February 13, 2012

UW Medical Center staff and volunteers create heartfelt valentines for hospital patients

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

On February 14 each hospitalized patient at UW Medical Center will receive a handmade Valentine’s Day card, individually crafted by UWMC staff members, their family and friends, and volunteers. The cards will be placed on patients’ meal trays and delivered directly to patients’ rooms.

A few of the 350 valentine cards handmade for UWMC hospital patients.

Karen Neuhard-Forsythe

A few of the 350 valentine cards handmade for UWMC hospital patients.

UWMC art program manager Karen Neuhard-Forsythe coordinated the project. She made intriguing card construction materials available to everyone interested in participating in what has become an annual event. The UWMC-Artist-in Residence program provides the art supplies, and the UWMC staff, their family and friends, and volunteers provide the time and creative energy to make the cards.

“Our goal,” Neuhard-Forsythe said, “is to have 350 beautiful, unique, handmade cards for delivery to our patients on Valentine’s Day. This is the fourth year of the project. The interest and enthusiasm to make the valentines has been phenomena.”

Staff members were already contacting her in November and December asking if the UWMC Art Program would be making valentine’s cards for patients again this year.

“This is another wonderful example of our dedication to putting patients first  here at UWMC,” Neuhard-Forsythe said, referring to the caring service culture at the medical center.

She extended a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in the project: “UWMC patients truly love the cards, and the efforts and creations are inspiring.”

The Plaza Cafe food services staff help make the project possible. Every year they step up to be sure the 350 valentines are delivered to patients. Volunteer Services, Neuhard-Forsythe said, graciously allowed their office space to become command central for distributing materials, answering questions, and collecting finished cards.

The UWMC Service League provides financial support for the Artist-in Residence Program.

Anyone interested in working on this or other projects throughout the year can contact  Neuhard-Forsythe in UWMC Volunteer Services, 206.598.6308