Patients to Play Role of Doctor at ‘Teddy Bear Clinic’

Riley at IU Health Child Life Week Celebration in Full Swing

Patients at Riley at IU Health will be given the chance to play the role of doctor today, when the Simon Family Tower lobby is transformed into a Teddy Bear Clinic. Patients will be bringing in stuffed animals for a checkup and will also have the opportunity to help “heal” a Riley at IU Health physician or medical student.

The event will coincide with “Child Life Week” at the hospital, a weeklong celebration for patients and families in honor of the Riley at IU Health Child Life team. These specially trained professionals use play and self-expression activities—letting patients be the doctor, for example—to help children understand their medical illness and cope with the anxiety and uncertainty they may experience during hospitalization.

“We strive to help kids be kids in spite of challenging circumstances,” said Melissa Sexton, Riley at IU Health Child Life specialist. In addition to staffing more than 20 Child Life specialists—three of whom are certified in massage therapy—Riley at IU Health offers a range of creative healing techniques, such as art therapy, music therapy and dance-movement therapy.


About Riley at IU Health For more than 85 years, Riley at IU Health has been one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. Each year, Riley at IU Health provides compassionate care, support and comfort to 215,000 inpatients and outpatients from across Indiana, the nation and the world. Part of Indiana University Health, Riley at IU Health enjoys a unique partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, which gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.

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Lindsay Lyon, 317.962.5500