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VA Palo Alto Health Care System

 

Family-Centered Care at Filoli with Reveille

Family members from Polytrauma Rehab Center and PTRP each focusing on picturesque views with their cameras.

Family members from Polytrauma Rehab Center and PTRP each focusing on picturesque views with their cameras.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Orange tulips, yellow daffodils, pink apple blossoms and olive groves. These were the sights our patients' family members encountered upon arriving at the Filoli Gardens recently. Cameras were constantly snapping photos in hopes of capturing the historical and lovely interiors of the Bourne mansion and the beauty of the multi-acre garden located in Woodside. The word Filoli is derived from the first two letters of Bourne's motto: Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life. Community service group Reveille sponsored this day of respite for the family caregivers of the Polytrauma 7D unit and PTRP. The family participants were treated to a healthy lunch and a docent-led tour as well. This community outing was planned in hopes that it would be a positive therapeutic experience for all family participants, who selflessly give of themselves in supporting the Active Duty Service Members' recovery.

Since 2008, Reveille has partnered with the Recreation Therapy Service to support the VAPAHCS Polytrauma Family Program. What started out as sponsoring a monthly patient and family dinner expanded to so much more. They have distributed welcome home gift bags to patients with traumatic brain injuries, provided lunch barbeques, donated needed items for the patient and family programs, and every week their members bring home-baked cookies. Each September around Patriot Day, they bring a car show to our Veterans, raising funds from the car owners in order to continue their outreach efforts. Reveille is a generous group, both with their donations and their time, consistently demonstrating a strong commitment serving those who served us, and reaching out to those who care for our recovering Veterans and Service Members.

We are fortunate to have such thoughtful and giving members in the community to partner with the Recreation Therapy Service in order to provide remarkable patient and family-centered programs. Community Service Organizations and donors may contact Renee Magana, the Family Care Coordinator & Community Liaison, at (650) 493-5000 x67121 to find out how best to meet the needs of those served by the Polytrauma System of Care. Renee can also be contacted by family members from the Polytrauma units for upcoming schedules of family programs focusing on wellness, recreation, or the arts.

In response to the recent Filoli family outing, a wife of a recovering patient wrote, "I think it's wonderful and humanitarian of [Reveille] to give and devote their time and kindness to families who go through hard times in their lives, for those who sacrifice their lives for our freedom every day overseas. Thank you so much for all that you do. The trip to Filoli Gardens gave me a peaceful tranquility feeling."

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