Employees get into the holiday spirit

January 11, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Over the past few weeks, Michigan Medicine employees have made the holiday season merry and bright for patients, families and community members.

From volunteering at a local food pantry to decorating patient rooms at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, here are just a few examples of ways faculty and staff got into the holiday spirit!

Preparing meals

Members of the Compliance team volunteered at Food Gatherers, preparing meals for community members in need, as their annual holiday party.

They weren’t the only ones to dedicate their time at the food pantry. A team of pediatric ICU nurses spent a day there in early January and a group led by the Performance Improvement division of the Quality Department visited in December.

Providing a toy store for kids

Faculty, staff and volunteers at Mott once again gave patients and their family members a holiday season to remember. For the sixth straight year, employees organized a “toy store” comprised of toys, books and games donated by members of the community.

The parents of each Little Victor got to choose three free gifts for a patient, while siblings could come away with two of their own.

“Shopping for gifts is the last thing on parents’ minds when they have a child who is an inpatient during the holidays,” said Kevin Smith, a Mott community relations specialist. “We wanted to take one worry away [from families] and provide them with free shopping here on site.”

Giving Tree ‘rooted’ in charity

Several departments that work in the North Campus Administrative Complex — Human Resources, the Department of Communication, the Office of Patient Experience, Health Information Management, Paging Services and several outpatient call centers — pulled off the second annual “Giving Tree” celebration this season.

In the atrium of the building, several trees were filled with tags and decorations. Each tag listed a “wish” or item that six different charities such as the Ronald McDonald House and Sweet Dreamzzz would need. Staff members then fulfilled those wishes and brought the items in to be delivered to each corresponding program.

“This year’s Giving Tree was once again a huge success,” said JoAnn Grantham, Human Resources employee recognition program manager, who helped coordinate this year’s event. “Together, our teams collected nearly 1,200 items for charities and brought holiday cheer to the entire community. We can’t wait to do it again next year!”

Filling in the ‘GAP’

The Quality Department raised money and collected almost 20 gift cards, which they donated to the Guest Assistance Program. Members of GAP then distributed them to family members of University Hospital patients in need of financial assistance.

The department also raised money for the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, ensuring those experiencing homelessness had a warm place to stay over the holidays.

‘Coated’ in kindness

Faculty and staff at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center, the Institute for Healthcare Policy, as well as staff and parents at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, teamed up to collect nearly 250 winter coats to donate to underserved community members. The team also gathered eight pairs of snow pants, 33 scarves, 42 pairs of winter gloves and 35 hats.

“We’re so thankful for our community’s generosity,” said Donald Likosky, Ph.D., who coordinated the drive. “It was a collective effort to make sure those who needed some warmth this holiday season were able to get it.”

Making the hospital ‘feel like home’

Members of the Clinical Trials Support Unit partnered with Wish Upon a Teen — a nonprofit in the area that provides resources and opportunities to teenagers with severe medical conditions — to help decorate the hospital rooms of patients at Mott.

This included bringing in new bedding, rugs, posters and memorabilia all related to each individual teen’s interests. The team created Wonder Woman decorations for one patient and snowflakes and comic-book themed items for another.

“It was simply a pleasure to give back to kids right here at Michigan Medicine, especially teens and older children who tend to get lost in the holiday shuffle,” said Lori Robertson, administrative assistant for the CTSU. “Our whole team came together and truly made a difference this year.”

Thank you to Michigan Medicine team members for your generosity! Check out the photo gallery above of your colleagues bringing joy to those around them this holiday season.

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