Rufus Wallace, center, who served 9 years in the United States Army (photo by Wes Hilton)
Nurses conducting morning rounds at Einstein Healthcare Network on Veterans Day had a special question for inpatients: Have you served in the military? If the answer was yes, the nurses returned with a tumbler and a large magnet, emblazoned with American flags and the sentiment: Thank You For Your Service.
The tribute to veterans began last year at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, and was expanded to the network’s two other medical centers this year, thanks to board member Madalyn Rovinsky. “I’m very grateful for people who put their life on the line for my freedom,” said Rovinsky, who donated the funds for the program on behalf of herself and her husband, Harvey. “I don’t take it for granted.”
Rovinsky said she was inspired on a visit to Einstein Montgomery when she learned the hospital gave magnets to every inpatient who had served in the military, and also gave outpatients special caps decorated with American flags when they had surgery or a diagnostic procedure. Rovinsky lobbied Einstein Philadelphia COO Ruth Lefton to create a similar program at the Philadelphia and Elkins Park campuses, and Lefton enthusiastically agreed.
“It is a great talking point when you walk in the room, you have something to say to engage the patient,” Rovinsky said. “‘Where did you serve? How did you serve?’ I know from family and friends who are veterans that they love to talk about it. They love that you are recognizing them.”
The patriotic magnets were placed outside hospital room doors and will be given to patients to take home, along with the tumblers, when they’re discharged, according to Craig Sieving, vice president in charge of facilities.
“It really hit home, as far as doing something extra, this ‘More Than Medicine’ campaign,” Rovinsky said.