little TLC – tender loving care – at the Teddy Bear Hospital event today at the soon-to-open UCHealth Greeley Hospital.
The “patients” ranged from teddy bears and stuffed unicorns to dolls and even a stuffed Incredible Hulk. Their “ailments” ranged from tummy aches and broken legs to bumps on the heads and shark bites.
Easing children’s fears of hospitals
From the check-in to the exam with a provider and even receiving discharge instructions, about 800 parents and children got to experience what goes on during a hospital visit without the anxiety of an actual medical emergency.
“We love putting on the Teddy Bear Hospital,” said Emily Garner, emergency nurse manager at the hospital. “The kids seem to really enjoy this experience. When they come in, they use their imaginations to make up a story about what happened to their ‘stuffie.’ Then, we treat that patient according to what happened.”
“We do this to give kids a chance to see an emergency room without having to be in an actual emergency situation,” said Dr. Jim Campain, medical director of the emergency department at UCHealth Greeley Hospital. “If any of these kids ever has a real medical emergency, I hope they’ll remember this day and feel more comfortable,” he added.
Children also got a chance to check out an ambulance and sit in UCHealth’s LifeLine medical helicopter.
On Saturday afternoon, the hospital also hosted a Community Open House to give area residents an opportunity to take tours of the hospital and get to meet some of the providers and care teams who will work there. The afternoon event attracted more than 1,900 people.
“I am thrilled by the wonderful, warm welcome we received from the community today,” said Marilyn Schock, the hospital’s president. “We are excited to start caring for our patients here and loved getting to show everyone what’s in store.”
The events were part of a full day of activities to give the community a sneak peek at Greeley Hospital, which will open this summer. The 212,000-square-foot facility is set to open with 50 inpatient beds and room to grow. The full-service hospital will feature an intensive care unit, operating rooms, a Level III trauma center and emergency department, a birth center with a Level II special care nursery, a cardiac catheterization lab and 24-hour retail pharmacy, laboratory and imaging services.