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That's How We Show We Care: BWFH gives back this holiday season

Here at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, one of the ways staff members are encouraged to show they care is by extending themselves. This holiday season, staff from all over the hospital did just that by reaching out and giving back to our community.

Organized by the Community Health and Wellness Department, BWFH adopted eight families in need with children who attend the JP Manning Elementary School. Groups from Radiology, Quality Improvement and Community Health and Wellness, as well as individuals Siobhan Blount from the Weiner Center for Preoperative Evaluation, Kimberly Kleinsorge, MSN, CRNA, Suzanne Young, NP, from Occupational Health and Vice President of Professional and Clinical Services Edward Liston-Kraft, PhD, all stepped up to help. In total, BWFH staff bought and wrapped gifts for 32 family members. “BWFH employees that adopted the Manning families were incredibly generous and gave so much to such deserving kids. It was truly a wonderful thing to see,” says Community Health and Wellness Assistant Katie Plante.

In similar fashion, 7 South Nurse Director Mary Anne Barry, MBA, BSN, RN, reached out to the neighboring Italian Home for Children. In the past, 7 South has adopted a handful of children and fulfilled their Christmas wishes. This year, Barry asked to adopt all 30 children at the Jamaica Plain location. Through word of mouth, she was able to find BWFH staff on 7 South and beyond who wanted to participate. One group from the Pain Management Center collected toys for a young boy. “This is what Christmas is about,” says Pain Management Center Clinical Leader Kathy Armando, BSN, RN. “We will make this our Christmas tradition!”

On 2 South, Clinical Leader Kerry Parsons, BSN, RN, and Unit Based Council members Nadia Sullivan, BSN, RN, Ricki Rampersad, MHW, Olu Ajayi, MHW, Greg McCain, RN, Rowida Osman, RN, and Rachel Abarbanel, RN, organized a coat drive to benefit homeless men, women and children throughout the Boston area. The collection process was assisted by Judith Ashton, Peer Specialist, and Kathy Hanlan, OT. Approximately 70 winter coats were delivered to the Boston Public Health Commission. To those who donated, Parsons says, “Without your help, all of these people would have had to experience another freezing cold night. I cannot express my gratitude to everyone that took the time to go through their closets and bring their coats in to be donated. I am proud to work with such compassionate, generous, kind people. You are an example for all and I am certain people will continue to be affected positively by your generosity.”

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Community Health and Wellness Assistant Katie Plante was part of a team that volunteered to deliver meals to local families in need. Just in time for Christmas, Plante, along with Community Health and Wellness Director Tracy Sylven, volunteered again. The event was sponsored by Families in Need, a program established 27 years ago by the late Mary Mulvey Jacobson and continued by the West Roxbury Business and Professional Association. Together with other volunteers from the community, Plante and Sylven delivered turkeys and other Christmas meal items to families in need in our community.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects and distributes toys to less fortunate children throughout the United States to help these children experience the joy of Christmas. The program seeks to play an active role in the development of the nation’s most valuable resources―its children―and to unite members of local communities in a common cause. Each year, the Police, Security, Safety and Parking Department at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner teams up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to conduct a Toys for Tots campaign. This year, the program was spearheaded by Security Supervisor Ozzie Ramos. Through the generosity of BWFH staff, patients and visitors, the Police, Security, Safety and Parking Department collected 450 toys.

The Department of Dermatology at BWFH also chose to reach out to the Italian Home for Children. The group decorated more than 300 Hershey bars as snowmen, penguins and reindeer for the children.

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