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West Nipissing Family Health Team physicians, (from left to right) Dr. Andree Morrison, Dr. Richard Katsuno, medical student Kraig Sullivan, Dr. Martin Desjardins, Dr. Vincenzo Susini and Locum Physician Dr. Jean Anawati, hosted two groups of Kindergarten children from Verner’s Ecole Ste-Marguerite d’Youville school for a “Teddy Bear Clinic” on Friday, May 25.

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Doctors earn kids’ trust through treating teddy bears


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by Brad Aubin

The West Nipissing Family Health Team (WNFHT) offices were filled to the brim with youngsters and their favourite teddy bears last Friday, May 25, as Kindergarten students from Ste-Marguerite-d’Youville in Verner attended the fun and educational “Teddy Bear Clinic.”

The little ones and their stuffed animals went around various stations to learn about proper diet, check their teddy bear’s lungs with a respiratory therapist, put a sling or a splint on their toy pet, and met with staff who took great care of their furry friends.

“We’ve been doing this now for a couple of years,” says WNFHT Interim Executive Director Jennifer Roy. “We have a large amount of clients here at the WNFHT, and a lot of them are families with youngsters. So we invite the Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten students from around the area to come and see what we’re all about. They bring their teddy in, and we go through all sorts of different procedures with them and the teddy. We believe it makes them more comfortable coming into our medical clinic as opposed to afraid. They remember our faces, and know that it wasn’t a big deal when teddy got that needle. We explain why teddy is getting it, how it’s making him healthier, and hopefully when they come in themselves for treatment, they’ll be braver knowing what we do!”

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