The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach transformed a hospital auditorium into “Santa’s Workshop” so patients can feel the holiday spirit, despite being hospitalized. This helps bring a sense of normalcy to patients and their families who can feel overwhelmed being hospitalized during the holidays.

Dozens of patients, from Miller Children’s & Women’s and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village, and their families were invited to spend their morning collecting toys and gifts from vibrantly decorated Christmas-themed booths set up by various hospital department staff members and community partners – such as Turner Construction and Bandai. Patients got to meet with Star Wars characters dressed up in holiday gear, pet therapy dogs, and, of course, Santa Claus. Patients couldn’t wait to tell Santa their wish list and receive a special gift from St. Nick himself.

This annual event is coordinated by the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s & Women’s, whose mission it is to help make the hospital experience more positive for all pediatric patients.

“Having events like ‘Santa’s Workshop’ is so unbelievable for our patients and families,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “It helps patients celebrate this special time of year that they’re missing out on and gives them a bit of normalcy since they’re in the hospital.”

This event couldn’t be possible without the help of Turner Construction, who has sponsored “Santa’s Workshop” for the past 16 years. Turner Construction has also supported Miller Children’s & Women’s by directly donating funds during COVID-19 and donating Dolphin Wagons. These wagons are used to transport patients or to give them a ride when they need to be moved throughout the hospital.

“To sponsor this event means continuing our tradition of supporting Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s,” says Nino Adamo, business manager, Turner Construction. “We have been sponsoring Santa’s Workshop for the last 16 years and we are very proud to be a part of this event every year.”

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