Here and There: Final gift from Sister Lauren, birthday day party for a patient, Facebook photo prompts gratitude

Sister Theresa Hoffmann, Sister Bernadette Novack and Sister Cashel Weiler deliver bouquets to nursing stations at Saint Marys.

Learn how Sister Lauren gave a final gift to staff after she passed, how Arizona colleagues teamed up to organize a birthday party for a patient, and how a Facebook photo stirred up a lot of gratitude from staff and patients.

"Here and There" gives you a glimpse at happenings across Mayo Clinic, giving special attention to the lighter moments. If you and your colleagues had some fun or stumbled across something interesting, drop the News Center team a note, and include a photo or video if you can.

See what your colleagues have been up to recently.

A final gift from Sister Lauren

When Sister Lauren was laid to rest on Aug. 12, the ceremony included countless bouquets and flower arrangements. In a final act of gratitude, Sister Lauren had arranged to share the flowers with staff at Saint Marys after her funeral.

After the ceremony, the bouquets and other flower displays were delivered to the Saint Marys Campus, where they were re-designed and made into 19 new bouquets. That same evening, Sister Bernadette Novack, Sister Theresa Hoffman and Sister Cashel delivered the flowers to floor desks in the hospital, precisely as Sister Lauren had wished.

"We had enough to leave a bouquet on each substation and one on each central desk area on all the floors in Francis and Domitilla," Sister Cashel says.

The reaction from staff was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their gratitude and sharing stories of how Sister Lauren had personally touched them.

"This is just like her," one staff member said.

"She is still looking out for us, even in death," said another.

The occasion was equally rewarding for the Sisters.

"It was nice to end an emotional day that way, celebrating Sister Lauren with our staff," Sister Bernadette says.

Sister Theresa Hoffmann, Sister Bernadette Novack and Sister Cashel Weiler with a cart of bouquets re-designed from Sister Lauren’s funeral flowers.

Care team organizes surprise birthday party for patient

It’s no secret that Mayo staff often go the extra mile for patients as part of their healing journey.

That was the case in Arizona recently, where Darci KomacAshley Robinson and Mallory Parris from the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation teams worked together to create special memories for one of their patients by organizing a birthday party.

"The patient was actively involved in picking the songs, dancing styles and decorating the bedpan," Robinson says.

The halls of 2C at the hospital in Phoenix were filled with smiling faces, balloons and even a conga line as everyone donned colorful hats and glasses. The event was a collaboration between Recreation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing and the family.

"We used therapy sessions leading up to the patient's birthday to work on planning and decorating —aligning other therapy goals into the process, which helped the patient be a part of her special day, Robinson says.

"We had multiple disciplines involved in the conga line. It was the talk of the town and an amazing turnout," Parris says.

Robinson adds that seeing everyone come together to bring joy to a patient was a beautiful sight.

"I hope we have more opportunities to do the same for future patients," she says.

Ashley Robinson, Braelyn Krischke, Darci Komac and Mallory Parris pose for a photo.

Facebook photo strikes a chord

A photo of Peace Plaza in Rochester — captured from Gonda 18 — struck a chord with hundreds of followers of the Employees at Mayo Clinic Facebook page recently.

The News Center team posted the photo one morning in late July. The view from above — which also featured portions of the Kahler Hotel and Siebens Building — sparked dozens of comments expressing gratitude to Mayo Clinic.

Here’s a sampling:

  • "I know this view very well from my time at Mayo in 2002. Wonderful place!"
  • "What an amazing place. We are so lucky to live close. The staff is unbelievable."
  • "A wonderful place in our darkest time."
  • "I know that place well. Best place in the world to be if you’re sick."
  • "I have spent hours looking out those windows. Thank you, Mayo employees."
  • "Thank you, Mayo employees! You are a great team of employees."

You can read more inspiring comments in the post and add your own.

Peace Plaza in Rochester, captured from Gonda 18.