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Local heroes tucked under tree

Caregivers recognized for their compassion

Posted: December 3, 2008 11:03 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2008 4:30 a.m.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital honored their "health care heroes" during the Christmas tree topping ceremony held on the hospital's front lawn in Valencia.

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A handful of "health care heroes" were acknowledged by colleagues as they posed for a snapshot against the fully decked Christmas tree at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Wednesday afternoon.

The hospital's Health Foundation launched the heroes program in August to recognize many heroes for their compassionate care for their patients.

The program was developed for patients, families and visitors to recognize those who cared for them or a loved one.

Upon receipt of a Healthcare Hero nomination, the Foundation presents the nominated caregiver with an acknowledgement letter and pin.

"It's really an added bonus," said healthcare hero Kathy Park, RN. "I have a great job in a great area and, on top of that, to receive this recognition is just great."

Park said she was surprised when she received the letter a patient wrote about her.

Lisa Araki, lactation specialist, was touched by her nominator's words.

"My patient (in her letter) said, ‘Lisa is awesome, Henry Mayo should clone her,'" Araki said. "That was so sweet."

The tree's decorators from Andy Gump Inc., Garrett Pascolla, Matt Adler and Barry Gump, stuck around to acknowledge the heroes even after two days of decorating.

Newhall Memorial doctors saved the life of Pascolla's father who had a steering wheel jammed in his mouth during an accident.

"We're involved because of the care (Pascolla) and all our families have been given," Gump said. "We're grateful for the hospital and all they've done for the community."

The hospital will host a celebration in honor of the Healthcare Heroes at the 23rd Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Holiday entertainment, photos with Santa, refreshments and children's holiday activities will begin at 2 p.m.

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