It’s a good thing when soldiers and family members are acknowledged based simply on who they are. Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital staff expressed their gratitude to the Fort Polk community with a Patient Appreciation Day from 1-4 p.m. on Sept. 14.

It’s a good thing when soldiers and family members are acknowledged based simply on who they are. Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital staff expressed their gratitude to the Fort Polk community with a Patient Appreciation Day from 1-4 p.m. on Sept. 14.
The hospital transformed its dining facility and outdoor dining enclave into a festive showcase. The walls were lined with decorative tables filled with information about healthy life style choices and BJACH volunteers ready to answer questions and give guidance about everything from measuring body mass index to the best way to brush and floss teeth.
Attendees enjoyed a carnival-like atmosphere where children were given the opportunity to have their faces painted, play games and eat free popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones.
“The purpose of the event was to thank our patients and tell them about the programs offered at BJACH," said Maj. Shonnel Makunakwa, BJACH's chief of resource management. "We also wanted to use this as a venue to promote better communication, as well as health care information."
Some of the people attending the appreciation day event just happened to be in the hospital and wanted to see what was going on
“This is pretty neat,” Jennifer Bromund said. Her spouse, James Bromund, said he was impressed by the amount of health information available.
Spc. Latoya Stewart said she and her daughter originally stopped by to have some fun.
“We came for the popcorn and cotton candy, but are really enjoying the information,” Stewart said.
“I think it’s an interesting event that shows all the services available at the hospital,” said Candy Cotter, a military spouse attending BJACH's Appreciation Day.
In addition to the celebration occurring inside, there was a tent set up in front of BJACH wherestaff members were standing by to safely install child safety seats. Lenny Rhodes, BJACH health promotion technician, is certified by the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force to install car seats.
“Parents shouldn’t overlook installing a car seat safely," Rhodes said. "If they use the procedures I show them, it can save their child’s life."
Anita Shipley is a first time mom that attended the appreciation day celebration. She took advantage of the help setting up her car seat.
“This is my first child and I want to do everything right," she said. "Knowing that my car seat is installed correctly makes me feel so much better."
From fun games to serious health and safety information, this event was BJACH’s chance to reach out to the community, according to Makunakwa.
“We worked really hard to make this happen,” she said.