Resiliency on Wheels
“On a day like today, this hits the spot.”
“Candy cart guy!”
“This is a very special cart. We wait for it.”
These are just a few comments Wellness Program Manager Darijan Suton hears as he pushes the Resiliency Cart down the hallways of Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital on a recent Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. He stops and offers sweet and salty snacks to hospital staff, with a friendly greeting: “Good afternoon. Take whatever you like. It’s a small thank you for all your hard work.”
Some staffers hop out of their chair immediately, others call out to him. If they miss Suton during a stop, they follow him down the hallway. After all, the cart carries individually wrapped Sour Patch Kids, Peppermint Patties, Charleston Chew, bubblegum and Tootsie Rolls as well as healthier items such as Kind bars, almonds and spinach and kale chips. Several know exactly what they want, others are more methodical and analyze every ingredient.
“They are nice afternoon pick-me-ups and you don’t feel guilty,” says RN Nicole Antonellis at Falmouth Hospital. Her favorites are Twizzlers, mint Lifesavers and chocolate-covered pomegranates.
The cart is truly a team effort. Senior leadership, including Mike Lauf and Lori Jewett, set in motion the Resiliency Cart last July in an effort to lift employee spirits during stressful times, provide an afternoon energy boost, inspire employees to interact with one another and give them a reason to smile—in fun and healthy ways. Carter Hunt, CEO of Falmouth Hospital, also makes the rounds with the rest of the Falmouth Hospital leadership team.
Deana Kayajan, Executive Director of Patient and Family Experience, orders the snack items and helps run the cart. Volunteers from Human Resources tag along with Suton once a week at Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital to greet employees and spread some cheer. Nurse managers from South 2 will occasionally take the cart at their convenience and share it with staff.
Throughout the walk, the cart sparks laughter, inspires conversation about various weight loss programs and motivates people to get up out of their chair and say hi. “One employee,” says Suton, “told me the cart was the best investment for Cape Cod Healthcare employees.”
“How are you today?” Suton asks an employee while waiting for the elevator.
“I’m good now,” says Debby Radvansky from Environmental Services at Falmouth Hospital, as she picks up a bag of dark chocolate-covered pomegranates. “I don’t even like chocolate and these are the bomb.”
Debbie Campbell, a nursing assistant at Cape Cod Hospital, picks out a few small Twix bars. “You have to have some sugar in your life,” says Campbell. “I don’t need so much of the healthy stuff, because I need fat to balance the stress. This is what I need. You feel good. It’s the perfect timing.”