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Health System workers 'Bag a Beast' for children

June 21, 2007

In recognition of Health System Week, June 4-8, Washington County Health System held an employee donation drive to benefit children. Hundreds of employees made donations of stuffed animals for the donation drive, called Bag a Beast.

Employees from the Endoscopy Center at Robinwood Medical Center collected money to donate 12 stuffed animals, which was matched by the center for another 12.

"When we read about the donation drive, we thought it was a great idea," said Krista Myers, gastrointestinal technical specialist at the Endoscopy Center. "We wanted to be a part of this opportunity to give children something to make their trip to the hospital a little bit easier."

Vicki Burger, lead radiologic technologist in the radiology department at the hospital, added, "The radiology department is always donating money for one cause or another. I thought this would be a good project for the whole department to chip in and collect some 'beasts' for scared kids." The department collectively donated 34 stuffed animals.

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Nearly 300 stuffed animals were donated and then presented to the Washington County division of Fire and Emergency Services to be divided among eight Washington County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) companies: Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue, Clear Spring Ambulance Club, Community Rescue Service (CRS), Hancock Rescue Squad, Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services, Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services, the Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway, and Williamsport Volunteer Ambulance Service.

"When a child becomes suddenly injured or ill, it rarely happens in or around the hospital, therefore requiring an ambulance transport. An injury usually takes place in unfamiliar territory, so the donation of Bag a Beast is a wonderful opportunity for a soft cuddly and somewhat familiar item to save the day," said Brigitte Heller, EMS coordinator for the Washington County Division of Fire and Emergency Services. "This can make a scary situation seem more tolerable to a child. Having these stuffed animals on the ambulances assists with distracting their focus and can provide a very comforting feeling."

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