April 29, 2013

Volunteers make blankets for MRMC patients

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — What started out as a project to distribute greeting cards to patients turned into much more recently at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC).

MRMC volunteer Clare Keller is a member of the medical center’s Planetree Healing Arts Committee. One of the committee’s objectives was to provide greeting cards for caregivers to distribute to patients in need of encouragement.

“The committee decided to enlist the help of Sunday school classes, the Boys and Girls Club and other organizations to have their attendees help produce the cards,” said Keller.

Keller also put the word out to the King’s Daughters’ School, a nursing home and her religious service group from St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Columbia. Included among St. Catherine’s ongoing projects is visiting inmates at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville.

“During our February visit, I mentioned the project to the inmate trustee assigned to our services. We both thought it would be an uplifting project for the inmates as well as the patients,” Keller said. “When we came back in March, she told me to come and see what the inmates had done. Lo and behold, there were three large bags of crocheted afghans.”

When the committee members looked through the bags filled with more than a dozen new blankets, they came across an especially soft and pretty one.

“The lady who made it told us she hoped it would be especially comforting to someone in pain and dying. We were all touched and teary,” Keller said. “The inmates who participated in this project are trying to make some positive changes in their lives. Giving from what little they have is very important to many of them, especially those who attend religious services.”

In addition to the afghans, the volunteer group also makes caps for preemies at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital and robes for nursing home patients. Anyone interested in donating yarn for any of these projects or learning more about volunteer service at Maury Regional is invited to contact the Volunteer Services Department at 931.380.4047.

MRMC is one of many health care facilities around the world that have embraced the Planetree model of patient centered care. Planetree is a non profit organization that was founded more than 30 years ago on the principals of personalizing, demystifying and humanizing the health care experience as it relates to both caregivers and patients. MRMC has partnered with Planetree to develop this philosophy of patient centered care and is the only Planetree-affiliated hospital in the state of Tennessee.


Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) volunteers Price and Clare Keller (sitting) recently delivered afghans created by prison inmates for patients at MRMC. Also pictured (l-r) are MRMC Department Support Coordinator Cindy Wilmore, MRMC Administrative Director Carey Albright, MRMC Patient Advocate Sarah Barry and MRMC volunteer Candice Barton.