Portland, ME – The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine has opened a new health exhibit sponsored by The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) at Maine Medical Center. The Be Well Center features a child-friendly exam room and ambulance façade filled with stuffed teddy bears, which serve as surrogate patients. Visitors are invited to role play as health care providers using scales and stethoscopes and recording their findings on digital patient charts.

“All of the exhibit’s elements are designed to encourage exploration, collaboration and compassion for people who may be facing medical challenges,” said Children’s Museum Director of Exhibits, Chris Sullivan.

Dr. Lorraine McElwain, Associate Chief of Pediatrics at BBCH said: “Our goal is to engage children and their families in their own health and wellness, and maybe make a future visit to a hospital or doctor’s office less intimidating. This exhibit may also inspire future generations of health care professionals.”

The exhibit includes many realistic components including an exam table, scale, height chart, real microscopes that young visitors may use to examine slides of human cells, screens for viewing videos of medical tests including MRI scans, and other tools that will help them learn about anatomy.

In addition to the many opportunities for open-ended and collaborative play, the Be Well Center will also offer dozens of hours of educational and enrichment programming each month. The Museum & Theatre’s professional educators will use the exhibit as inspiration for programs ranging from Anatomy Games to Having a Heart.

Admission to the Be Well Center is included with regular entrance fees and the exhibit will be a permanent fixture at the Museum & Theatre.  The exhibit is part of the Our Town section of the Museum & Theatre located on the main floor of the building. Our Town mimics life in a typical New England town and reflects the interconnectedness of all communities.

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