Contact: Mardi Ford
UNION—Six-year-old Ashlyn Baxter’s baby doll is very sick.
“I think she has a sore throat and a cough and a broken leg,” Ashlyn explains. “And a tummy ache.”
“Well, that sounds pretty serious,” says Grande Ronde Hospital employee Paula Hatch. “You’ve come to the right place.”
Hatch is greeting patients at the Grande Ronde Hospital Doll Clinic and filling out admitting forms. She reassures the young mother, “We’ll get your baby in to see the nurse right away.”
A few minutes later, Ashlyn and baby-doll Becky, are ushered up the steps and on to the Union Hotel verandah where medical help awaits.
For the second year in a row, a wide variety of dollies riding in strollers and stuffed animals firmly clutched in little arms were checked, treated and released at the Doll Clinic held Saturday morning at the Union Hotel as part of the Grassroots Festival.
Medical staff volunteering for the Doll Clinic were Hospital RN Eric Young and Chi Nguyen, a Pacific University pharmacy student, who is completing her clinical rotation this year at Grande Ronde Hospital.
Just when Young and Nguyen think they have seen it all, Zachary Albrich walks up the steps holding up his stuffed gorilla for examination.
“He fell out of the tree. I think he cracked his head,” Albrich says.
No injury is too tough for the Doll Clinic, however, and a short time later the patient is sent home with a good patient sticker, his head wrapped in gauze and strict instructions for limiting activity to coloring and lap sitting.
The Doll Clinic provides the Hospital with a fun and positive outreach to the community, says Mardi Ford, community relations manager at Grande Ronde Hospital.
“The kids love it—and it’s a lot of fun for us, too. Our intent is to show kids they don’t have to be afraid when visiting the hospital or seeing the doctor,” Ford says. “And you never know what might inspire the next generation of health care providers.”
CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO:
INTENSIVE CARE: Registered Nurse Eric Young prepares to splint baby-doll Becky’s broken leg with her mommy, 6-year old Ashlyn Baxter, assisting. A very intent Mary Baxter, 4, watches the procedure while dad, Cody, and Kaci, 2, observe from the waiting room. The Doll Clinic is sponsored by Grande Ronde Hospital.