Health systems and providers throughout Washington are celebrating the holidays this year with their own special festivities. Here are a few of the ways WSHA members make this time of year unique through giving thanks:
At Cascade Medical, we’re so grateful for the talented Amy Albright, a volunteer whose peaceful music on hammered dulcimer brought some Christmas cheer to our patients in Acute Care and Inpatient Rehab twice in December.
Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation
The Administration and Foundation teams held their annual holiday breakfast potluck and gift exchange. This year’s theme was gifts inspired by your childhood, all of which were donated to Pullman Child Welfare, a local non-profit serving families on the Palouse.
Kittitas Valley Healthcare
The Employee Recognition committee organized a week of holiday celebrations, including an ugly sweater day and individual wreath decorating contents. The finished wreaths were gifted to patients throughout the facility. Additionally, employees received free lunch or dinner, hors d’oeuvres, hot cocoa and cider and sugar cookies. The month will conclude with “The 12 Days of Giving.” Employees will be entered in a drawing for gift certificates around town and a winner will be chosen each day for 12 days.
This holiday season, EvergreenHealth Monroe staff are giving back to the community by participating in the “Share What You Can” food drive. Donated food will go to the Sky Valley Food Bank, which provides weekly food for more than 300 local families, and the Housing Hope Giving Tree, which currently assists 23 local homeless families. In addition to giving back to the local community, the staff are recognized by leadership with a special holiday feast. Board commissioners and the executive team happily serve the staff, providing a well-deserved break.
Overlake Medical Center
Overlake Medical Center celebrates its annual holiday feast this week by serving up 1,400 pounds of traditional slow-roasted Washington prime rib along with squash, gnocchi and other sides. Overlake executives serve the meals at three shifts throughout the day at the hospital beginning at 3:00 a.m., and meals are delivered to off-site clinics. In addition, each of Overlake’s roughly 3,000 employees will receive a $25 holiday gift card. As a way of giving back, employees have been generously donating all month long to Operation Holiday Spirit, a round-up of food, clothing items and toys to benefit local non-profits.
Shriner’s Hospitals for Children – Spokane
Santa Claus paid a visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane, but the jolly fellow didn’t arrive by reindeer! The kids enjoyed virtual visits with Santa, made possible utilizing Dimension Data’s telehealth video system. Santa spend one-on-one time with each child, assuring them that he received their wish. Each patient received a special gift from Santa and enjoyed cocoa and cookies. Spokane Shriners Hospital marketing director Kristin Monasmith said, “The same telehealth technology used to connect our providers with patients at off-site locations brought Santa Claus in the North Pole right to our patients!”
Skyline Hospital in White Salmon is celebrating the spirit of the season by hosting a Winter Clothing Drive. All month long, donations are being accepted at the Skyline campus and at Riverview Community Bank. Community members are encouraged to clean out their closets of any lightly used items, or add an extra hat or pair of socks to their shopping cart. All items will be distributed to those in need through our social services partner, Washington Gorge Action Programs. For example, racks are set up inside our local food banks for clients to pick from while they wait for their groceries. We’re always inspired by the generosity within our community as we come together to spread the warmth this season.
Astria Regional Medical Center
The staff at Astria Regional Medical Center collected gifts and warm winter clothes to donate to families in need during the Henry Beauchamp Community Center Christmas event. Staff members helped hand out gifts, served hot cocoa to those waiting outside and made sure everyone had warm winter gear. In addition, Santa came to visit Astria Toppenish Hospital during their annual Kid’s Holiday Party. Employees brought their kids for a night of delicious food, fun crafts and a visit with Santa. Finally, Astria Sunnyside Hospital administration and the providers and clinic staff from the Astria Health Centers in Sunnyside, Grandview, Prosser and Zillah have adopted local families in need this holiday season. They purchased items from the children’s wish lists and are pitching in for family grocery store gift cards.
This holiday season, staff members across EvergreenHealth were invited to a little healthy competition to showcase their festive crafting abilities by designing and building gingerbread houses. Colleagues in a range of departments combined their talents to create 39 custom (and tasty) confections for display in our very own gingerbread village. Visitors and staff were encouraged to cast votes for the best gingerbread house in various categories, from best architecture to most edible, with winning departments earning a pizza party.
This holiday season, CHI Franciscan is celebrating by giving back to the community in various ways. For example, this is the second year our corporate office collected new and unwrapped holiday-themed books for Toys for Tots. We placed the books under a Christmas tree until it was time to deliver them. Also, this was our first year donating to Stockings for Soldiers. The stockings are bound for active duty troops and veterans in VA hospitals. We had fun collecting the items, writing cards, and stuffing the stockings. Each stocking weighed a pure 60 pounds of holiday joy!
WhidbeyHealth Medical Center
WhidbeyHealth Medical Center gathered gifts to be shared with neighbors on Whidbey Island this holiday season in a “Tree of Hope” gift drive. Donations were delivered to 71 children and 54 seniors. WhidbeyHealth celebrates its employees and team members for participating in the gift drive, and hopefully helping to add a bit of joy to the holidays for WhidbeyIsland residents.
Happy Holidays from all of us at WSHA!