There is no doubt that our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to our military veterans. These individuals give so much of themselves in order to keep us safe and allow us to live our everyday lives. At St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, they are honoring our vets in a very special way with Honor Red, White and Blue.
The hospital created the program in 2013 to recognize U.S. veterans who are patients, employees, volunteers or physicians. Maegann Tucker, an LPN at St. Tammany in their labor and delivery unit, is honored to work at St. Tammany, “I love my job, but this truly is one of the best things our hospital has to offer. There is no better feeling then honoring our veterans in any way, but the way St. Tammany set up this program is unique and special,” said Tucker.
The program aims to honor veterans. The hospital asks a patient upon check-in if they are a veteran. If the patient confirms, the hospital asks if it is appropriate for them to recognize the veteran and thank them for their service during their stay at the hospital. A flag will then be added to the patients door tag and a star will be added to the patients medical records for future admits and to ensure they know that the patient is a veteran every time he or she returns to the hospital.
“Every time I see the flag on a patients door, I can’t wait to say thank you for everything they have done,” said Angel Dillion, who is also a nurse at St. Tammany. “Its the least we can do and I know they appreciate it very much.”
For employees and volunteers to the hospital, the program allows them to receive a free meal on Veterans Day at the hospital. Liz Briggs, an RN in the labor and delivery unit, loves how the hospital gives back to its employees who are veterans; “It is a special place here, and with the Honor Red, White and Blue program, St. Tammany shows how it is one of the best hospitals in the state.”
The program also honors patients at the time of death throughout the hospital. Upon time of death, the hospital Chaplain, staff nurse or supervisor will acquire the family’s permission to honor the patient with a flag salute. The hospital operator will announce on the hospitals’ PA system by saying: “Attention please Honor Red, White and Blue! Honor Red, White and Blue!” Available staff will then drape a flag over the casket and the Chaplain will say a few words. Staff will then line the hallways as the body is being brought to the morgue or funeral home.
“I’ve only been here for a little over a year, and I have gotten a chance to participate in the Honor red, White and Blue ceremony only once,” said Tucker. “It was an incredible experience, and it made me so proud to be a part of the St. Tammany family.”
For more information on this program, visit St. Tammany’s website at http://www.stph.org/
Video courtesy of Women’s Choice Award video