Special holiday efforts at Sentara
At Sentara, we know being sick at any time isn’t a lot of fun, especially during the holidays. While we strive to deliver quality, patient-centered care 365 days a year, we also try to go above and beyond to make our patients and families smile during this special time of year. Here are just a few of the ways we are spreading the holiday spirit this year:
- At Sentara Halifax, beginning in 1983 all newborns in the month of December would receive a stocking handmade by the volunteers. In fact, Faith O’Neil, a Sentara employee, still has her stocking from when she was born once upon a time.
- At Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, newborns are also gifted handmade stockings, but all patients are also treated to a little extra cheer. High school classes can be heard caroling around the hospital halls and all the floors are decorated for the season. And, on Christmas day, patients get to enjoy a festive meal to mark the special occasion.
- At Sentara RMH, volunteer Pete Wright regularly delivers comfort toys, small toy animals that the SRMH Volunteer Auxiliary provides the hospital’s youngest patients. He dresses in various costumes depending on the season or holiday, and during the Christmas/winter holiday season he dresses as an elf. Pete is a big hit, not only with our younger patients, but with staff, adult patients and visitors in general. “He’s been a huge success,” says Volunteer Services director Debra Thompson. “Pete is a really good man with a happy soul and a lot of love to give, always wearing a smile and bringing a smile to others.”
- And one last highlight of the many that happen in facilities across Sentara, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital has quite a few things planned. A flower will be delivered to each patient in the hospital. We also have a small group of employees that will carol in the unit (throughout the month) and community groups and schools set up to come in throughout the month to perform music. Plus, toys that are donated by the Lyons Club and wrapped by emergency department staff and available to hand to any kids on Christmas. Finally, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and staff all dressed in festive attire in early December to kick off the holiday season and entertain patients.
At Sentara, we are committed to providing our patients not only excellent care, but also a kind smile and a listening ear to truly create an extraordinary experience.