Santa brings smiles and holiday cheer to LB Memorial patients

Santa Claus and Cruz, a pet therapy dog, visit Christopher in the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial.

On his way back to the North Pole, Santa Claus stopped by Long Beach Memorial (LBM) and passed out stockings filled with goodies to the patients. Children from Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and local-area schools made homemade cards for Mrs. Clause to hand out. Instead of reindeer, Cruz, a pet therapy dog, accompanied Santa Claus to spread holiday cheer.
The Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) coordinated Santa Claus’s visit. The PFAC advocates for hospitalized patients and their family. Members of the council have been patients or are family members of patients at LBM. Health care professionals also serve on the PFAC to bring a professional and collaborative approach. Oftentimes, members offer volunteer services as a way to “give back” to LBM for the excellent care given to them. For example, council members share their stories, awareness, perceptions and understanding with current patients.
According to research, having family, friends and special visits lifts patients’ spirits and it improves recovery time. LBM and PFAC want to help patients who might not be able to enjoy the holidays at home or experience Christmas cheer.
“We are so happy that Santa was able to stop by and visit our patients at Long Beach Memorial,” said Stephanie Stembridge, a family advocate of LBM. “It makes our patients and their families so happy during a stressful time. We are so thankful that PFAC was able to set this up for our patients.”


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