Creative ways our employees are supporting our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

As we all face unprecedented changes and challenges brought by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, kindness matters more than ever. With social distancing and other proactive measures in place, MD Anderson employees have taken the initiative to find new and creative ways to show they care for our cancer patients, who are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19. Here are a few examples.

Kind words and healthy habits to slow the spread of coronavirus

Washing your hands often and properly is one of the most important things we can each do to protect against the novel coronavirus. To encourage good hand hygiene, MD Anderson’s Specialty Pharmacy sent a hand-signed letter and mini-bottle of hand sanitizer to all patients who received prescription deliveries in April.

After reading a Women’s Health article featuring an MD Anderson patient who specifically mentioned her fears about medicine supply chains being affected by the pandemic, Megan McGugan, Pharm.D., a manager in the Specialty Pharmacy, knew she wanted to do something special for the patients that depend on specialty medicines.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about her concerns,” McGugan says. “I thought if she was feeling this way, there’s no doubt other patients are feeling the same way. I knew we needed to do something to reassure our patients that we will be here for them through this challenging time.”

McGugan and team created a short letter to share best practices for hand hygiene and to remind patients that the Specialty Pharmacy team is available to answer any questions. All six members of the team signed each letter, which was accompanied by hand sanitizer left over from a previous project. The team mailed out about 700 letters total and received heartfelt thanks from many patients and caregivers.

Letter and hand sanitizer mailed to patients by our Specialty Pharmacy team


Chalk art offers colorful encouragement

Patients and employees walking into MD Anderson West Houston after Easter weekend were greeted by uplifting messages written in chalk art along the sidewalks. Natalie Sanchez and Jacque Andrepont, both managers at the West Houston location, were inspired by chalk art that staff from MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital and Arts in Medicine Program drew for our health care heroes at MD Anderson’s Texas Medical Center Campus.

“We want our patients and their families to know that we’re here to do whatever they need to make this process better for them,” Sanchez says.

Since then, more chalk art has welcomed patients and employees at both our West Houston and Texas Medical Center locations. The most recent round of chalk art at MD Anderson gave patients and employees artistic reminders of the continued importance of social distancing and hand hygiene as businesses in Texas gradually begin to re-open.

“The current situation really goes past encouraging us to be creative; it requires us to be creative,” says Nicole Rosburg, Child Life Services manager. “We’re excited to use chalk art to spread joy – and healthy practices – to employees and patients.”