Volunteers and Donations Sought for DCF Holiday Party

This year’s annual holiday party for the Worcester Area Department of Children and Families (DCF) Foster Families, sponsored by the Medical Center and the Department of Nursing, is Saturday, December 30. The party, for families of foster children ages infant to 12, includes lunch, activities for the children, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each family will receive a gift bag including a toy for each child. Here’s how you can get involved:

 On-site Donations: Interested employees are encouraged to contribute a $20 toy for a child. See the attached suggested gift list for ideas. Donations of wrapping paper, bows and tape, or new children’s hats, mittens and gloves are also appreciated. Please drop off your gifts in one of our donation boxes located in the main lobby of the Hahnemann or University campuses, and the employee entrance of the Memorial Campus between November 27 and December 21.

Volunteer Opportunities: Join us to help wrap gifts or assist the day of the party. Keep an eye out for volunteer sign-up information next week! Contact Gina Gardner at 774-441-6329 or Lori Peasley at 508-334-1172 with questions.

Stuff-a-Cruiser: Members of our Campus Police will hold a Stuff-a-Cruiser Toy Drive at Toys”R”Us in Auburn, Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26, 10 am to 6 pm. If you’re in the area, consider picking up an extra toy or two to donate to the DCF holiday party.

Sharing Food, Laughter and Camaraderie at IS Epic Celebration

From left, Dr. Dickson presented a special award to honor Tim Tarnowski, a Bobblehead in his likeness to fulfill a promise he made to two years ago – to erect a statue in his honor after a successful Epic implementation. Tom Eglin, Jodi Johnson and Kim Buhr greeted the team with “passports,” pens and thunder sticks. Four personalized celebratory cakes fed the IS team dessert.

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Tim Tarnowski and his Information Services team of more than 600 employees gathered at the DCU Center last week for a thank-you celebration for the many long hours they worked to implement and deliver Epic on schedule. Although his team’s work continues, Tim wanted to show his gratitude and celebrate this tremendous accomplishment. The event’s festivities included remarks from Tim and President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD, sharing of photos from the past two years, and most importantly, a celebration with good food, many laughs and camaraderie.

‘Wonder’ Viewing Shines Light on Craniofacial Differences

Patients and family members watch the private screening organized by the Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic. (Telegram & Gazette photos)

Dozens of patients and their families lit up Showcase North with kindness after being treated to a private viewing of “Wonder” Saturday morning by the Children’s Medical Center Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic. Children were presented with a Wonder swag bag complete with a #choosekind movie T-shirt and fun goodies. The popular children’s book-turned-movie is raising awareness around children born with facial differences and has received a good deal of media attention with its release. Surgeons Janice Lalikos, MD, and Joyce McIntyre, MD, were interviewed by the Telegram & Gazette (November 17, November 18) and Worcester News Tonight in an effort to continue educating the public about the challenges faced by people with facial differences. See our coverage on Facebook.

Health Care ‘Bread and Butter’ of Central Mass. Economy

A recent article in the Worcester Business Journal Fact Book points out the financial impact the health care industry, including UMass Memorial Health Care, has on the region. President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD, explained how growth and investment within our organization has benefited the region. For instance, increasing our presence in downtown Worcester and securing lodging and other accommodations for added staff supporting our Epic implementation led to a boom in business at area hotels and restaurants. According to the article, in Central Massachusetts there are nearly 55,000 employees between the health care and social services sector spread out among 5,300 organizations. Read the article.

Health Watch: Dr. Sharenow Discusses Coping after a Mastectomy

In a recent Health Watch segment, Ellen Sharenow, PhD, clinical psychologist, discusses psychological and emotional impacts that a mastectomy can have on a woman, as well as questions to ask prior to having the procedure.

Give Thanks for Free Flu Shots Today on University Campus

Before you head off to your Thanksgiving holiday celebration, stop by the flu fair in the Faculty Conference Room, University Campus, 7 am to 3 pm today. Getting your flu shot somewhere else? Send proof of vaccination to Employee Health Services (EHS). To be accepted, this proof must include your name and birth date, as well as the vaccination date. Photograph or scan the proof and send it to EHS at employeeflumailbox@umassmemorial.org. And, remember: No faxes will be accepted! The deadline to receive a flu vaccine or submit a declination is December 29. To learn more, visit the flu season page.

Use Your Wellness Reimbursement Before It’s Too Late

Did you earn a $300 wellness reimbursement account deposit this year for logging points on the myHealth Matters website? If you received the reimbursement two years in a row, you may have funds in your account over $400. Note that only $400 of your wellness reimbursement will be rolled over into next year. Your wellness reimbursement can be used for a long list of medical expenses, so be sure to use it by December 31.

‘Tis the Season for Decorating; Put Safety on Top of Your List

It’s that time of year when we like to celebrate the holiday season by hanging decorations in our work areas. In order to keep our patients safe and to comply with various fire regulations, we remind employees to follow the Medical Center holiday decoration guidelines. As a quick reminder, some of our guidelines include:

  • Decorations, including artificial trees, are not permitted in egress corridors.
  • Electrical decorations, unless battery operated, are not permitted in any area and extension cords are prohibited.
  • Exits shall not be obstructed by decorations and decorations should not be placed near any sources of heat including lights and heaters.
  • Lit candles, natural evergreen trees, wreathes, garlands and foam decorations are prohibited.
  • All decorations must be nonflammable or flame retardant.

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