Friends of the Zoo Announces Partnership with St. Joseph’s Health

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For immediate release:                               

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is proud to announce a partnership with St. Joseph’s Health of Syracuse. St. Joseph’s will be the naming sponsor of two popular children’s events in 2019 – the Teddy Bear Clinics, which invite children to bring their well-loved plush animal for a “checkup” at the zoo. As part of the sponsorship, St. Joseph’s Health will also provide a gift to the Friends’ Animal Health Fund.

“St. Joseph’s Health is one of the premier healthcare providers in our region,” said Friends of the Zoo President Janet Agostini. “For many years they have held an annual summertime event here at the zoo, and we are excited that the partnership is growing. As we explored ideas for a more active role for the organization here at the zoo, the Teddy Bear Clinics and support for our Animal Health Fund were a natural fit.”

The zoo is planning two Teddy Bear Clinics, presented by St. Joseph’s Health. The first will be on Monday, February 18 -- President’s Day and the start of the school Winter Break. The second will take place in the fall at a date to be determined.

“The Teddy Bear Clinic presents a unique and engaging way to introduce young children to health care,” said Leslie Paul Luke, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. ”We are excited about this partnership because it gives our doctors and nurses a chance to show children how positive their interactions can be. It may also inspire some to consider health care for people or animals as a rewarding career.”

The zoo has held its own Teddy Bear Clinics in the past, drawing hundreds of kids and their stuffed animals. The February 18 clinic will include actual medical professionals from St. Joseph’s Health who will perform minor “surgeries” and other procedures on plush patients and answer children’s questions about doctors, nurses and hospitals.

The February 18 “clinic” will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature a waiting room with patient check-in, exam stations, treatment and surgery center as well as a “grooming” stop where plush animals can be spruced up with a fun accessory and their “owners” can treat themselves to a temporary tattoo or sticker. The event is free for zoo members or with paid zoo admission.


St. Joseph’s Health is a regional non-profit health care system based in Syracuse, NY. St. Joseph’s has been an innovative leader in health care since our founding in 1869 as the first hospital open to the public in the city of Syracuse. Offering primary, specialty and home care, a Magnet-recognized hospital, and collaboration with community partners, St. Joseph's Health advances the well-being of the communities we serve through an expanding range of services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. St. Joseph’s is ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, a designated Stroke Center and a U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital.” St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians, and is a member of Trinity Health. St. Joseph’s Health is celebrating our 150th Anniversary throughout 2019. For more information on our founding Sisters of St. Francis including Saint Marianne Cope, our legacy and our innovations, visit”

Founded in 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The zoo is dedicated to connecting people to the natural world by providing engaging experiences, exceptional animal care, and unparalleled conservation education. The zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For information, please visit



For more information:                                            ‘J’ Gramza, Communications Manager

                                                                                    Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

                                                                                                Phone: (315) 435-8511 x8534




Post Date

Feb 5th 2019