New kid-friendly area at Onamia hospital
By Tessa Krein, MLHS Marketing Intern
“We need to be welcoming to the little people of the facility,” said Dr. Patti Hook, at the unveiling of “Mary Catherine’s Barn,” a new play area in the Onamia clinic. Staff and patients watched as the plastic was removed from the corner of the lobby, where a barn-like structure with play equipment now stands.
In the clinic and lobby area, there was a need to make the children’s play area/main lobby more kid-friendly. At first the idea was to build a castle and have that as the main theme. While in a medical staff meeting, some of the providers came up with the barn theme. Dr.Tom Bracken was involved with the idea of creating the barn in memory of Mary Catherine Virnig, daughter of Dr. Hook and Dr. Virnig, of MLHS.
According to Dr. Patti Hook, “It has always been a mission to have something to keep kids busy while waiting to be seen.” Dr. Virnig said that one of the things Mary loved was animals. Arden also noted that she enjoyed going to the county fair to show animals and teach kids about them. Her passion was agriculture, and to be able to share this love with others meant a lot to her and the people that surrounded her on a daily basis.
The “Mary Catherine’s Barn” play area in Onamia not only honors the memory of the doctors’ daughter, but it also provides a much-needed space for children while they are at the clinic or hospital.
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