So it isn’t brain surgery, as the saying goes, but in its own special way it is incredibly therapeutic.
It’s Adopt-a-Patient, an effort supported by Einstein employees to bring a bit of warmth to inpatients throughout the system—during a time of year when they’re spending their days in hospital beds instead of spending time at home celebrating the holidays.
And by warmth, we don’t mean just an act of kindness—we mean the real thing.
Every year for the past six years, Adopt-a-Patient, managed by Einstein’s Office of Development, has raised funds to provide inpatients with a special gift. Last year, it was a blanket. In this, the seventh year, patients will receive a variation on that theme—a “Hug-Me” blanket, which is a kind of wraparound blanket with sleeves.
(Ric G. Cuming, RN, MSN, EdD, CNOR, NEA-BC, Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive, shows one off.)
“It’s not just useful inside and outside the hospital,” says Development Associate Fran Gress. “It’s a metaphor for how we want patients to feel inside and out.”
Last year, Einstein employees, together with donors, raised enough money to provide blankets to 1,200 patients. That year broke the prior year’s fundraising record, translating into more patient gifts.
“The more employees we get involved, the more likely every patient will get a gift,” Gress says.
As a bit of added fun, the Development Office placed a special emphasis on donations during “Giving Tuesday” (December 1), encouraging employees to post “UNselfies” to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. “UNselfies” are photos showing employees doing something to support Adopt-a-Patient or some other unselfish act, tagged “#Unselfies” on any of those three social media channels.
Fundraising continues through the third week of December. The gifts will be presented to patients on the 23rd of December. Nurses play the role of Santa Claus. Patients usually have no idea the gifts are coming.
For the employees of Einstein who typically have no direct role in patient care, Gress says, Adopt-a-Patient presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the mission of Einstein.
“Not being clinical staff, there’s sometimes a ‘disconnect’ for us. Adopt-a-Patient brings things alive,” says Gress. “We’re actually able to see how happy it makes patients, at a time when it is often the opposite. It’s even more a testament to the kind of people we have working for Einstein and its patients.”