Christmas Comfort Blankets for Patients | News | Loyola Medicine
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Loyola Medicine staff, volunteers make comfort blankets to give patients at Christmas

Weekly sessions to create gifts began in August

MAYWOOD, Ill. (December 24, 2014) – Loyola University Medical Center will bring comfort and warmth to its patients this Christmas through the gift of a homemade blanket.

"This tradition started in 2009 as a small project to bring comfort to a few patients in the hospital," said Bob Andorka, chaplain, Loyola University Health System. "Since then, we have made and donated thousands of blankets to our patients during the Christmas season and throughout the year."

Hosts of Loyola staff and volunteers have gathered during lunch each Friday for the past year to create fleece blankets in a variety of colors to appeal to men, women and children. Volunteers sit around a table cutting and knotting the fabric. Many pray quietly for the patients who will receive the blankets.

Loyola’s nurses and chaplains deliver the blankets to patients on Christmas Eve. These caregivers see patients in some of the most challenging and stressful health situations. Mr. Andorka values the chance to give patients a blanket during this trying time.
"Giving patients a blanket is part of Loyola’s promise to go beyond the illness to treat the whole person," Andorka said. "We hope this small gesture will make a big impact on our patients who face spending the holidays in the hospital."

Funds to purchase the blanket-making materials come from donations to the health system. Those interested in making a donation or a blanket, can contact Eva Moss at evmoss@lumc.edu or 708-216-8249.

To see the comfort blanket project volunteers working together, watch our video.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.