Teddy Bear Clinic Takes the Scare Out of Emergency Care at Annual Health Fair
St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center held its Annual Health Fair at its campus in Smithtown on Saturday, September 29, 2018. Community members were offered free flu vaccinations, health screenings/information and had the unique opportunity to discover how the colon works. The hospital also provide two Tai Chi demonstrations during the fair.
In addition to the free screenings and vaccinations, the hospital offered a free Teddy Bear Clinic. Booths were filled with staff ready to help educate young generations about health care and aimed at reducing anxiety for children when visiting the doctor. St. Catherine’s nursing teams provided certificates for all the children who took their favorite bears in for their checkups. In addition, Hunter EMS was onsite with an ambulance for the entirety of the health fair, where animated and experienced EMS personnel provided tours of the vehicle.
Legislator Robert Trotta and Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick both attended and took the time to get their flu vaccination. The Mayo Clinic reports that this year’s flu vaccination will offer protection against three or four of the influenza viruses expected to be in circulation this flu season. St. Catherine’s Director of Employee Health and Infection Prevention Bonnie Morales shared, “It is very important to take every measure to protect yourself against the flu—especially pregnant women, young children and older adults.”
St. Catherine’s Health Fair had over 70 booths staffed with clinicians providing information about various diseases and health topics, including Narcan education, substance abuse and suicide prevention resources. The annual fair was a success and is organized by the Community Outreach Program. It is the medical center’s most prominent health event that draws hundreds of community members. The health fair supports the medical center’s aim to address priority health needs as identified by New York State and outlined in the hospital’s Community Service Plan.