Frisbie Memorial Hospital - January 09, 2023

Over the years, Frisbie Memorial Hospital colleagues consistently have gone above and beyond to care for their patients, including supporting those in need of food, clothing and other items. After seeing her colleagues go out of their way time and again, purchasing items from their own pocket to support patients at discharge, Amy Doucette, chairperson of Frisbie’s Employee Advisory Group (EAG), identified a central location in the hospital to stock with food and supplies for patients in need.

“As a result of identifying this need, the EAG recently implemented a new program at the hospital called Fill the Gap, which has been near and dear to all of us,” Doucette said. “Fill the Gap is a dedicated patient resource program with a closet stocked with hundreds of items that include everything from hearing aid batteries to tents, clothes, food, cards, coloring books, games, puzzles, and many more items.”

The closet is utilized by any hospital colleague who identifies a patient in need, inpatient or outpatient. And all colleagues are empowered to identify and assist these patients through Fill the Gap.

To help get the program running, EAG members held a food and supply drive, and hospital colleagues donated hundreds of items to kick things off.

“We thought it would be great if staff had a central location to gather in real time things they need for their patients,” Doucette said. “Being the chair of Frisbie’s EAG, I knew this would be a great project for this small, but mighty team to work on, and it’s been very well received by everyone.”

Doucette shared how the Fill the Gap resource closet already has helped several patients: A young mom who didn’t have enough food or diapers for her two children to get through the weekend. An elderly patient whose hearing aid batteries had died long ago, so she was unable to hear what her doctor and nurses were saying.

“The goal of the patient resource closet is to meet the needs of our patients in a way that makes them feel like we truly `care like family,’ and to emphasize that we are always there for them,” Doucette said. “We want all patients to feel that we support not just their health and wellbeing, but also to know we are here to help bridge a gap that may be preventing them from being successful at healing or recovery.

“I am so appreciative of all the people who have helped to make this idea a reality,” Doucette said. “I would like to offer a special thanks to the EAG team members and Robin Pelkey (Dietitian), for without their help this project would not have been possible. This program has helped bring happiness to the staff and patients alike, and it gives us the necessary resources to address all of our patients’ needs.”