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Published on September 02, 2016

A family says thank you to Cape Cod Hospital nurses

A family says thank you to Cape Cod Hospital nurses

When Herb and Susan Zarkin of Mashpee talk about the care they receive from the nurses at Cape Cod Hospital, it’s very personal to them.

The care shown by the nurses is “unbelievable,” said Herb Zarkin in a prior interview.

And they have found a way to pay it back by acknowledging all of the approximately 650 nurses at the hospital.

“We wanted to do something for those who are on the frontline every day taking care of patients and interfacing with their families,” said Zarkin.

The Zarkin Family Nurse Appreciation Fund is in its second year of financial support for the appreciation program.  It begins with a card sent to each nurse on their annual employment anniversary. The card’s greeting starts off with “In honor of you.”

“I receive a list from human resources with all of their anniversary dates and addresses,” said Judy Quinn, MSN, RN-BSN, vice president of patient care at Cape Cod Hospital. “I hand address every card.”

The heartfelt thank you card signed by the Zarkins contains two movie passes for the nurse to use with a family member or friend for time away from duties and to have some relaxation. Last year a book titled “True Stories of Becoming a Nurse,” a collection of short stories written by nurses, was included in the gift.

The Zarkins’ desire to give back to nurses began a little more than 15 years ago when one of their daughters received care at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

“We saw how hard the nurses worked to take care of our very sick daughter,” said Zarkin. “They were wonderful,” Mrs. Zarkin added

This year, in addition to the cards sent to Cape Cod Hospital nurses, there will be unit appreciation days. “Over the course of the year, every unit will have a special recognition day in addition to the anniversary,” said Quinn.

Deliveries of fresh homemade donuts, Polar Cave ice cream, Chinese food and pizza are scheduled. There will be a delivery of one of the selected foods on the appreciation day for all the shifts, Quinn explained.

“For the past 10 to 12 years we’ve been doing a version of this program at other hospitals,” said. Zarkin.

And they know how much it means to the nurses who receive these gifts.

“When somebody thanks us in person or writes us a note about how much it means to them to be appreciated, it’s a wonderful feeling,” said Zarkin.

The Zarkin Family Foundation is a family affair with the Zarkins’ daughters and their families choosing to financially support school programs, such as trips to museums and concerts in appreciation for teachers. The foundation has also supported a learning center at a school, had the tennis courts re-done at their granddaughter’s school as well as fulfilling needs in many other programs.