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Q&A with Monty the Moose

Hi there! 

It’s been almost 20 years since I first wandered into Burlington from the Green Mountains and, wow, have I seen all kinds of things and met some really great people, especially my friends who work at The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. They help kids and grown-ups who need to see doctors and nurses to help them feel better. 

As the official spokes-moose for UVM Children’s Hospital, I’ve gotten lots of questions over the years and I love to help children and their families. Here are some of the popular questions I have gotten over the years. 

Why do we have a Children’s Hospital? 

The UVM Children’s Hospital is here because a bunch of really smart and caring people (and one lucky moose who gets to work with them!) chose to dedicate their lives to helping children feel better. I am so impressed at how talented the doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other staff are in caring for babies, children and teenagers. Everyone who works at our children’s hospital knows that children experience things differently than adults.

We also know that coming to the hospital can be scary and that family is super important. That’s why you’ll find we’ve created a child-friendly environment whether a child comes to stay a few days at the hospital or is seen by a doctor at an outpatient office or comes to our emergency department. The staff works hard to put the child and family at the center of every care team. 

How did I become the official mascot for UVM Children’s Hospital? 

One day I was walking in one of my favorite parts of the forest when I saw something strange – some humans with television cameras! I had never seen cameras before, and I am a bit shy, so I hid behind a big tree to get a closer look. I heard a man, named Dr. Lewis First, talking about helping children and families. He was very nice.

After he was done filming, he spotted me and asked me to come closer. He shared that they were filming a wilderness safety video for his “First with Kids” series and that he worked at the UVM Children’s Hospital with many other nice people helping children. I liked this, because I loved caring for young animals in the woods. I thought I could help the children at the hospital, so I asked Dr. First if I could visit his hospital and he said YES! Over the years, I have met so many wonderful people and have made good friends at the hospital. Although I still live in the forest, I like to visit the hospital and make children (and adults!) laugh. So, keep your eyes peeled. When you spot me, please stop by and say hello! 

What does it mean to be a Children’s Hospital without walls? 

Just like in the forest, the UVM Children’s Hospital has lots of places to care for people and support others, to rest and gather, to share and teach important lessons and more. Take it from me, you don’t need to be under one roof to do all of that! Most importantly, our services are located both near and far, so there are plenty of opportunities for your little ones to be in good hands (or hooves!) in locations in both Vermont and upstate New York. There are herds of talented people from the Green Mountains to the Adirondacks who share an interest in improving children’s health and well-being throughout our region…and beyond.

What makes UVM Children’s Hospital special?  

The doctors, nurses and staff who work at our children’s hospital do so much to make sure they are delivering world-class care to children and their families. The doctors, nurses and staff who work here can help a lot of children, with a lot of different health concerns. You can find a complete list of specialties here!   

You can read all about the people you may meet in our welcome brochure. Download this guide to read information for families, by families. To learn more about your provider, click this link to find information about their training, plus a video of them sharing their personal approach to health care. They are all so nice!

Download: Children’s Specialty Center Guide

Many of them also conduct research to make sure that we have the best treatments and procedures, they teach others who want to become doctors who work with children and they advocate for changes that make a big difference for those living in our community. Many work on projects that help the children and families who live in our region, but then can be shared with others throughout the country and the world.   

Here are some other really awesome people and services at the UVM Children’s Hospital: 

Child Life 

I’ve made many great friends over the years. Let’s start with the Child Life Specialists. It’s their job to make sure any child’s time here is as normal and as much fun as possible. They answer questions, provide information about procedures and even do something called medical play to help children be prepared for things like an IV or a CT scan. They are all certified in the assessment and treatment of the developmental, emotional and psychosocial issues of children and are a key part of the health care team.  

Patient & Family Advisors 

UVM Children’s Hospital works hard to put patients and their families at the center of every care team. That’s why we’ve asked some patients and families to become advisors to work with us to ensure it’s always a part of our way of delivering care. Right now, we have over 50 advisors who regularly work with care teams. If you know of anyone who might want to volunteer their time in this way, please share this video with them and tell them to give us a holler through a phone call or an email!  

Community Connection 

My UVM Children’s Hospital friends are super active in their communities. It’s like how my animal friends work together in the forest. Some of the health services and programs my friends help lead or support include our Cleft & Craniofacial Clinic, New American and Transgender Youth Programs, as well as ongoing work with KidSafe (a child abuse prevention collaborative network), Lund, Vermont Family Network, Outright Vermont, the School Nurse Program, Ronald McDonald House, plus many others. We’re all in this together! 

Therapy Animals 

In addition to all types of people, we’ve also got some kind therapy animals here! Want to learn more? Read all about my furry friend, Maisey

If I need to visit the UVM Children’s Hospital, where do I start? 

Take a virtual tour!

One way to learn about your upcoming visit to the UVM Children’s Hospital is to go on The Great Hospital Adventure. Start your adventure here. The best part? I’m the tour guide! You can follow me from check in all the way to discharge. I hope my experience can help you and your family better understand what to expect before you get here. And, you can even get a special certificate for exploring the site. 

Download a map! 

Here’s a page with printable maps of the UVM Medical Center campus, including the UVM Children’s Hospital. Plus, there’s lots of friendly folks ready to answer your questions at the information desks on Levels 2 and 3.  

Arrival and parking  

Please arrive 20 minutes early to give yourself time to park. Parking is located in the underground garage next to the main entrance. To enter the hospital from the garage, take the elevator to Level 2 or 3. You’ll find information desks and volunteers there to help you. Plus, curbside assistance and valet parking is available at the main entrance. I don’t drive, but I have lots of helpful friends who will happily lend a hand out front. For more detailed information and parking rates, visit our parking webpage

Monty reading a book in a chair.

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