NASHVILLE -- With the holiday season in full swing, Titans RB Khari Blasingame, TE Anthony Firkser, RB David Fluellen, TE Parker Hesse, TE Mycole Pruitt, TE Jonnu Smith, QB Ryan Tannehill and QB Logan Woodside put on red Santa hats, sang Christmas carols and delivered gifts to spread Christmas cheer by visiting new parents and orthopaedic patients at Saint Thomas Midtown hospital. Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system.
"We were able to visit families and welcome little girls and boys to the world," said Tannehill. "Beautiful kids and happy parents - it's special that we were able to share that moment with them to welcome that child to the world. Several of them were going home today and that's exciting! To be able to see them before they go home and bring a smile to their faces was a lot of fun."
More moms trust Saint Thomas Women's Care to deliver their babies more than any other hospital in the state of Tennessee. More than 6,000 babies are born annually at the hospital which is the most among all hospitals in middle Tennessee. The OB floor made extensive and exciting renovations that began in 2016 to enhance the experience of the many families they care for each year. Some of the updates included a new registration area, renovated triage rooms, labor and delivery rooms and a new Titans Fan Zone Waiting Room. Additionally, the new Birthing Center offers expectant families a truly memorable childbirth experience: holistic, highly specialized maternity care in a home-like environment.
Saint Thomas also underwent a $25 million project renovating 94,000 square feet of space on the 8th floor of the Saint Thomas Joint Replacement Institute. This resulted in eight dedicated operating rooms that are larger and more appropriate for advanced total joint replacement procedures, leading to the best outcomes for patients. The final result brings Middle Tennessee patients a personalized experience.
"It means so much to everybody, especially around the holidays," said Nicole Schlechter, Chief Medical Officer at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. A hospital setting is not always the happiest moment and having them here brightens everyone's day. Of course, the baby part of it is great too! They come and visit our newborn babies and they makes everyone so happy."
"Just sang them some Christmas songs," said Smith. "I'm not going to sing them on camera because I'll embarrassed myself! The patients sang along with us and it was awesome. It was a great mood and great spirits. It doesn't even feel like a hospital -- it just feels like we are visiting some great people."
"Having the relationship where we can come here on a Tuesday and bring a smile to their faces, cheer some people up and share some great moments with these kids and parents is a special thing," added Tannehill"
There is a selflessness and sensibility not found anywhere else except by those who care for people when they are at their most vulnerable. Since we are in the season of giving thanks, it's a good time to deliver a dose of gratitude to the physicians, nurses and staff for the skill, care, and compassion they provide.
There's no doubt a hospital is one of the last places most families hope to find themselves over the Christmas holiday. The staff at Saint Thomas Hospitals continue to help families of Christmases past and present continue a tradition aimed at making the stay a little more joyous.
Titans players brighten the Christmas spirit of patients at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. (Photos: Donald Page)
ABOUT ASCENSION SAINT THOMAS HEALTH
In Tennessee, Ascension's Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $127 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2018. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.