Hugga T. Bear is the INTEGRIS Health mascot who promotes friendship and love through endless hugs. Teddy bears are a universal symbol of love and comfort and touch our being, regardless of age or gender. These huggable companions help create PAWS-itive feelings and are always the BEAR-ers of endless hugs. Many people experience a certain amount of anxiety when visiting a hospital for a procedure. Imagine the anxiety some families feel when bringing a child to the hospital for surgery, or when rushing to an emergency room. Tensions rise for everyone in the room and a child is too young to understand why he must have a shot or an IV inserted into his or her arm. Even adolescents are fearful of real or imagined pain that may result from a procedure. That is why a critical pathway has been established for Hugga T. Bear. Hugga T. Bear is introduced to children and their families as a friend who will stay with the child from the department where they begin their journey through surgery, X-ray or other treatment centers to recovery and home.
It is estimated that 20,000 children visit the emergency rooms and outpatient services at INTEGRIS Southwest and INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Centers. In order to ensure the continuation of funding for this project, the INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center Foundation established the Hugga T. Bear Children's Fund for charitable contributions. In a child's world, teddy bears listen, love and heal through hugs. They promote friendship and help the child find comfort. At INTEGRIS Southwest and Baptist Medical Centers, caregivers are already seeing the impact of Hugga T. Bear's presence and participation in the medical process. Their feedback indicates the project is helping children cope with fear, anxiety and separation.
INTEGRIS intends to use these bears as a tool for health and healing within our two metro hospitals. In addition to receiving a Hugga Bear, Hugga T. Bear activity packages are available for children who visit INTEGRIS. The packages contain an activity pad, a box of four crayons, and a miniature first aid kit. These packages will entertainment children during their visit or stay at our facility. The packages are available at all the nurses’ stations, receptionist desk, information desk, and waiting areas.