March 18, 2008
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For most people, being a patient in a hospital isn't a joyful experience but one local medical center has found a way to make it a little more pleasant.
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) in Martinez is offering online greeting cards that can be sent to hospitalized friends or family members to cheer them, encourage them to get well or congratulate them on the birth of a baby. (The greeting cards are available at cchealth.org/medical_center)
"We know it's hard to be away from your community when you're in the hospital and getting messages from your family and friends can really help patients feel a little happier and maybe even recover a little faster," says Louise Lawson, Coordinator of CCRMC's Volunteer Services.
According to Lawson, CCRMC's volunteers, who will be printing and delivering the greeting cards, thought the new feature would be a service they could offer the community. To promote it, information is being given to visitors and put in patients' rooms explaining how the cards can be sent. The cards are also available in Spanish.
Last year, CCRMC delivered 2,280 babies and admitted more than 9,000 patients for inpatient care.
"We hope the word will get around that there's an easy way to communicate with patients," says Lawson. "It's such a nice way to give support to someone in the hospital, especially if you can't come and visit."
Besides the greeting card service, CCRMC Auxiliary Volunteers operate a gift shop on the campus at 2500 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez, and conduct other fundraising activities throughout the year.
All proceeds go towards patient care. This year, the group donated 10 new portable radios to improve safety and security for the patients, visitors and staff, and purchased a portable ultrasound machine for patients with difficult intravenous access such as poor veins. Effective in reducing pain, the popular machine is the third one the Auxiliary has purchased for CCRMC.
Lawson encourages anyone who would like to volunteer with the CCRMC Auxiliary to contact her at 925-370-5440 or complete the volunteer form available online at cchealth.org/medical_center.
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