President's Circle Honoree: Hema Persaud

On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, Hema Persaud, a patient care support tech in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), reached out to other Associates with a request. She was caring for a patient who had been diagnosed as brain-dead and was just hours away from a scheduled organ donation surgery through our organ donation partner, OneLegacy.

Hema had heard that the patient was a veteran, and knew there was a way that we could provide special recognition and pay respects to him and his family.

So, she looked online at our November Associate newsletter – the Veterans edition – to see which Associates had served or are currently serving in the military. She then began making calls to ask if they would provide the patient and family with a proper military “final salute.”

As she called each person, they responded and even offered to call other Associates they knew who had served.

Within just a couple of hours, more than 10 Associates from across the Hospital, from Security to Compliance to Information Systems, were ready to present the salute.

Hema recalls the moment she saw her fellow Associates line the halls to honor the patient. She says: “it felt so good to see all the people that cared so much and wanted to honor this veteran. I still get emotional thinking about it.”

As the OneLegacy team transported the patient to surgery, these Associates draped “Old Glory,” our nation’s flag, over the patient.

They followed side-by-side in a silent procession with the patient down the hall, performed a salute, conducted a folding of the flag and presented the flag to one of the family members in honor of their loved one.

Hema’s seemingly small gesture was not only an act of patriotism and kindness, but one that encompassed so many of our C.H.A.N.G.E. Values, including Excellence and Honor & Respect.

She understood that her patient, a veteran, deserved this ceremony for his dedicated service and sacrifices made in the Armed Forces and to our nation. We are so grateful to Hema for the compassion and respect she showed to the patient and his family.

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