After months of work, and a strong partnership between the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) and the American Red Cross, a newly renovated Service to the Armed Forces station was rededicated in Bethesda, Maryland today.
Through Service to the Armed Forces, the Red Cross provides comfort and care in military hospitals, support to military families, and keeps families connected through around the clock emergency communications operations.
According to their Website, the NNMC is one of the nation’s largest and most renowned military medical centers, best known for its history of providing care to war heroes and presidents alike for the past 65 years.
The renovated Service to the Armed Forces station boasts new furniture, carpet and a fresh coat of paint – all made possible by a generous donation from the NNMC. There are also several new television units that can be wheeled to a patient’s room along with a comfort cart carrying DVDs and other items. Another feature is the family room, a gathering area for wounded warriors and their families, that has the look and feel of being at home.
The rededication ceremony included remarks from Jerry DeFrancisco, President of Humanitarian Services at the Red Cross. DeFrancisco said, “We are extremely proud to work with the NNMC in support of our military and military families.”
Over the past two years, the Red Cross presence at the NNMC has grown from one program to 26 programs, providing over 15,000 comfort items to wounded warriors and their families in the past year alone. There are currently 400 volunteers that provide over 75,000 hours of service.
Rear Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, the Commander of the NNMC, said of the Red Cross “This organization has been instrumental in providing help to the helpless, hope to the hopeless.”
Red Cross volunteers are involved with a range of programs from pet therapy to scuba lessons for wounded warriors. Additional Red Cross sponsored programs at the NNMC are slated for the near future including a new art therapy program and a nurse assistant training program.
DeFrancisco reinforced the Red Cross commitment to the NNMC by echoing a sentiment once expressed by founder Clara Barton, “We will be here as long as you need us.”