McDowell Hospital Hosts a Teddy Bear Clinic for McDowell County Kindergarteners

Marion, N.C. (Feb. 17, 2016) – Approximately 500 kindergarteners from eight elementary schools across McDowell County will participate in a teddy bear clinic hosted by McDowell Hospital Feb. 23-24. The event is designed to educate children about hospitals and medical procedures, while also helping alleviate fears that they may have about healthcare settings.

“McDowell Hospital is pleased to be partnering with the McDowell County School System to offer this experience to the kindergarteners of McDowell County,” said Carol Wolfenbarger, President, McDowell Hospital. “Our aim is to introduce healthcare and healthy behaviors to the students in a fun way and hopefully alleviate some of the fear young children have in healthcare settings.”

During their visit to McDowell Hospital, children will be given a teddy bear that they will escort through a series of healthcare-related learning actives such as mock X-rays, heart check-ups and lab work. In the process of accompanying their teddy bears through these activities, participants will learn about areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, imaging, surgery and cardiopulmonary. Students also learn about proper hand hygiene, nutrition and exercise.

“McDowell County Schools is excited for our kindergarten students to experience McDowell Hospital’s Teddy Bear Clinic,” said Mark Garrett, McDowell County Superintendent of Schools. “The clinic will provide the opportunity for students to visit a healthcare facility and learn about a variety of topics that educates them about healthy living. The Teddy Bear Clinic is a great example of how a small conversation between community partners can blossom into a wonderful event that benefits students.”

About McDowell Hospital

McDowell Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital serving McDowell County. Located in Marion, North Carolina, the hospital is licensed for 65 beds and has more than 400 employees, including 120 RNs. Medical specialties offered by McDowell Hospital include: family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology. Currently, five of its primary care practices have been recognized by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Rural Health Clinics. McDowell Hospital is a member of Mission Health, a Top 15 Health System. For more information, please visit

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. Mission Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters. Mission Health is the only health system in the nation to receive this recognition four years in a row, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve Top 15 recognition.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 763 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 10,700 employees and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit or @MissionHealthNC.

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