Bear Essentials began in 1990 as a pilot project at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Colleen Murphy Noble, a young mother and cancer patient approached the oncology team at the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center with a request to help her young children cope with her diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The team was able to help the family, and out of this support Bear Essentials was created. The program continues to meet at the Hospital every month.
An initial needs assessment revealed that children who have a parent with cancer fear:
The goals of the "Bear Essentials" program are to:
Facilitators for the groups are professionals with training in social work, nursing, pastoral care, education and child development.