Press Release

Children’s Hospital And Love’s Launch Program For Oklahoma’s Children

(OKLAHOMA CITY – Oct. 13, 2017) - Children’s Hospital Foundation and Love’s Travel Stops (Love’s) today announce a partnership to help Oklahoma students who miss school due to lengthy hospital stays at Children’s Hospital connect with their classmates and teachers. CHF and Love’s representatives officially unveiled the Bear in the Chair program in Oklahoma Friday, Oct. 13, at Heartland Middle School in Edmond. Jack Beaver, a 15-year-old student at Heartland, is the first student to participate in the Bear in the Chair program in the state.

The eighth-grader is being treated with a rod placement for scoliosis at Children’s Hospital. Representatives from Children’s Hospital Foundation and Love’s presented a 40-inch bear to Jack’s classmates last month while Jack underwent his initial surgery. The bear sits in his chair while he receives follow-up treatment. Classmates take the bear to different activities throughout the day as if Jack were with them. Teachers are encouraged to take photos to be placed in a memory book. The keepsake will be presented to Jack during his hospital stay. Participating students, like Jack, also receive a smaller bear to keep while he/she is in the hospital.

“Love’s is a dedicated partner of Children’s Hospital Foundation and an advocate for education, and the Bear in the Chair program will help us continue to empower and care for Oklahoma’s kids,” said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love’s. “We are proud to be part of this program that builds a bridge of compassion between the classroom and community.”

While the Bear in the Chair ensures no child at Children’s Hospital feels disconnected from his or her peers while receiving treatment, it also provides a support system for the patient and boosts spirits on the road to recovery. In addition to the small and large bears, each patient enrolled in Bear in the Chair receives a gift bag sponsored by Love’s designed to make the hospital stay a little more bearable.

“A long-term stay at Children’s Hospital for a child can be rather daunting. We hope through this program we can add some joy into the lives of children and help them stay connected to their classroom,” said Kathy McCracken, Children’s Hospital Foundation executive director. “We are so grateful to Love’s Travel Stops for their sponsorship in this program and support for Oklahoma’s sick and injured children.”

Patients ages 4 to 14 being treated at Children’s Hospital for more than 10 days are eligible for the program. To learn more about Bear in the Chair program, contact Bear in the Chair Coordinator Allie Floresca at allie-floresca@ouhsc.edu or 405-271-2260 ext. 31597.

Children’s Hospital Foundation funds pediatric research and education programs, ultimately supporting Children’s Hospital in serving every county in Oklahoma with more than 233,000 patient encounters annually. All funds raised through Children’s Hospital Foundation stay in Oklahoma so children have access to exceptional pediatric specialists without needing to leave the state.

To support Children’s Hospital Foundation, please call 405-271-2260 or visit www.chfKids.com

About Children’s Hospital Foundation

Children’s Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Oklahoma improving the health of children. Since its inception in 1983, Children’s Hospital Foundation, through its volunteer board, vast community support, and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals campaign has funded pediatric research and education programs including collaborative projects with the OU Department of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, OU Children’s Physicians and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust. For more information, contact Chief Executive Officer Kathy McCracken at 405-650-1718 or visit our website: www.chfKids.com

About Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Founded in 1964, Love’s has more than 430 locations in 41 states. Love’s provides professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, travel items, electronics, snacks and more, as well as a selection of restaurant offerings. On-site Love’s Truck Tire Care centers offer roadside assistance, tire care and light mechanical services for professional truck drivers. Showers, CAT scales and other services for professional truck drivers are also available. Love’s, which remains family-owned and operated, employs nearly 19,000 people. To learn more, visit www.loves.com.