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Team Beebe’s Tips for a Safe Holiday

Be safe this holiday season


As we enter this holiday season, it is difficult to consider the choices that we will all have to make to keep ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and at Beebe, our patients safe. 

Thanksgiving is a time to sit around the table with our family and remember all the reasons we are thankful. During the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza season, many gather to share gifts and celebrate sacred religious days. Many also gather to ring in the New Year every December 31.

I have always loved Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, having just emigrated from Japan, Thanksgiving was a truly memorable American holiday. For me, five Chinese families would join together to watch USC football, play the board game, RISK, and of course enjoy a unique blend of traditional American and Asian dishes. 

While I think of those memories fondly, this year my family will be creating some new traditions. COVID-19 is still here with us and the data shows that infection and hospitalization rates continue to rise across the country and here in Sussex County. 

We must reinvent some of the traditions of our families and friends to keep each other safe. Just as all traditions look a little different from household to household, everyone will likely come up with their own new traditions this year. 

Team Beebe is all about caring for our community, so we felt the best way to demonstrate that this year was to have our team come up with some ideas on how to celebrate this year’s holidays – COVID style.

Many suggested creating virtual holidays and chatting on the phone while eating dinner outside in the fresh air or inside in a larger space with the windows open.

In addition to those great ideas, some team members had even more original ideas that we just had to share with you in the hopes of making your 2020 holiday a little bit brighter. We’ll be sharing all of these ideas on social media throughout the holiday season.

At Beebe, we remain committed to this community. We are open and safe for all of your healthcare needs. And as we prepare to celebrate this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we are certainly thankful for the privilege of caring for you.

Create a letter chain
Linda Schultz, a systems analyst at Beebe, came up with a wonderful idea about creating a letter chain of the folks that would normally attend your holiday get together. 

Write your own page briefly that shares your sentiments for the holiday – something you would share if you were together – don’t make it too long to encourage those down the line to keep it going. 

Mail the letter, the instructions, and the mailing list. The person who receives it will do the same, and when the letter makes its way back to you, the circle is complete. 

Many of our other team members also suggested sending care packages. 

I Spy at a lights display
Rebeca Heistand-Ringwood, BSN, RN, suggested making a new family tradition. She shares one of her ideas below:

  1. Research local holiday light displays that can be seen from a slow drive in the car.
  2. Make an "I Spy" game from things on the display route. (Have copies for each family unit.)
  3. Plan a family holiday date.
  4. Schedule a time around dinnertime (dusk to dark). 
  5. Each family unit will need to be able to ride in their own vehicles (preferably decorated) and bring their own drinks.
  6. Make to-go containers with a holiday meal or snacks for each family member.
  7. Include a family supply of napkins and utensils in one Ziplock-type storage bag.
  8. Have families meet at one location. 
  9. Pass out to-go containers to family cars and a copy of the "I Spy" game to each car.
  10. When all have assembled, lead the pack and drive in a caravan to and through the light display / neighborhood. *This is a "No Cell Zone," and all electronics and other distractions need to be put away during the family drive.*
  11. When completed, make your way back to the meeting place and gather the scavenger hunt papers from each family.
  12. Announce the winner for having the most items checked off. (Of course this is for bragging rights ... unless you want to give out a family trophy.)

It requires a little bit of effort but well worth it, she says.

Let the kids cook!
Tara Simpson our manager for organizational development will just be having her family of four at home this year (and that’s OK too!). 
She says to change things up this year and get the whole family involved, they will be planning the menu differently.

Besides the turkey (and maybe stuffing), each member will choose to make something. It can be anything, doesn’t have to be the traditional things but it’s their choice, they buy the ingredients, they make it all themselves.

“I’m excited to see what they each come up with.” 
Exchange those family recipes, find something special
Pam Smith, RN and Clinical Review Auditor (and also wonderful at sewing masks), suggested a recipe exchange. Mail it, zoom it, but make it special if everyone is apart this year. There could also be a wreath exchange if you are handy enough to do that (I know I’m not!)
She also suggested to give to those in need and spread kindness and holiday spirit. 

Holiday Bingo and craft boxes 
Kelley Mills, Human Resources Specialists, says send out bingo cards in the mail previously. Then create a Zoom meeting for Bingo. 

She also suggested this great idea for kids, a craft or activity Box: Provide a simple craft such as decorating a cut out tree with stickers/pom poms or something to paint. Also could provide a baking box with simple ingredients for a hot cocoa. 

One more idea from Kelley who really shared some great ideas was to surprise someone with a festive mug and drop it off at the door with a sign that says, “I’ve been mugg’d!” Hopefully they will pass it along. You can keep it anonymous or not.

One more thank you
No matter how you celebrate this year, please just remember to keep the COVID-19 safety measures in mind: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Thank you all and thank you to the many team members who shared their ideas. I wish we could fit them all!

- David

Dr David Tam

David A. Tam, MD, MBA, CPHE, FACHE

David A. Tam, MD, MBA, CPHE FACHE, assumed the role of Beebe Healthcare President & CEO on March 17. He is a distinguished and accomplished administrator and has experiences as an officer in the United States Navy and in large public health systems. He completed his pediatrics residency at the US Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, and a pediatric neurology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.