Ashtabula County Medical Center | ACMC Pulse | Summer 2023

COMPASSION OF ACMC nurses extends beyond the walls of the hospital NURSES often see patients at their worst, and that is especially true for patients in the Emergency Department. Ashtabula County Medical Center Emergency Department Facilitator Chris Brundage, RN, sees these encounters as moments of opportunity. Of the approximately 30,000 patients seen in the ACMC Emergency Department each year, many are chronically ill and don’t have a primary care physician. Because those patients come in to the Emergency Department multiple times, long-term relationships between nurses and patients are created. “We get to know patients before they return home or go in to the hospital for additional care. We see the needs they have beyond medical care, and I believe in helping to meet those needs,” he said. Going above and beyond It was not long after joining ACMC’s Emergency Department in 2010 that Brundage began to see ways to help patients beyond the walls of the hospital. “A patient and family lost everything in a fire. I wanted to help them with food and belongings or whatever we could do,” he said. “We gathered a few things, and I think we were able to help a little. But I always thought we could do more.” When another family who had suffered a devastating house fire came in the hospital, Brundage took the lead to help the family. “We had another moment to shine, so I just went for it,” he said. “We gathered clothing and other household items. I did a 50/50 raffle and gave it to the family. This was our first real fundraiser to help someone with an immediate need. Our caregivers were willing and grateful to help.” Since then, Brundage has led food drives for Feed the Vets and The Samaritan House. This past winter, Brundage encouraged caregivers to bring winter clothing for children. There was also a blanket drive. “We have had so many donations that we started a closet. Nurses throughout the hospital come down to get things if patients on their unit need them. They call it Chris’s Closet, but we all use it to help our patients who have needs outside the hospital,” he said. The help can be something simple, like a shirt or pair of pants. “Patients who are injured may get blood or other fluids on their clothing. We can give them something to go home in—maybe even some food,” Brundage said. “It is a matter of helping them with an immediate need to get them through the situation.” Chris Brundage, RN, stands in a closet full of donated clothing and supplies that ACMC nurses give to patients in need. ACMC Pulse • 7