Poinsettias bring cheer to adult hospital patients

January 4, 2022  //  FOUND IN: News,

Michigan Medicine staff, faculty, learners and friends donated more than 850 plants to help bring cheer to adults hospitalized over the holidays during the fourth annual Poinsettias for Patients program.

On Dec. 20, a team of volunteers from the Office of Patient Experience and other areas of the health system delivered the poinsettias to adult units across University Hospital, Frankel Cardiovascular Center and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. Nurses on the units were then able to present the special gifts to patients in their care.

“I just love the poinsettia sale,” said Sheri Chisholm, who helped launch the program four years ago while working as a project manager for the adult hospitals. Chisholm continues to volunteer her time to coordinate the program between Michigan Medicine, the Junior League of Ann Arbor and Turner’s Garden Center, which supplies the plants.

“There’s nothing like seeing patients smile when they’re surprised with the poinsettias,” Chisholm said, “and it’s so fun to help the nurses on the units deliver those smiles.”

Kate Balzer, LMSW, project manager for the Office of Patient Experience agrees.

“Being in the hospital — separated from loved ones and away from home — is difficult at any time, and even more so during the holidays,” said Balzer. “Sharing this gift with patients to let them know they are remembered is so meaningful.”

Balzer, Chisholm and their team of volunteers loaded up carts just before Christmas and dispersed a bright splash of joy across the hospitals.

“We are incredibly grateful to all of the generous donors and volunteers who made the poinsettia program possible again this year,” Balzer said. “We are fortunate to have so many supporters who want to do something special for our patients.”

Linda Larin, FACHE, M.B.A., chief operating officer for University Hospital and Frankel Cardiovascular Center, also expressed gratitude for the support faculty and staff from across Michigan Medicine have shown for patients through the poinsettia program.

“Poinsettias for Patients has grown tremendously in the four years since the program began,” said Larin. “It is so heartwarming to see patient spirits lifted when they receive a plant, and our ability to do that for every adult in the hospital is a direct result of the caring and giving nature of our employees.

“Thank you to all who helped make the holidays a little brighter for our patients.”