NEWS | Aug. 23, 2011

New addition to the 628th Medical Group

By Col. Consuella Pockett 628th Medical Group commander

Congratulations ... it's a Teddy!

The 628th Medical Group will welcome a new addition Sept. 7 with a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open Teddy's Child Watch.

Located in the former Immunizations Clinic on the first floor of the main clinic, Teddy's is a free, children's waiting room with short-term staff supervision of children of military members or civilians who are authorized to utilize services at the 628 MG.

This new service allows parents or guardians seeking medical care or care for other sick family members to receive medical services while being assured their children's safety, health and well-being are protected.

A $67,000 renovation project, funded by Headquarters Air Mobility Command, transformed the former Immunizations Clinic into a cheerful, child-friendly facility. Many of the toys and furnishings were donated by the Child Development Center. Additional furnishings were purchased with a $2,500 grant approved by the Joint Base Charleston Community Action Information Board as a quality of life initiative. The remainder of the toys and furnishings were donated by members of Team Charleston.

The 628 MDG Teddy's Child Watch joins the seven child waiting rooms already established throughout the Department of Defense sponsored by a $25,000 annual grant from the Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association.

"The ASYMCA is very pleased to support the children's waiting room at Joint Base Charleston," said Mike Landers, national director and chief executive officer of the ASYMCA. "We know from our experience at other military installations that this program has been quite successful. We anticipate our efforts here at Charleston to be no different."

Parents can register their children, ages six weeks to 11 years old for Teddy's by filling out a registration form available at the 628 MG and providing a current copy of each child's shot record. Once in the system, reservations can be made by phone or in person. Teddy's reservations are limited to two hours which may be extended with prior approval of the program manager and are reserved for parents or guardians with scheduled medical appointments at the 628 MDG.

Due to limited space and fire code regulations, a maximum of 12 children will be able to attend Teddy's at any one time.

The 628 MDG is hiring a part-time program manager and volunteer trainer to oversee and train volunteers for the on-site child watch services. Volunteers will be required to complete an application, have a clean background check and provide proof of required immunizations prior to being hired. Although the hours of operation have not been firmly established the goal is to have Teddy's Child Watch services available for a minimum of four hours daily from Monday through Friday.