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Wear red on Friday, Feb. 4, (and send us a photo) to show your support in the fight against heart disease

Just a reminder – team members are encouraged to wear red, where appropriate, on Friday, Feb. 4, as part of National Wear Red Day, to bring greater attention to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans. February is also recognized as American Heart Month. If you wear red on Friday, take a photo and send it to us so we can feature it on Ballad Health social media. Email photos to caroline.wright@balladhealth.org. Remember, heart disease is largely preventable. Here’s what you can do now to reduce your risk: Don’t smoke. Eat for heart health. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. Thank you in advance for sharing your “Wear Red” photos and for doing your part to fight heart disease!

Smyth County Community Hospital team members bring some holiday cheer to a pair of families going through tough times

MARION, Va. – Team members at Smyth County Community Hospital adopted two local families for Christmas this year and provided them with various clothes, toys and food for the holidays. For one family, with four young children, the team members provided each of the kids with winter clothing, pajamas and toys. It wasn’t originally in the plans, but every department chose to purchase some gifts for the mother, as well. A team member even donated their Speedway in Lights ticket to the family. Team members wrapped and labeled all the gifts. Dinner included a turkey dinner from Food City, ready to pick up on Christmas Eve, that included turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and a dozen rolls. A second family had three children whose father was at home under hospice care due to end-stage disease. Again, the team members wanted to make sure the children were provided for at Christmas, so they purchased winter…

Mountain View Regional Hospital’s long-term care staff gives residents a Christmas parade to remember!

 NORTON, Va. – Since the staff at Mountain View Regional Hospital’s long-term care and skilled nursing facility could not take their residents to any local Christmas parades, due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) safety restrictions, they decided to bring the parade to the residents! Under the direction of activities coordinator Debra Potter, all the departments built floats. Families of some of the residents donated candy and treats to give out to the residents. It was a great show of creativity and compassion by the team members at Mountain View, and it made for quite an exciting holiday experience for the residents!      

Two Franklin Woods nurses take time to help the hungry

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Two Ballad Health nurses who help care for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients recently went the extra mile to help One Acre Café, a community restaurant focused on battling hunger and food insecurity, by collecting and delivering two carloads of donated food and supplies. One Acre Café, 603 W. Walnut St., offers the community healthy and nutritious food in a warm and inviting space. There are suggested donations for those who can pay or “pay it forward” and the ability to volunteer in exchange for a meal for those who cannot. Kim Jessee, RN and nurse manager for intensive care unit/progressive care unit at Franklin Woods Community Hospital, and Karen Burke, RN for the ICU/PCU at Franklin Woods, provide care for COVID-19 patients at the hospital, but they were determined to help One Acre Café provide food to those in need. They learned One Acre Café planned to create “blessing bags”…

Acts of Caring: Mountain View nurses help a grandmother listen to an important ballgame

Dorothy, 91, is a resident at Mountain View Regional Hospital’s long-term care unit in Norton, Virginia, and her nurses went above and beyond to do something special for her. Even though it was a small thing, it meant a whole lot to Dorothy. Her nephew coaches the girls’ basketball team at Central High School in Wise, Virginia, with the team winning five of the last six state titles, including three in a row. Dorothy keeps up with the games as best she can, and to show her support, she wore her Central Warriors shirt every day for two weeks, as long as the team was winning through the district, regional and state tournaments. On the eve of the state finals, being held in Richmond, she wanted to arrange to hear or watch the game live, but was disappointed to find out it wasn’t going to be broadcast on TV, and radio reception was not good…

Faithful singers lift patient spirits

The Takoma Singers have been serenading patients with uplifting music for nearly four decades. The group, comprised of team members and volunteers at Takoma Regional Hospital in Greeneville, stroll the hallways two days a week singing hymns, usually with a guitarist, and perform in patient rooms upon request. “We always start with prayer,” says Cindy Luttrell, patient experience director for Greene County. “One of our Ballad Health values is faith so we want to inspire and encourage people’s trust in God. Having faith has been shown to positively impact your health.” The singers often receive feedback from patients saying how the music helped them through a difficult time. Pictured, from left to right, are three of the singers performing in the hallway of Same-Day Surgery at Takoma Regional: Luttrell; James Fain, a volunteer chaplain; and Vickie Henegar, operational excellence manager for Greene County and diagnostic imaging supervisor for the Takoma campus.

They practice the art of making kids smile

At Kids First Pediatrics of NE Tennessee, Dr. Jon Applegate and nurse practitioners Sylvia Boesch and Darla Morgan use their creative juices to make visits the doctor a lot more fun for their young patients. From eye-popping bulletin boards next to the baby scale, to showcasing their artistic talents on pumpkins during the fall, to sending kids home with painted “inspiration” rocks, these providers know how to bring a smile to a child.

He looks for people to help

Eight years ago Terry Higginbotham was looking for something to do to fill his new-found free time. What he found was the fulfillment of seeing someone smile when he offers them a freshly-baked cookie or finding help for a distressed family member sitting alone who hasn’t reached out to anyone for help or information. Instead of enjoying sleeping in now that he’s retired, Terry says that he comes in at 6 a.m. because that’s when patients and families are coming in for surgery and he wants to be there to guide them to their destination. “I walk the halls looking for people or staff who I can help,” says Terry. “Maybe someone needs a wheelchair or doesn’t know where to go. I usually leave each time feeling like I’ve helped people.”

She took her patient to New York

Donna and one of her cancer patients had grown close. The patient, whose life was quickly coming to an end, was looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild and a final trip to Rochester, New York, to attend a baby shower for her son and his wife. When the patient’s ride to New York fell through, Donna’s heart broke. But her caring spirit kicked in. She quickly requested time off and used vacation days for a road trip to Rochester to help her patient join in the celebration of new life. “I couldn’t imagine her missing this special time with her family,” says Donna. “It was my honor to make that happen for her.”