As experiences go, nothing beats a hug

I was walking back to my office from a meeting on Wednesday when I came across two young freehugs2women bearing signs that said, “Free Hugs.” One of them came up to me and said, “Would you like a hug?” When I said, “absolutely,” she gave me a quick squeeze and told me to have a great day.

After that, how could I not?

Our office got several phone calls that afternoon and Joe Kane, one of our wonderful Mayo photographers, caught Katie Norris and Morgan Blair in action. They hugged (among many others) a woman who was a Mayo Clinic patient who was headed to an appointment to receive a diagnosis. The offer of a hug was welcome and appreciated – and it brought happy tears.

One of DMC’s platforms is to provide optimal experiences for patients, visitors and community freehugsmembers. And, as Katie and Morgan showed us this week, caring and compassion are two of the easiest, least expensive and most meaningful ways we can help give patients the experience they want and need.

What are ways the community can help optimize experiences for patients who come to Rochester for care? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Karen Trewin is a manager for the Destination Medical Center team and works in the Division of Community Engagement for Mayo Clinic Public Affairs.