halloween at CCHC

 I just love working on the pediatric inpatient unit! In (I suspect) every children's hospital around the country, thousands of doctors, nurses and other staff dressed up in halloween garb on Friday or Sunday or both. Our children at CCCH had the opportunity to engage in a little bit of halloween fun despite having to spend the day or the weekend in the hospital. Walking around in the non-pediatric areas of the hospital, people looked at me and either laughed, screamed, or averted their eyes. Occasionally, someone would say; "I like your hat" or "you look cute" but I am not sure they knew who I was or why I was dressed up like a witch with the letters P..E..Z on my dress.

Our team had decided to dress up like CANDY, and you can see a few of the costumes in the pictures below.

One of my colleagues thought that my choice of head gear was quite appropriate for my personality, and the parents of a cute little 5 day old infant, whom I approached with at bit of trepidation, fearing they might think twice about entrusting their daughter to a crazy lady dressed like a witch pez dispenser, actually thought that it was WONDERFUL to know that we were embracing the spirit of a holiday that brought joy to children, despite their illnesses. Everyone, including our residents and medical students, child life specialist, pharmacist, nurses and others, were dressed for the occasion, as their favorite candy.

This is why I LOVE  my job, and LOVE being able to work with others who LOVE their jobs. Don't get me wrong. I don't take lightly the illness and potential suffering around me. But I do believe that infusing some joy, happiness and genuine fun into the day of a hospitalized child and his or her family is a big part of why I do what I do, where I do it.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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