How Hospitals Spread Holiday Cheer for Patients, Families, and Staff


Whether you are a healthcare provider or a patient, it can be challenging to be away from family and friends at such a celebratory time of the year. But the lengths that hospitals and other healthcare facilities will go to spread holiday cheer for patients and staff is truly inspiring. We reached out to some area hospitals and asked them to share their stories.
 Holidays Are About Families
Many hospitals recognize that supporting the families of patients and staff members helps to support the patient. The Jackson Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, TN sets a holiday atmosphere by providing a party with finger foods and carolers. Goodie bags of treats for families in the Critical Care waiting room are distributed on Christmas Day. One department provides a toy to every child who is a patient on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The Disease Management Clinic at the LIFT Wellness Center gives every patient in the Diabetes and Congestive Heart Failure Clinic a handmade stocking with personal gifts and fruit. Canned goods have been collected to distribute to economically challenged families so that they can make a holiday dinner at home.
The clinic also wants to show its appreciation for caregivers of parents and has adopted the family of a caregiver for a disabled client. Gifts for every member of the household have been purchased. Plus, to reward the caregiver for taking care of her sister and the sister’s extended family, they purchased a spa service gift card for her so that she can be pampered for a day.
Keeping Traditions Alive
Many patients miss out on traditional holiday sights and sounds. So at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) in Jackson, MS a local church decorates Christmas trees throughout the Center and the hospital coordinates local choirs to carol in  public and patient areas. Christmas cards and get well cards created by local school groups are personally distributed by an MRC employee and her children who started the tradition years ago.
Methodist Rehabilitation Center also quietly serves its employees who may need assistance preparing a holiday dinner by creating and distributing holiday food baskets that include a turkey or ham and other holiday staples donated through an internal food drive.
It’s the Little Things That Make a Difference
One children’s hospital makes sure to keep things playful and festive for its patients who must stay at the hospital during the holidays. In one department, the children decorate ornaments with their finger prints and give them to their parents for a Christmas present. The hospital also hosts a “Sugar Plum Shop” where parents can pick out free gifts for their hospitalized child and his or her siblings.
Santa makes his entrance in style by flying in on a helicopter to visit with the kids. One young patient who loves his four “elf on the shelf” characters wakes up each morning with a smile as he finds his elves in creative and funny places courtesy of the nightshift nurses.
Hats Off to Healthcare Providers During Holidays and All Year Long
These stories make us proud to serve our healthcare clients that serve their communities so well during stressful circumstances and at particularly challenging times of the year, like holidays. We wish them, and all healthcare providers, a safe and joyful holiday.
On behalf of the HORNE healthcare practice and Healthcare Delivery Institute, thank you for all that you do to support individuals and families within your communities.

Topics: Patient Care

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