There’s something about a warm, sunny day, the smell of burgers in the air, live music and the hustle and the bustle of bringing people together that creates a unique energy and excitement. On July 13, some of Quinte Health Care’s greatest staff went above and beyond to do something extra for the patients on Sills 3, 4 and 5 at Belleville General Hospital. They planned a BBQ-like picnic in the courtyard bringing patients together where they could socialize with one another and enjoy the fresh air while being served punch, hamburgers, potato salad and pudding parfaits for lunch – a treat from their usual menu.
The event was led by QHC’s Recreational Therapists: Jay Moxness, Margot MacIntosh and Karen Voth, and was greatly supported by the staff in Clinical Nutrition, Nutrition and Food Services, Hospitality Services, Nursing, Speech Therapy and many wonderful volunteers. “It’s not unusual for us to work together in delivering lunch to the patients in Sills – we plan a special lunch for these patients each month. However, we wanted to do something different and give them a greater opportunity to socialize so we took the event outside and invited the patients on the three floors to come together,” said Moxness. MacIntosh said that the Recreational Therapists initiated the special monthly lunches a couple of years ago and they are well received by the patients. “It gives the patients something to look forward to. It’s a real treat for them, but it’s also normalcy. It’s healthy for them to be out of their room,” she said. “The therapy staff on the floor said that today is a totally different day for the patients (after being part of the event) and that they have perked up,” she added. Voth said that their role as Recreational Therapists is about getting the patients ready to return home and to get back to doing things in the community that they would normally do. “Eating a hamburger in a public environment is something that some of our patients need to practice and need help with,” she said. She added that one of the patients on the Rehab unit said ‘It feels so good to do something normal.’”
More than 15 volunteers helped out with the event including Nancy Decker who provided the musical entertainment. “She did an amazing job,” said Moxness. “We have volunteers that come in, sing and play instruments during events like this one and the patients really enjoy it,” he said.
A special thank you to the Nutrition and Food Services staff who coordinated the food and also delivered this special luncheon to the patients who were not able to make it down to the event. Christine Strocel, Dietitian commented that “the planning behind this event is an excellent example of interprofessional care.” Everyone including Hospitality Services did an amazing job in making the courtyard a wonderful outdoor picnic style setting with checkered tablecloths, tents and flowers. The volunteers, Personal Support Workers and others worked together in getting the patients to the courtyard and made sure they were comfortable. Thank you to everyone who played a part in this event and for going above and beyond for our patients.
There will be another joint event for the patients on Sills 3, 4 and 5 on August 26.