In a heartwarming and educational initiative, Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) resident physicians recently hosted a special event that captured the hearts of both preschool students and graduate medical residents. The Teddy Bear Clinic, which took place on the 18th of August, 2023, at the Hope Street Margolis Family Center in Downtown Los Angeles, was a delightful occasion aimed at instilling kindness and alleviating children’s fear of doctor visits.
The primary focus of the Teddy Bear Clinic was to teach preschool students the importance of being kind and compassionate, while also helping them overcome any apprehension they might have about seeing a doctor. “By using their beloved teddy bears as ‘patients,’ we aimed to create a safe space where children could learn about medical procedures in a playful and non-threatening manner,” shared one of the CHMC resident physicians.
The event, held from 3 to 4 pm, brought together children aged 3 to 5 for a series of engaging activities. These activities included simulated vaccinations and gentle “check-ups” performed on the children’s cherished stuffed teddy bear companions. The goal was to demystify medical examinations and treatments, making them seem approachable and friendly.
The generously provided stuffed teddy bears from Dignity Health played a pivotal role in the event. Each bear received a thorough “check-up” administered by the attentive and kind graduate medical residents. This interactive experience not only educated the children about basic healthcare practices but also gave them a positive and enjoyable interaction with medical professionals.
The choice of the Hope Street Margolis Family Center (HSMFC) as the event venue was significant. Established in 1992 in partnership with UCLA, HSMFC has been dedicated to supporting young children and families. Originating as a community benefit program of California Hospital Medical Center, HSMFC offers a comprehensive array of services to over 5,000 at-risk children and parents annually.
The collaboration with UCLA has enabled HSMFC to create a holistic continuum of in-home and center-based early education, parenting, health, mental health, developmental support, literacy programs, youth development initiatives, child welfare services, case management, and social support.
The recently concluded Teddy Bear Clinic event not only showcased the commitment of CHMC resident physicians to the well-being of their community but also underscored the significance of kindness and education in shaping young minds. By transforming a typical hospital scenario into an exciting and friendly occasion, the event organizers sowed the seeds of a positive attitude towards healthcare, leaving a heartwarming impact on all the participants.