Stitches Gets a New Look
Media Contacts: Mary Colliver
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2009) − Stitches, the lovable mascot of Kentucky Children's Hospital, has received a makeover. Members of UK HealthCare’s service line marketing team recently made some big changes to the mascot’s illustration, part of an ongoing effort to make Stitches’ cartoon appearance more modern and appealing.
Stitches is a kitten and attends numerous events not only on campus, but throughout the state. Kentucky Children's Hospital began the mascot program two years ago.
“One important change was the decision to give Stitches a blue shirt adorned with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital logo,” said Cynde Estep, senior service line marketing. "This element gives people a way to clearly identify Stitches as the hospital mascot."
Also, steps were taken to make Stitches’ appearance more child-friendly. Estep said changes from the previous design included removing Stitches’ “beard” and giving the mascot oversized facial features to more closely resemble a wildcat kitten.
Stitches, whose name was chosen in a contest by hospital patients, went through several looks before the service line team decided on the current design. The new illustration has appeared in hospital advertisements and publications.
Estep said her team is currently working on ideas to increase Stitches’ role as mascot, including launching Stitches’ very own Web site. The site will be designed for kids and include such features as games, pictures of past appearances and the fictional story of how Stitches came to UK
“My goal is to position Kentucky Children's Hospital through Stitches as the hospital to care for all of Kentucky’s children," said Estep.
"Having a wildcat kitten as the face for Kentucky Children's Hospital also provides a friendly face for the hospital and hopefully helps to reduce children’s fear and anxiety."
A University of Kentucky student was selected to serve as a mascot representing Kentucky Children's Hospital. The student is Samantha Newton, daughter of Anita and John Newton, of Vine Grove, Ky. Newton is a senior majoring in kinesiology and health promotion in the UK College of Education. She also is taking pre-nursing courses and has applied to the UK College of Nursing.
Newton currently is a volunteer at UK's Markey Cancer Center and is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and a medical missions organization. She also works as a nursing assistant at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. Newton has participated in DanceBlue, a UK dance marathon that raises funds for pediatric cancer care. She plans to work in pediatric nursing following her graduation.
For serving as mascot, Newton was awarded a partial in-state tuition scholarship.
“Stitches is a member of our Kentucky Children’s Hospital team,” said Dr. Tim Bricker, Jacqueline Noonan Children's Miracle Network Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, UK College of Medicine, and physician-in-chief of Kentucky Children's Hospital. “We are pleased to award a scholarship to Samantha and others who will serve as our Stitches mascot. We are committed, as part of our social responsibility as an academic medical center, to provide world class pediatric expertise to our community. As part of that commitment, Kentucky’s citizens are being asked to join us and take ownership of the children’s hospital. Together, we can ensure that Kentucky children never have to leave the state for specialized care.”