Filed Under:  Health & Wellness

Doc McStuffins prescribes healthy tips to New Orleans fans

16th September 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

If you have a Disney Junior channel fan at home, chances are they’re a fan of the animated television series Doc McStuffins. The show stars the six-year-old physician –in- training who runs a clinic for stuffed animals and toys out of her backyard playhouse; with plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

By the turnout of parents and children at Audubon Zoo Sept­ember 10 for the Doc Mobile Tour, the African-American animated character has inspired many future doctors here in New Orleans.

Disney Junior, teamed up with the Artemis Medical Society to launch the Doc Mobile tour, which has made stops in cities such as Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Washing­ton D.C. and Los Angeles; bringing along the character’s message of a healthy lifestyle. The tour, which began August 31 in San Antonio ends September 28 in Phoenix.

“The parents are so happy to see this connection and to see this positive role model for their children,” Dr. Christy Valentine MD, of the Artemis Medical Society told The Louisiana Weekly. “Every city along the tour has been a huge success. “

Nearly 4000 youngsters were on hand last Tuesday with their stuffed animals and dolls to perform check-ups and get their picture taken with the popular character.

The local rock band Imagination Movers provided the musical entertainment.

The free event allowed little ones the chance to play in “Stuffy’s Imagination Playground” and experience the activity circuit, which included getting active in “Doc’s Stretch & Flex” area, learning about the importance of drinking water at “Lenny’s Hydration Station” and understanding how to create a healthy balanced plate at “Doc’s Picnic Time”. The custom 27-foot airstream trailer modeled after the playhouse clinic on the show was also a highlight.

“This interaction is so important; we have the stages where the kids dance and be active, the stretching stations for physical exercise-and how to prepare a balanced meal on their plates with veggies and fruit. These are habits that they can keep forever.” Valentine said.

Mom Curita Abbott didn’t let the passing showers dampen her anticipation to see Doc McStuffins.

“I’m probably more excited as she (my daughter) is,” Abbott laughed. “We’ve been here since before (11am). Her daughter, Lauriel Richardson, is only 11 months old, but watches the Doc McStuffins every morning.

The show hasn’t just won the hearts of children. A group of African-American physicians saw themselves in the character. As a result, the Artemis Medical Society was born; a first of its kind group designed to mentor women of color to pursue careers in medicine.

The group now has more than 2,900 members around the world, who bring incredibly different experiences to the table, but with a common purpose: to empower more girls and women; just as Doc McStuffins does.

Ten doctors from the Artemis Medical Society came along on the tour; meeting kids and parents and talking about the importance of teaching kids about self-care and healthy lifestyles.

“It was important to have this tour come to New Orleans, being the home of Xavier University, the school that produces so many Black doctors; Doc McStuffins had to stop here,” Valentine stated. “ It’s important for our children here to see it, for our community to recognize the success that we have.”

Valentine serves as true example of that type of achievement; the native is President of Valentine Medical center, who graduated from Xavier University, went on to LSU Medical school and completed her residency at Tulane.

“We’ve talked to people in the lines, and the kids are like-‘You’re a doctor like Doc McStuffins’; they come with their toys and stethoscopes. I have a seven-year-old, and this was better than anything I could ever do.” Valentine added.

Attendees took home goodie boxes that included reusable Doc McStuffins water bottle, placemat and nutrition sticker sheet, a Paper Doctor’s kit with a paper stethoscope, height chart, a Big Book of BooBoos activity booklet and accompanying sticker sheet and a Doc McStuffins Check Up Check­list.

“My girls would not miss this for the world, Bria McKee said.”

As a mother to twin seven-year-olds, she stated her challenges in finding suitable role models on television and in the media.

‘It’s hard trying to protect them from things that are so negative toward women. This is such a cute character with a positive message,” she added. “It’s so important for our little girls to have something like this. Hopefully this event will bring the character and the show even more followers.”

Fans are invited to follow the tour on the Disney Junior facebook page (facebook.com­/Dis­neyJunior) or on Twitter @DisneyJunior USA.To learn more about the Artemis Medical Society, visit artemis­medical­society.org.

This article originally published in the September 16, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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