rockyA plush, cuddly toy puppy named “Rocky” is comforting pediatric patients at HCA Healthcare hospitals. As part of our organization’s 50th anniversary year, Rocky, the name of each pet Komondor belonging to co-founder Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., have been gifted to inpatient and emergency care HCA pediatric facilities in Tennessee, Colorado, Texas and Utah.

In a special tribute to Dr. Frist Jr., who named his dogs Rocky to remind him of the beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, HCA will distribute approximately 10,000 stuffed pets to various affiliate hospitals including Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville and Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas.

“While providing care and support to our families, many of whom travel from great distances for treatment at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC), our patient navigators are honored to offer the youngest members of our patient families a Rocky Dog as a comforting reminder that the care coming their way is rooted in a culture of excellence and kindness that dates back half a century,” said Megan Lee, program manager for the hospital’s Center for Maternal-Fetal Health.

The toy puppies have been widely successful in the hospital pediatric wings for patients, families, and staff. Carlos and his baby sister Itzel, who were in a family room and had been growing impatient, as children can do, lit up after receiving their new Rocky Dog friends at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.


Each dog is outfitted with an HCA blue scarf with the company’s 50th-anniversary seal and a hang tag on his ear that reads: “Meet Rocky! Rocky’s a fun loving dog who helps doctors and nurses make kids feel better.” He would often come to work with his owner, and our company founder Dr. Frist Jr.

HCA also provided additional “Rocky” material for affiliate pediatric hospitals including, placemats, coloring sheets, posters, popup banners, and paw print stickers.


HCA 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.