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Not Your Typical Hospital Holiday Buffet

December 11, 2011

What do you think of when you see “Holiday Buffet” listed on a hospital menu? Maybe something to acknowledge the holidays, something apart from the standard, daily menu routine with a few cute decorations thrown in for good measure…

At Craig Hospital, it’s not what you’d ever envision it to be, for at Craig, the patients are not passing aquaintances whose faces might be recognized a week later by the healthcare staff who treated them. Craig patients become family. They’re here for extended periods as they recover and relearn how to rebuild their lives following a catastrophic brain or spinal cord injury. Their families are integrated into all aspects of care and rehabilitation as they embark on a new path of discovery.

Holiday at Craig 2011

The Craig buffet is a labor of love by the “team” of department directors,executive staff and board members, for they know that a hospital is the last place anyone wants to be for the holidays–so they bring the holidays to those patients and their families who would rather, but are unable to be, home.

Decorations are ordered months in advance by Wendy Gordan. The team spends the entire day and well into the evening transforming the cafeteria into a sparkling haven complete with tablecloths, trees, wall hangings, and low lighting. They also help prepare a truly special menu:

  • Shrimp cocktail with prawns the size of large thumbs
  • Spinach Salad
  • Warm dinner rolls
  • Prime Rib (yes the REAL Prime Rib) and Ham
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Farfalle with Fresh Tomato & Basil
  • Prince Edward Island Vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Eggnog Cheesecake, Pumpkin Mousse or Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake for dessert

As they don their aprons, and step into formation, they remarkably meet the challenges of creating a home atmosphere and making each person they are fortunate to serve, feel very special.

From all Craig staff, thanks to all of the department directors, executive staff, and board members for making this such a memorable occasion for all of us.


Tom Balazy, M.D., Medical Director, Craig Hospital