U-M’s Mott Children’s Hospital creates buttons of friendly faces for teams treating children

Care teams at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital now wear buttons with their faces on them to improve patient experience while masks remain a critical safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Michigan Medicine)

ANN ARBOR – Children who visit C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital can now safely see what their care team looks like.

Michigan Medicine recently launched the “button project” in partnership with its Office of Patient Experience to show the smiling faces of doctors, nurses and staff to relieve children’s anxiety.

Although masks are a critical safety measure during the coronavirus pandemic, they can make it difficult for patients and families to recognize their care teams.

“Being at the hospital can be a scary and nerve-racking experience for children,” Luanne Thomas Ewald, chief operating officer at Mott and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital said in a statement.

“We recognize that COVID precautions may make it difficult for some patients to recognize the people who are taking care of them. This project fits with our philosophy to always imagine the hospital experience through children’s eyes so we can improve their environment and comfort.”

Medical personnel at Von Voigtlander are also now donning the buttons, handmade by Michigan Medicine volunteers.

The initiative was inspired by a health system employee who was hospitalized for a long period with COVID-19 and struggled to recognize their providers.

“Care teams build relationships with patients and families through compassion, empathy and support,” Ewald said in a statement. “Current restrictions are critical to keeping our hospital community safe but also limit some human interactions that show you care. We want patients to see that behind those masks are smiling faces of compassionate people who care about you and are here to help.”

Ewald said that the project has been well received by patients and their families.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.