Colo. hospital to give special recognition to patients who served in military
By THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, COLO. Published: August 10, 2017
Parkview Medical Center is launching a new program on Tuesday to recognize local veterans for their service in the U.S. military.
The three-part program will seek to identify veterans receiving medical care at the hospital, as well as Parkview's veteran employees and volunteers, in order to celebrate their status as military vets.
"Parkview Medical Center is very proud to honor the service and sacrifices of our patients that have served our country," said Parkview Medical Center President and CEO Mike Baxter in a press release. "This concept to recognize these individuals was brought forward by one of Parkview's own veterans on staff and we're excited to make this program a reality throughout the medical center."
The Salute to Veterans program was developed by Parkview registered nurse and former Air Force Capt. Melinda McAndrews, who modeled the initiative after a similar program in Louisiana. McAndrews' own military service, along with that of her husband and father, is what she said helped to inspire her to bring the program to Parkview.
For the first facet of the program, veterans who work and volunteer at Parkview will now be given a special badge holder with an American flag adornment to indicate their veteran status. The second facet is geared toward Parkview's patients, who, upon admittance, will be asked if they have any past military experience. Those who answer yes and wish to participate in the program will be given a laminated sign to place at the head of their bed, which will detail their military service to both staff and hospital visitors.
In addition to the straightforward benefit of simple recognition, the laminated signs are meant to encourage visitors and staff to thank the veteran for their service and also to facilitate conversations about their experiences.
The third and final part of the program is the veteran's salute, where veterans who pass away at the hospital will be draped with a U.S. flag as they're brought from their rooms to postmortem care.
With the family's permission after a veteran has passed, the hospital operator will announce a call of "final salute" over the facility's PA system, including the unit location within the hospital.
Any staff members or visitors who wish to pay their respects will be able to do so by lining the hallway of the sending unit; after a prayer of remembrance and thanks, the veteran's body will be escorted to the morgue.
Civilians will be able to show their respect during the procession by placing a hand over their heart and former military members will be able to do so with the traditional hand salute. The program is entirely voluntary and patients can opt out at any time.
(c)2017 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)
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