You Ask, We Answer: Spreading holiday cheer in the hospital amid the COVID-19 pandemic

You Ask, We Answer

Washington Regional Medical Center works to spread cheer to patients over Christmas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Answer’ report, KNWA found out what Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville is doing to spread cheer to patients over Christmas.

Being home for Christmas this year is not possible for some patients, so the staff at the hospital is working to make sure they feel the spirit and love of the holidays.

“We do have limited visitation and so I know that they miss their families and they miss their holiday traditions,” said Rebecca Cowie, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at Washington Regional Medical Center.

Ana Eastman is the director of cardiology at the hospital. She said in the era of COVID-19, many patients now spend time with family members by video chat.

“I think communication is something we take for granted until that ability is taken away from us,” she said. “I’ve had some patients who have cried that they are able to see their family members other than just hearing their voice.”

Eastman said it’s especially important for families to connect during the holidays, so they have a handful of devices that patients can use.

“Having those individuals present even if it is via iPad or another communication resource is instrumental in allowing them to not feel that loneliness while here in the hospital,” she said.

The staff also spread holiday cheer to the littlest patients at the hospital.

“They were wrapped up like little Christmas gifts with bows,” Cowie said. “Something super sweet is that we were able to have Santa come into the NICU and provide a gift to the families of the children who are in the NICU. Anything we can do that’s kind of different that helps them celebrate Christmas always makes the staff feel good.”

Cowie said the staff is working to make sure patients have a great Christmas even if they have to spend it in the hospital.

“It’s particularly important this time of year and especially this year that we spread a little cheer to our patients and provide that togetherness for them while they are here,” she said.

If there is something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to look into it. You can send your questions to

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