Though hospital visitation remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital has implemented a program to comfort patients and their friends and families. “Gifts of Cheer” is the new initiative, created by the Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation following a request from the friend of a patient in the hospital.
A compassionate, concerned friend of a patient contacted Mount St. Mary’s with a special wish. The friend asked if there was a way to provide the patient with something that would let him know he wasn’t alone during his hospital stay. Understanding the heartache of family and friends during the pandemic’s visitation restrictions, the hospital responded to the friend’s request by providing the patient with a special note and gift.
After hearing the story, the foundation decided to step in: It purchased gifts that will be given to all admitted patients.
The “Gifts of Cheer” program is a partnership with the spiritual care team, which will work with nursing units to ensure all patients receive the gifts during their hospital stay.
“We were very pleased to play a small role by offering some comfort to our patients and the families who miss them so much,” said Julie Berrigan, executive director of the foundation. “It’s heartbreaking to not have visitors at this time, and partnering spiritual care was a natural fit to further our mission of providing compassionate care.”
Additionally, the foundation has provided iPads for patients to use throughout their hospital stay to communicate with family and friends during these unprecedented times.