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Since the establishment of the VGH Health Care Foundation’s annual Tree of Lights Campaign in 1992, more than $1.5 million in donations has been used to serve the healthcare needs of Benton County communities. This year the goal of the Tree of Lights Campaign is to improve the quality of life for the residents and family members who rely on Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab.

Most of us take the simple choices of our day for granted. If you want a snack, you open the refrigerator or rummage about in the cupboard. You make decisions based on what you want all day every day and don’t think it should be any other way.

The residents of VGH Nursing and Rehab want that freedom too; it’s the freedom they’ve earned and deserve to have after a lifetime of raising families, working, and contributing to the well-being of the people around them. Giving them more control over their day and their decisions is what this year’s Tree of Lights Campaign is all about.

Our goal is to help Nursing and Rehab encourage a culture of person-centered care. You can learn what that means by reading the Thrive Fall/Winter 2018 article about Alan Coyle’s work as a nurse in Nursing and Rehab (“Brave New Career”). Alan says, “One of the ways I show respect for our residents is to ask them if they’re ready for their medications, or any other activities they need to do. If they aren’t ready, then they aren’t ready, and I’ll come back later to ask them again. I believe in giving them as much control as possible and all the respect I would want if I were a resident.”

“As much control and respect as I would want if I were a resident” – that’s what patient-centered care is all about.

The specific goals include adding a food cart designed to improve patient-centered food service and a new four-jet hydrotherapy whirlpool tub providing a better experience and improved features to fight infections and prevent damaging older skin.

We hope you will join in the spirit of Virginia Gay and the thousands who in past years have generously given to Tree of Lights campaigns. We think this year’s campaign has an especially lofty objective – providing better care for the people whose care made our lives possible.

For online contributions to Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation’s Annual Tree of Lights Campaign or or any of the other community support programs, please visit www.myvghfoundation.org/donate-now

Most of us take the simple choices of our day for granted.