Palliative Care Bear Program Comforts Children

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is pleased to announce that Logix Federal Credit Union has generously stepped forward to 
sponsor a Palliative Care teddy bear program at the hospital, which helps children feel supported and comforted when faced with the passing of a parent. 

In 2017, a group of compassionate Palliative Care team members, using their own money, purchased a special teddy bear that can record a patient’s heartbeat. (When a patient is terminally ill, his or her heartbeat can be recorded by the bear, which is then given to the patient’s child as a keepsake.) Grant funding allowed for the purchase of additional bears. The program at Henry Mayo has used the bears to provide comfort to many parents and their children; the bears also bring comfort to the staff involved in these difficult cases. 

“The response we get from the families whose children receive a bear has been very positive,” said Lisa Ortega, DNP, RN, Interim Director of Outpatient Services and Palliative Care. “When a loved one enters the final stages of life, we are able to record the heartbeat of the patient, place the recording in the bear and present the bear as a gift to the child.”

The entire Palliative Care team at Henry Mayo is committed to making end-of-life situations as comfortable and peaceful as possible for both patients and their families. 
“Our Palliative Care program encompasses comprehensive care where we do everything to support the patient and their family, using a multidimensional approach,” said Balbir Brar, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Palliative Care. “The gift of a bear, given to the appropriate patient family member, goes a long way in providing ongoing comfort and closure to those grieving and is an invaluable token of remembrance.” 

“We are fortunate to have Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital provide exceptional care to Santa Clarita residents and credit union members. It serves the community in an extraordinary way, and the staff truly understands the needs of their patients and families,” said Nick E. Mitchell, Vice President, Legal Affairs/Corporate Counsel for Logix Federal Credit Union. “The Palliative Care bears they distribute to family members who have lost their loved ones is a testament to this commitment, and it is a privilege to sponsor such a worthy [program].”

“Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is grateful to the Palliative Care team and Logix Federal Credit Union for sponsoring the Palliative Care bear program,” said Marlee Lauffer, President of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation. “We strive to exceed the expectations of those we serve, every day, every time. Support from corporate partners like Logix helps us achieve that goal.” IYH

From left, Marlee Lauffer, President, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation; Nick E. Mitchell, Vice President, Legal Affairs/Corporate Counsel for Logix Federal Credit Union; and Lisa Ortega, DNP,  Interim Director, Outpatient Services and Palliative Care, Henry Mayo Newhall H