USF Nursing makes special deliveries, bringing holiday cheer to hospitalized children

This is the College’s second annual B.E.A.R.S. campaign –  the cuddly teddy bears are a hit at Tampa Bay hospitals

Tampa, FL (Dec. 3, 2013) –This holiday season, the University of South Florida College of Nursing are delivering 800 cuddly brown teddy bears to children in Tampa Bay area hospitals to help brighten their stays.

For the second consecutive year, more than 75 students, faculty, alumni, and staff are personally bringing the teddy bears wearing USF Nursing uniforms to pediatric patients as part of the USF College of Nursing Bulls Encouraging and Assisting through Research and Scholarship (B.E.A.R.S.) program. The college started B.E.A.R.S. to encourage alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends to support the college while sharing a little joy with Tampa Bay area children.

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USF nursing students deliver one of their signature teddy bears to a pediatric patient at Tampa General Hospital.

Volunteers are delivering the teddy bears to children at the following hospitals:

  • Mease Countryside Hospital – Friday, Nov. 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital – Monday, Dec. 2, 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Tampa General Hospital – Tuesday, Dec. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Florida Hospital Tampa – Wednesday, Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Morton Plant Hospital – Thursday, Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Friday, Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The B.E.A.R.S. initiative demonstrates USF College of Nursing as a positive force in Tampa Bay in partnership with our hospital and corporate partners, allowing us to fund new research and scholarship,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing.

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Students distributed 100 donated teddy bears to children at Tampa General Hospital on Dec. 3 as part of the USF College of Nursing’s second annual B.E.A.R.S. program.

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Students fan out to deliver the boxed bears to patient rooms.

Last year, the College of Nursing delivered over 300 bears to children at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Florida Hospital Tampa, Tampa General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. As a result, the College received the 2013 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Bronze Award for making a long-lasting impact in the community and helping transform health care and quality of life in the Tampa Bay region.The teddy bears were generously donated both years by college supporter Christopher J. Davis, president of LAD Enterprises, Inc. This collaboration ensures 100 percent of B.E.A.R.S program funds support USF College of Nursing strategic priorities in research and scholarship. To date, sponsorship of the bears by the college’s community of donors has raised more than $11,000.

“The B.E.A.R.S. program’s success is a direct result of the outpouring of charitable support from College of Nursing’s alumni and friends as well as the teamwork and generous time committed by faculty, staff, and students,” said Don Snyder, assistant director of Alumni Relations at USF College of Nursing.

The donated teddy bears are charitable gifts that contribute to the USF Unstoppable, a comprehensive fundraising effort by the University of South Florida to celebrate the energy, vision and future of one of the country’s most exciting and engaged universities.

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College of Nursing Dean Dianne Morrison-Beedy, far left, showed her support for USF and the college’s B.E.A.R.S. initiative during a delivery to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital earlier this year.

For information on how to participate in the B.E.A.R.S. program, visit www.usfnursingbears.com.

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit www.health.usf.edu.

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications