(EFFINGHAM, IL) – For the past six years, pediatric patients who have surgery at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital don’t have to face their surgery alone, thanks to receiving a new teddy bear through the hospital’s Hugs & Cuddles Program. The Hugs & Cuddles Program was started in 2011 thanks to an original grant the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation received from BP/Meyer Oil. The program provides a teddy bear to children having surgery at St. Anthony’s, to cuddle prior to their surgery and as they recover after their surgery.  Each child gets to take their teddy bear home with them as well, to remind them of their bravery. 

Randy and Kate Meyer, Terry and Jane Meyer, and Meyer Oil Company continue to support the program through their recent $12,000 contribution.  The Meyer family has been so pleased with how many children have been helped by the Hugs & Cuddles Program over the last six years. Randy Meyer shared, “We like to make our principle donations to charities that benefit the kids.  The Same Day and Procedure Suite nurses have shared very positive comments to our family regarding the children’s reaction to receiving the Teddy Bears.  This can be a scary time for children as they face surgeries and medical procedures.  We are pleased to continue to offer our support to the Hugs & Cuddles program,” he said. “Our company’s footprint serves the southern region of the state.  We are proud to partner with HSHS St. Anthony’s as they offer their health care services to residents not just from Effingham County, but to residents from many surrounding counties, and beyond.”
Jill Ruholl, St. Anthony’s Outpatient Surgical Services manager, expressed her gratitude for the teddy bears and the comfort they bring children having surgery.  Ruholl shared, “It is endearing to see the children cuddling the bears as they go off to surgery and as they are resting in their rooms after surgery.  It is a wonderful program and we are blessed to have Meyer Oil Company contributing the funds to be able to offer this to the children we care for.”
HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation, the fundraising organization of HSHS St. Anthony’s, was established to ensure the continuing growth, stability and future of health care in this region.  For more information about the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation or to contribute to hospital programs such as the Hugs & Cuddles Program, contact Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy, at (217) 347-1854, or email Michael.Wall@hshs.org.  More information is also available on the hospital’s web site at stanthonyshospital.org/giving.
Photo Caption: Meyer Oil Company recently donated $12,000 to the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation to continue funding the Hugs & Cuddles Program which provides a teddy bear to children having surgery at HSHS St. Anthony’s.  Shown at the check presentation are (left to right) Michael Wall, St. Anthony’s Director of Philanthropy; Jill Ruholl, St. Anthony’s Outpatient Surgical Services manager; and Randy Meyer, President of Meyer Oil Company.

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Brad Ochiltree

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HSHS Illinois
Office: (217) 464-1161

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