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Medwatch: CCMH team members helping each other out

Published: May. 20, 2021 at 7:53 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Comanche County Memorial Hospital takes care of patients, but their team members have also stepped up to the challenge to help their own in a time of need. Thousands of cans and other non-perishable food and toiletry items were donated by several hospital departments during a friendly competition, a Food Fight, to stock up CCMH’s food pantry.

Chris Ward, Chief Nursing Officer at CCMH, said the internal Food Pantry was created to serve the immediate needs of CCMH team members and some patients who were experiencing difficult transitions in life. It started more than a year ago out of the compassion of individuals like Laurie Snow and her team with Case Management.

“Lots of times we were responding at that’s moments notice,” Ward said. “And then we said let’s start a food bank.”

Ward said it’s not to take away from the local food banks in our communities that are needed as well, as it’s mostly provided to co-workers who are going through emergencies, whether it’s medical or financial hardships. They’ve been able to help more than 50 employees through the pantry last year, a difficult time for many, especially during the pandemic.

“There are people in our team that need these things because of emergencies that do come up,” Ward said. “Sometimes, it’s unexpected types of things, but we heard about it and then wanted to respond. Some of the patients themselves need, so we’ve tried to respond.”

The hospital’s Lab department was the big winner this year with the most donations as more than a dozen departments got involved. One CCMH RN and respiratory therapist serves as the local Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry’s Board President. That organization donated to the food pantry as well in the name of the Respiratory Therapy department.

The hospital also has a clothes closet, clothing donated by employees that are available to patients leaving the hospital if they need them.

“We have everything from socks and shoes to shirts and pants,” Snow said “I mean, I give out probably 10 to 15 outfits a day.”

Snow said they have some stored away in the ER, so they can easily give it to the people who need it before they leave. She said clothes are needed because the ones people come in are sometimes bloody or need to be cut off during care.

“You don’t want to transfer just in the gown,” she said. “A lot of people feel more comfortable in clothes. You feel more like yourself, you know? Especially after getting out of the shower or whatever. So, to transfer out of here, you just want to feel your best.”

She says the best items to be donated are sweats, shorts with a drawstring, or pajamas. If you are interested in donating, you can contact CCMH and ask for case management.

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