Caring for those we serve is our calling, and at MemorialCare, we strive to create a positive impact through the spirit of service and graciousness, especially throughout the holiday season. Whether it’s going above and beyond for a patient or taking the time to volunteer in the community, our employees are dedicated to making a difference.
Starting with our tiniest patients, babies born in the week leading up to Christmas get bundled up in festive, giant red stockings, continuing a heartwarming 61-year holiday tradition. The three MemorialCare maternity centers welcome 10,000 babies into the world each year, and this is our employees’ special way of celebrating with families and welcoming their holiday babies into the world.
To ensure children and teens who are hospitalized during the holidays don’t miss out on traditional activities, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach planned a series of events to spread joy at the hospital, starting with the annual Santa’s Workshop event, where pediatric patients received gifts, and most importantly met the big man in red.
By partaking in traditional holiday activities, patients can momentarily set aside their health concerns, fostering a sense of normalcy and happiness during what otherwise might be a difficult time. It not only contributes to their emotional well-being but creates cherished memories that extend beyond the hospital room.
“It makes me thrilled that not only my daughter, but all the other kids as well, can come downstairs and attend these events – getting a little bit of Christmas,” says Ashley Suazo, who is the mom of Kataleya, a four-year-old who was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, and has been receiving treatment for nine months at Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Sometimes we’re isolated and not able to do anything. Santa’s Workshop made me and Kataleya really, really happy.”
Outside the walls of our medical centers, our employees are keeping the holiday spirit alive. Members of the MemorialCare clinical training specialists and implementation teams spent time volunteering at the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House which is a “home away from home” for families with critically ill children receiving care at Miller Children’s & Women’s across the street. The team helped prep for their annual holiday party by donating supplies, baking dozens of treats and decorating more than 100 gift bags for families to pick up and enjoy for the holidays.
Over in Orange County, the human resources leadership team volunteered at Bracken’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization, that uses food to make a difference in the lives of those they serve. They do this through various activities, including culinary training, community feeding and rescued food programs. Our HR team chopped vegetables, labeled sandwiches and packed more than 200 boxes of at-home meals that can be heated up.
And across our medical centers, numerous departments have adopted families for the holidays. From patients undergoing cancer treatments to families who have a child with a chronic illness, our employees are ensuring all those in need have the essentials to make lasting memories with their families this holiday season.
At MemorialCare, we are driven by our commitment to providing the highest quality of care. We’re so proud of the amazing work our teams are doing this holiday season to honor that commitment and live out our mission to improve the well-being of individuals, families and our communities.