This Valentine’s Day, Ross Medical Education Center students across four campuses—Bowling Green, Davison, Kalamazoo, and Lansing—created valentines for residents of various assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and rehab centers. The students drew upon the empathy and compassion that is so necessary in the allied health field to make sure the residents of these facilities had a happy Valentine’s Day.
In Bowling Green, students were challenged to make 150 cards to take to the Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The students responded by showing their dedication to this wonderful cause and produced 180 handwritten cards for the facility’s residents and patients.
When the cards were delivered to Greenwood, residents were overwhelmed with joy. Their Activities Director Nina Phillips said, “For some of the residents, this is the only thing they will get, and many of them will cherish it as if it came from their own children or grandchildren. One resident asked the nurse for a thumb tack so she could but on the board next to her bed.”
Student Chyann Rigsby was totally enamored with meeting a woman who is 100 years old. Chyann said, “I have never met anyone that old. It was very heartwarming that she took the time to thank me and give me a hug.”
In Davison, students were given craft supplies and created around 100 cards to be delivered to Wellbridge Skilled Nursing Facility of Fenton. Many students made extra cards so that none of the residents would feel left out.
“It was AMAZING to see them come together to create cards for a local skilled nursing center,” said Tricia Henderson from Financial Aid.
In Kalamazoo, students volunteered time during their breaks to create cards to be delivered to Heritage Assisted Living Community.
Two Dental Assistant students and four Medical Assistant students took a field trip to the Dementia Unit and the Alzheimer’s Unit to deliver their valentines. Only one of the students had ever been in an Assisted Living facility, so they were able to see firsthand how seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s experience daily living.
In Lansing, students carefully crafted cards for elderly residents at Regency at Lansing West, a skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation center near the Lansing campus. Students joined campus director Sandra Dargatz on a trip to hand out the valentines.
Student Aaliyah Wease shared, “It was such an amazing experience, just getting to see my class and the residents light up with joy. Every single resident was very thankful and overjoyed for the cards. The staff and residents were very warm and welcoming. They made you feel like you were a part of their family,” and student Natalia Garcia added: “I knew they felt the love that day. It was such a nice thing to do for them and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to participate.”
The participation and enthusiasm displayed by Ross students across these campuses in hand making and delivering valentines to members of their communities is a wonderful thing to see. Bowling Green Campus Director Chris Leonard commented, “Seeing the students working together for a common goal shows just how much unity, pride, and commitment to the community our students have.”