The staff of the Liver Unit at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia get ready to spread holiday warmth by delivering Adopt-a-Patient blankets and socks. Pictured here are (left to right): Nuha Shishani, Outreach Coordinator, Department of Transplantation; June Smith, RN, Nurse Manager, Liver Unit; Saramma Koshy, RN; Jayleem Dawson, HUC; Catherine Mathews, RNC, Sherri Ajedho, PCA. (Photo by Wes Hilton)
When you’re hospitalized over the holidays, one thoughtful gesture can mean a lot.
For the seventh year in a row, hundreds of Einstein Healthcare Network patients were on the receiving end of one such act of kindness, courtesy of Einstein employees and other donors.
Adopt-a-Patient, managed by Einstein’s Office of Development, offers a way for employees who aren’t involved in day-to-day clinical care to make a big difference in the lives of patients.
Each year, patients receive a particular gift. This holiday season, there were two: a blanket in Einstein purple and a pair of comfy bed socks, and both carried special meaning.
“It’s amazing to see how much of a positive effect such a small token can have on someone’s well-being.”
Typically, patients receive one gift, but this year there were two as a special way of recognizing a very special anniversary—Einstein’s 150th.
As for the bed socks in particular … the meaning could hardly be more noteworthy.
“Adopt-a-Patient was started by someone who worked in a similar position to mine,” according to Fran Gress, Einstein’s annual fund manager. “His name, fittingly, was Angel (Oramas). He imagined how difficult it would be to be hospitalized over the holidays, and knew that he could get employees and donors to rally round a gift-giving fund-raiser. The first gift was modest—bed socks.”
Oramas passed away tragically a few years after starting the program, but he is still remembered fondly.
Over Wednesday, December 21, and Thursday, December 22, the gifts were presented to more than 1,000 patients by nurses at Einstein’s Philadelphia, Montgomery and Elkins Park campuses.
“The majority of donors to the program are employees,” says Gress. “It’s primarily an employee-driven campaign.” Even more remarkable, many of these employeesare already involved in other efforts to give back. ”But no matter what, they always find room to give to back through Adopt-a-Patient.”
Gress has been fortunate to have witnessed some of the Adopt-a-Patient gift-giving, which he regards as healing in a way that is more than medicine. “It’s amazing to see how much of a positive effect such a small token can have on someone’s well-being.”