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Published on June 19, 2017

Dressing down for a morale boost – and a good causeDressing down for a morale boost – and a good cause

dressing down for charity

L-R: Nicole Almas RN, Gordon Nakata, MD, Stephanie Ellis, NP, Marissa LaChance, LPN

Jeans have become the “uniform” every Friday at Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod, and the staff has welcomed the opportunity to be creative and stylish, yet professional.

But the team is not just making a fashion statement. Each staff member pays $5 a week for the privilege of “dressing down” in support of local and national charities.

“The clinical staff, who always have to wear scrubs, get the opportunity to dress in their own style,” said Becca Crowley, BSN, RN, clinical operations manager for Medical Affiliate of Cape Cod (MACC), an affiliate of Cape Cod Healthcare, which manages the practice. “The doctors like it, too and, while they all dress to the ‘nines’ and the office always look presentable, it’s nice to do something different.”

Stephanie Ellis, NP, spearheaded the idea when she pitched it to Crowley as a morale booster for the office.

“It wasn’t solely my idea,” she said. “When I was in graduate school, I did a clinical rotation with Emerald Physicians and they had the same program in place. I always thought it was an incredibly generous thing to do.”

Other medical offices in the Cape Cod Healthcare system have fundraising programs, especially around the holidays, noted Crowley.

Morale Booster

Aside from the feel-good aspect of supporting worthy causes, the team at Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod has noticed other benefits of doing a weekly fundraiser.

“I think it’s a nice morale booster,” said Joan Minks, a scheduler at the office. “It’s just a nice way to donate, help out others and dress casually at the same time.”

dressing down team

L-R: Lynda Costa, Stephanie Ellis, NP, Joan Minks, Becca Crowley, BSN, RN, Marissa LaChance LPN

Minks is Crowley’s right hand when it comes to preparing for Fridays.

“Joan helps to organize it every week,” said Crowley. “She manages the sign-up sheet and collects the money. She is very crucial to this endeavor.”

Marissa LaChance, LPN, brought another dimension to the program by organizing an order of apparel from a local embroidery company which features the Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod name on it.

“Some of the staff ordered vests, some zip-up jackets and I got a sweatshirt,” said Crowley. “In addition to being a great marketing tool outside the office, some of the staff have paired them with their jeans on Fridays.”

While Ellis can’t always dress down because she does rounds at the hospital on Fridays, she has found it nice to work on a team effort and discovered one additional advantage for her.

“I’ve been a nurse for 20 years and always worked at the hospital. It’s nice to have an office family and do something together as a group,” she said.

The staff and physicians offer their suggestions as to where they would like to donate, and each week Crowley helps to decide which organization will receive the donation. So far, they have donated more than $500 to eight organizations including the Brain Tumor Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, the MSPCA-Angell, Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod, the Brain Trauma FoundationSpinal Cord Tumor Association and the Barnstable Education Foundation, Inc.

They have future plans to donate to the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Blood Donor Center at Cape Cod Hospital and to Cape Cod Healthcare, according to Crowley.

Now that the group has had success in raising funds for various charities, they will be broadening their horizons by looking at options to raise more money for the charities. They are considering collecting for one charity for two weeks at a time instead of choosing a weekly charity.

“We also plan to offer patients the opportunity to contribute,” said Crowley. “We’re toying with different options at this point.”


[Featured Header Image: From L-R, Joan Minks; Carol Sircello; Joanne Foley; Danielle Oman; Jessica Dwyer; Jill Curran; Nicole Almas; and Jessica Petrides.]

Note: As of 5/1/2019, Emerald Physicians joined Medical Affiliates of Cape Cod (MACC), a division of primary and specialty care physicians from Cape Cod Healthcare.