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Washington Co. Health System employees bag a beast for kids

June 25, 2007

In recognition of Health System Week from June 4 to 8, hundreds of Washington County Health System employees participated in the "Bag a Beast" donation drive to benefit children.

The employees donated stuffed animals to be given to children.

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."

The Radiology Department at Washington County Hospital donated 34 stuffed animals.

"The radiology department is always donating money for one cause or another," said Vicki Burger, lead radiologic technologist in the radiology department at the hospital.

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Nearly 300 stuffed animals were donated, then presented to the Washington County Division of Fire and Emergency Services to be divided among eight Washington County Emergency Medical Services companies - Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue, Clear Spring Ambulance Club, Community Rescue Service, Hancock Rescue Squad, Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services, Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services, the Volunteer Fire Co. 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," said Brigitte Heller, EMS coordinator for the Washington County Division of Fire and Emergency Services. "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. 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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