A little toothpaste, a bit of hand lotion and a comb can go a long way to a make a person facing a hospital stay feel a little more comfortable, yet most Guthrie Cortland Medical Hospital patients are admitted through the emergency room with little to no access to hygiene basics.
JM Murray — a Cortlandville-based nonprofit supported workplace that provides services to people with physical and developmental disabilities — has donated 750 hygiene kits containing travel-sized hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hand lotion, lip balm, bars of soap and combs, said Deborah Nadolski, executive director of the Cortland Memorial Foundation.
“It contains things folks would need when they got admitted to the hospital and things that Guthrie said they would be interested in and would make a good care package for people that are admitted,” said Ernest Dodge, president and CEO of JM Murray. “It’s a way for us to give back to the community.”
Most people admitted to the hospital are there because of emergencies, Nadolski said. And they’re often unprepared for the days of hospitalization that follow.
When Dodge contacted the hospital, Nadolski provided a list of essential items people might need, she said.
After three months of discussion, JM Murray workers spent a week packaging them before distribution on June 12.
“I went to the loading dock and they were there early,” Nadolski said. “It was very gratifying to see the satisfaction on the consumers’ faces as they brought the boxes up.”
“I was so moved by the generosity and pride on display on our loading dock – it was a sight to behold,” said Toni Murdough, patient experience officer at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. “The kits themselves are really attractive and chock full of goodies.”
As housekeepers clean patient rooms after they’re discharged, they will leave kits on the bedside table for new patients that arrive.
The supply should last three months, but Nadolski said the project will be ongoing. Kits will start to be delivered to patients in the next few weeks and JM Murray will continue to send kits at the hospital’s request.
“The hospital is very happy and very positive,” Dodge said. “It’s good for them, good for the patients and good for us.”
In the behavioral health unit, distribution of the kits will be monitored by staff based on what is safe for individual patients, Nadolski said.
“Something as simple as just a comb to comb your hair or lip balm can make someone feel a little bit better when they’re notfeeling so well,” Nadolski said. “We’re so thankful and it’s a terrific gift.”