Decking hospital halls takes a team

Longview | August 17, 2018
“Elves” help usher in joyous season

Decking the halls for the holidays sounds fun, but it’s no easy feat. It takes the time, talents and elvish efforts of some dedicated volunteers and caregivers to pull it off and make spirits bright during Christmastime at the hospital.

Each year as holidays approach, a merry crew comes together to deck the halls at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington.

From departments across the hospital — community ministries, facilities, materials management and volunteer services — these dedicated individuals come cheerfully together with passion, collaboration and dedication.

They check off a long list of tasks — pick up, deliver, set up and fully decorate six Christmas trees, including a 12-foot, gorgeously adorned tannenbaum in the hospital’s main lobby.

The other trees brighten the emergency entrance, imaging/admitting, the cafe, surgery registration and surgery wait area. A large nativity, depicting the birth of Jesus, is also set up in the main lobby.

After these holiday helpers put the finishing touches on their festive work, the spirit of Christmas and the season of peace can be felt around the hospital. Without these unsung heroes, it would seem like a grinch had stolen Christmas.

Many of those who visit the hospital during the holiday season appreciate the efforts of the “elves” behind the scenes who help usher in the season of joy each year:

Michael Brock, Steve Edwards and Ryan Masters from materials management for physically delivering the supplies and trees to and from storage

Dan Browne and Jim Denton from facilities for setting up the Nativity — complete with alarms to keep the baby Jesus safe and secure;

Chere Weiss from community ministries along with mentor students for setting up and decorating the trees in the lobby areas;

Crystal Rhodes, Barb Carron and Christina Courtney of volunteer services for coordinating this annual event, decorating and ensuring the baby Jesus is in the nativity each morning and tucked safely away each night.