Howard University Hospital Dresses Up for Christmas

By Erica Adkins
Office of University Communications

WASHINGTON-- Giftwrapped doors, garlands and festive wreaths fill the hallways, offices, patient areas and work places through Howard University Hospital as staff brightens the facility for the holidays.

Assortments of handmade wreaths, crafted by staff member Jennifer Heaven hang from patient’s doors in Labor and Delivery to give the unit a festive feel.

“The purpose of decorating is to make sure everybody feels good,” said Beverly Wagstaffe, nurse manager of Labor and Delivery. “Just the joy of the festivities brings warmth to the patients’ hearts.”

Because of the very diverse patient population, “Unto us a child is born” is the theme in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“The staff as well is from all over,” nurse coordinator Gwen Johnson said.  “So, sometimes we decorate the unit with ‘Peace’ banners written in different languages.”

Elaborate Christmas trees also are found in the main entrance and the waiting room to give everybody that extra Christmas cheer. 
The Pavilion patient area on the 6th floor of the hospital is also dressed up for the holiday. Nurse Bade Modpe explained there the unit has a different colored theme every year. This year, ornate decorations are all shades of green, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Sparkly green ornaments and snowflakes hang from the ceiling, creating a festive environment.

“Green is the sign of hope,” Modpe said, “God gave us hope of what is here to come.  It’s an occasion to be joyful.”
One of the most decorated units is Clinical Research on the fourth floor. The main entrance door is wrapped in all gold foil with red ribbon.

“We take the coming of Christ very seriously,” nurse manager Alice Ukaegbu said. “The preparation is part of our decoration and we’re excited to get the place ready for the D-Day.”

The decorative manner of the office gets patients in the holiday spirit and helps uplift their mood as well. Inside one escape in a world of authentic Christmas decorations from mistletoe, candy canes, and giftwrapped boxes in the Clinical Research unit.

“It’s a team effort to decorate, even when it comes to purchasing the decorations,” Ukaegbu. Said.  “It brings us closer together just in time for the holiday.”

To see a slideshow of the hospital’s decorations click here,

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