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Santa Visits UC San Diego Medical Center's Infant Special Care Center


December 16, 2009  |  

Some patients will be going Ho! HO! HO! home for the holidays!

With a full, white beard and a round bowl of a belly, Santa Claus made a special, early visit to the Infant Special Care Center at UC San Diego Medical Center- Hillcrest. Santa and his elves, all from the UC San Diego Staff Association, have been making this pre-Christmas stop in their sleigh for more than three decades.




Twins Jack (green) and Riley (red)


“I have eight tiny reindeer but – what’s even better – once a year I get to cradle 30 or more new lives and that’s the greatest part of my holiday,” said Santa (played by Staff Association member Richard LaClair-Zoehrer).



Coulter and his Aunt Teresa


The UC San Diego Staff Association collects toys for ill and hospitalized children throughout the community at the start of the holiday season. Hundreds of toys are collected and delivered to seven community organizations, including UC San Diego Medical Center and The Regional UCSD Burn Center.



The McClellan Family

Santa holds the babies for Polaroid Christmas photos, taken and shared right away with family members. The elves also deliver candy canes to the parents and visit with them. For some families, this may be one of few holiday memories they make this year.

Kimberly Kaelin’s twins, Jack and Riley, dressed in matching reindeer suits for Santa’s visit. Teresa Brown’s nephew, Coulter, snuggled up inside a Christmas stocking for his photo-op with Santa and his aunt. And the proud parents of lucky little Alaya received two early Christmas gifts. Alaya posed with Santa and her parents just moments after they found out she would be allowed to go home for the holidays!

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Media Contact: Kimberly Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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