Caring for patients doesn’t just mean providing clinical support, but rather, we believe in a “Care without Boundaries” philosophy.

Celebrating Virginia Hospital Week

Slh Horse Visit Hospice Patient

This week is Virginia Hospital Week and it gives us an opportunity to take pause and reflect on this year’s theme “Patients Come First.” Our mission at Sentara Healthcare is to improve health every day. In doing so, our staff is keenly focused on providing the best patient care in the safest environment possible.

Caring for patients doesn’t just mean providing clinical support, but rather, we believe in a “Care without Boundaries” philosophy. We want to help our patients in every possible way while they are with us – from simply brightening their day with flowers to making a few important wishes come true, every effort is heartfelt and meaningful. 

Recently, our team has gone above and beyond the call of duty for several of our patients, please see a few outstanding examples below.

Sentara Leigh Hospital’s Healing Garden Horse Visit

Jenna Agnello, a hospice patient at Sentara Leigh Hospital, had a request to see her dog.  We were able to coordinate a visit and while there, the Great Dane climbed into bed with her, prompting someone to remark that the dog was “as big as a horse.”  The comment led Agnello to share that she also owned a horse she would like to see.  Upon hearing that, Sentara nurses and palliative care physicians developed a plan to enable Agnello, who was medically frail and receiving high-flow oxygen breathing support, to see her horse, Romeo, in the hospital’s healing garden.  Staff from her stable walked Romeo off a trailer and into the garden, where he laid his head in her lap and nuzzled her hand for apples while her extended family gathered around. Laughter, tears and gratitude signaled success.    

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center’s Field of Dreams 

Of all the things you might expect to see in a hospital setting, a baseball game is not likely at the top of the list – but that’s not the case at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Sherry Dunn, a patient who had been confined to the hospital for a month, got a special treat when she realized the grounds outside of the hospital had been transformed into an authentic baseball field complete with bases, a home plate and uniformed umpires. And, on one of the two teams ready to play was her son.  Hospital executives and palliative care leaders teamed up with local landscaping and construction businesses to help make Mrs. Dunn’s wish of seeing her son shine on the field come true, and she and her family were incredibly moved and grateful.

The Constant Support from Our Social Workers  

Social workers are an important part of our team at Sentara. And, while there many different kinds of social works across the system, one thing is the same for all – they want to help people. They assist ailing patients navigate our complex system, support families in making the difficult journey with their loved ones at the end of life and so much more.  Recently, a patient at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center was worried about his cat who was home with no one to feed it and wanted to leave the hospital to do so. In response, not only did one of our social workers go to feed the cat, they also pick up a medication list from home that made a difference in planning care for the patient. 

All of these examples show how committed we are to the full spectrum of patient care. At Sentara, our care truly is without boundaries and Virginia Hospital Week is just one of many reminders that patients should, and do, always come first.