During these times, all patients see are the eyes of their health care workers

Adventist doctor, Marifi Cabaluna is one of those faces behind the mask.
Adventist doctor, Marifi Cabaluna is one of those faces behind the mask.
Photo Courtesy Adventist Health

Often, a pair of eyes is all the patient sees when he or she arrives at their local hospital.  The new norm now is for patients greeted by nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers almost all of whom are wearing masks or are covered from head to toe in personal protective equipment.

Often, a welcoming pair of eyes is the only thing visible. To help improve the hospital experience, Adventist Health is participating in the “Faces Behind Masks” project, a global non-profit initiative with a mission to provide personalized smiling face stickers to medical staff all over the world. 

Bret Brakeman, print manager at Art Print Service in Hanford, learned about the “Faces Behind Masks” initiative and reached out to Adventist Health in the Central Valley to ask if hospital staff would be interested in providing photos of themselves smiling. The smiling photos would then be printed and turned into stickers to be placed on personal protective equipment, so patients could see a smiling face and not just a mask.

“My wife and I have both had surgeries at Adventist Health Hanford and the staff and support was outstanding,” says Brakeman. “We wanted to do something to show our appreciation.”

Brakeman reached out to Clines Business Equipment, out of Visalia, and Onlinelabels.com, out of Florida, as part of a combined effort to obtain the material needed for the donation of stickers.

“We were moved by this kind gesture,” says Laurie Taggart, patient care executive at Adventist Health in the Central Valley. “Our providers have been doing such an amazing job caring for patients during these challenging times. This is a great way to bring a little bit of joy and positivity to the hospital and brighten both the providers and patients’ day.”

The smiling face stickers are currently being created for providers who care for COVID-19 patients at all four hospitals throughout Adventist Health in the Central Valley, including Hanford, Tulare, Selma, and Reedley.

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