Shore Memorial Supports Patients Through “Spirit of Shore”

November 19, 2009

The current economy has inspired everyone to simplify. Backyard barbecues instead of resort vacations. A home-cooked meal instead of a fancy restaurant. Renting a DVD instead of going out to a movie.

We are now learning that it’s the little things that can mean the most. This is a philosophy that Shore Memorial Hospital has been following for decades, and is now channeling through its new “Spirit of Shore” initiative.

The Spirit of Shore is part of Shore Memorial’s affiliation with Planetree, a global non-profit organization that promotes patient-centered care in healing environments.

“Spirit of Shore is not so much a program as it is a philosophy,” says Tami Kitchen, director of patient-centered care. “It’s about doing the right thing when it comes to our patients, and allowing our patients and families to have the best hospital experience possible by individualizing their care.”

The programs and activities under the umbrella of Spirit of Shore are designed to offer the best care possible within the hospital (nutritious meals, complimentary healing therapies), and to support the local community outside the hospital (blood drives, wellness programs, food drives).

A few programs provided through Spirit of Shore

  • Circle of Friends – Community volunteers come together to knit prayer shawls, blankets and lap covers for patients to keep warm. Many people in the community also donate the yarn and supplies.
  • Blanket drive – Through Spirit of Shore, the hospital collected more than 300 blankets to be donated this month to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.
  • Bedside companions -Volunteers and members of the hospital staff sit by the bedside of patients who don’t have many visitors.
  • Reflexology – Soothing, stress relieving foot massages for patients
  • White Rose Program– Care packages with handmade cards white roses, lotions and comfort items are given to patients and families who are facing a health crisis, or are under palliative care.

While these programs are much appreciated by Shore Memorial patients, it is the independent acts of hospital staff, done without instruction or provocation from superiors that truly exemplify the Spirit of Shore:

  • A nurse arranging for a woman who has been in the hospital for a few weeks to have her hair washed and styled.
  • Staff members providing a birthday celebration for a 12-year-old girl who was hospitalized and needed surgery on her birthday.

“It’s about making the patient feel like a person again,” says Elizabeth Burke, director of organization development at Shore Memorial. “These are little things that often go unnoticed but mean the world to our patients.”