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Two members of Eating Disorder team spread holiday cheer with month-long series of fun

01/16/19 01:44:pm

edc_full.jpgSpending the holidays at Rogers instead of at home with family can be incredibly difficult, especially for our child and adolescent patients.

To help make the best of a challenging time, Amberly Mixon, therapist and behavior specialist, and Sarah Hoffman, behavior specialist, donned Holiday attire every day for more than a month leading up to Christmas for patients in the residential Eating Disorder care.

“They’re both dedicated to our kids in our residential program and go the extra mile even when it isn’t the holiday season,” says Jenifer WaiteWollenburg, clinical services manager. “They are approachable and connect quickly with our kids. Sarah and Amberly are a credit to their professions and an asset to the EDC team and Rogers.”

Amberly says that she started wearing Christmas-themed socks after the first snowfall, but after Thanksgiving she “went all out.”

“Every day I wore at least a headband and earrings,” she says. “Fridays always consisted of the holiday sweater and somedays there were holiday leggings involved. I would wear holiday necklaces or glasses as it matched my outfit as well.”

Likewise, Sarah wore sweaters, pants, socks, earrings, and hair accessories to spread holiday cheer. Both are planning on doing something similar next year and have even started considering what they can do different.

“One of my coworkers gave me the idea of representing the 12 days of Christmas, so that is an idea I want to explore further,” Sarah says.

Amberly, who works mostly with adolescents, says that patients had a positive reaction to her and Sarah wearing the holiday gear. “It was weird coming back to work after the holiday as some residents had not seen me in normal clothes.”

Sarah received a similar reaction, and even had a letter addressed to her from a former resident who said her holiday attire brightened their day and helped make treatment more manageable.

"Many team members laughed at the thought of having to have a serious heart to heart while also wearing an ugly sweater,” Jenifer says. “But the holiday attire helped take the pressure out of tense situations."

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