Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves delivered early Christmas presents to young patients
and spread holiday cheer to those still young at heart at UMC Children’s Hospital
and Southwest Cancer Center.
Employees from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology dressed up as Santa,
Mrs. Claus and elves and gave out candy canes, blankets, headphones, playing cards,
stuffed animals, word searches, coloring books and crayons and posed for pictures
with patients, visitors and employees.
“Our director, Warren Hatley, grew his beard and we started telling him he would be a great Santa because his beard was getting long,” said Lupita Ramos, elf and lead specialist. “He pondered the idea for a couple of days and suggested going to the Children’s Hospital and Southwest Cancer Center and the rest of us could be his elves. This is the first year that we did this, and we couldn’t be more happy and humbled to bring smiles to these children and their parents.”
Between 25 to 30 young patients received presents from the group, who contributed
the funds to purchase the gifts.
The Department of Pathology members were motivated to do this project because the nature of their job excludes seeing patients and they wanted that human interaction.
“The gift of giving is priceless, and we are privileged to work with a department
that did not hesitate to come together for this special event,” Ramos said.
“Although this is our first year to do this, there was a lot of enthusiasm for this project. If all goes well, we plan on making this a yearly event,” Hatley (Santa Claus) said.
The elves included Teri West, chief histologic tech; Nelda Cruz, lead coding and reimbursement
specialist; Irma Acevedo, senior coding and reimbursement specialist; and Paola Jimenez,
histologic assistant, portrayed Mrs. Claus.
“We are definitely looking forward to doing this again next year,” Ramos said.