CHC Hospital Community Outreach
The holidays – and any time – present opportunities for gathering and sharing. This is especially true for hospitals serving small, tight-knit communities. Many hospitals affiliated with CHC step up and help out during the holiday season and year-round.
Community outreach during the fall and winter holiday season
St. Mark’s Medical Center’s Heart Committee spearheads an annual community Thanksgiving Basket Drive to benefit families from Fayette, Lee, Bastrop and Colorado counties who are identified through The Family Crisis Center. Area businesses, churches, and community groups along with hospital employees participate by shopping from a list of items to provide the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, as well as a $20 gift card for the agency to purchase turkeys. Donors are encouraged to add items that their own families enjoy. The delivery often includes tablecloths, napkins, plates, candles, and decorations, as well as a greeting card with an inspirational message for the receiving family.
This year’s 25th event in 2022 was the strongest yet with 135 baskets brought to St. Mark’s. The local newspaper reported on and photographed the donated baskets. Donation day brings many locals into the hospital for one of the hospital employees’ favorite days of the year.
North Texas Medical Center does a sock drive each year. Employees donate pairs of new socks which are then included in holiday sacks and distributed to local nursing home residents.
The Great Plains Health quality department has an annual tradition of sponsoring a family though the Salvation Army. As a group, the quality department gets everything on their wish list and takes the items, as a team, to the Salvation Army to give to the family and brighten their Christmas.
The quality department also works closely with community organizations that help women and families year-round. As one outreach effort, the team donated much needed items, such as pillows and towels, to the local homeless shelter.
There’s something special about living in a small Texas town that just warms the heart, and that warmth is never more poignant than at Christmas time. Our town square and the Court House are lit up so brightly you can faintly see the glow from the outskirts of town. The Courthouse Christmas tree is lit immediately following a manger re-enactment complete with camels, mules, three wise men and a swaddling cloth wrapped replica of baby Jesus. Everyone you meet in the course of the day has a special holiday twinkle in their eyes, and honestly it’s a lot like a Hallmark Christmas movie sans snow! So in the spirit of “Hallmark Comes to Freestone County,” Santa Claus arrives at Freestone Medical Center on Thursday, December 14. St. Nick will grace our hospital with his presence to take pictures with the local children and drum up donations for the Freestone Police Association’s Blue Santa Toy Drive. In exchange for one new unwrapped toy donation, parents receive a digital picture of their child(ren) with Santa Claus!
Beyond holiday giving, many hospitals make community giving a year-round priority. Here are a few ways CHC hospitals extend their community outreach throughout the year.
Community outreach across the seasons
The Freestone Medical Center CEO is involved in community organizations and energizes other team members to do the same, thereby providing a positive impression of the hospital. He participates with the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Toastmasters International, and similar organizations. Each connection tends to create others, developing synergies that benefit both the hospital and the community.
A shining example of community connection: When the school’s digital media broadcasting club began competing at statewide contests against bigger schools, the students needed experience presenting to an audience who could provide constructive feedback. The hospital gave the students an opportunity to produce community-oriented health content for use in the hospital’s digital marketing campaigns. The students recorded interviews with healthcare providers and covered a hospital health fair as a news event, gaining practical experience in the process. The hospital received free creative content, and the process may have encouraged some students to consider healthcare as a career.