GREEN BAY - No one likes to see a child have to spend time in a hospital.
This summer, staff members at two Green Bay hospitals came up with an idea to ease the pain of their youngest patients. They grew a pumpkin patch.
St. Mary's and St. Vincent Hospital both operate under the Wisconsin Division of Hospital Sisters Health System. A group called The Green Team is made up of staff members from both hospitals. Their mission is to make both of the hospitals more environmentally-friendly, and it was their idea to grow the pumpkins.
"We heal patients," said Dan Rocheleau of St. Mary's Hospital. "But in order to heal patients we need to heal the environment too, because they go together as one."
The pumpkin patch is located behind St. Vincent's old dialysis center on Webster Avenue in Allouez. A local landscaping company tilled up the land at no charge and a local greenhouse donated the pumpkin plants. All summer, members of The Green Team watered and cared for the pumpkins until harvest-time.
We caught up with The Green Team in early October as they harvested the pumpkins, about 30 in all. It was on the 10th floor of St. Vincent Hospital where we saw how their efforts were really making a difference.
The Green Team donated the pumpkins to all of the young patients in pediatrics to be able to use as art projects. Jonathan Jimenez, 5, had been hospitalized for a respiratory illness for several days when he received his pumpkin. Briley Kimps, 13, received her pumpkin while in the hospital for surgery complications.
Staff members from the Child Life Department on the pediatrics floor set up paint trays for the patients to color their pumpkins with. Both Jimenez and Kimps wore huge smiles as they worked on their masterpieces. Those smiles are what Child Life staff members strive for.
"A lot of it is normalizing the hospital setting through play and arts and crafts and all kinds of fun things to make sure the hospital is as fun as can be," said Ashley Thompson, a certified Child Life specialist.
The Green Team plans to continue the tradition of the pumpkin patch next year. They hope to make it even bigger and possibly include a community garden.
An Allouez man who has not been seen in a week could be at risk without his medication, Brown County sheriff’s officials say.
The DNR says six private wells in the Manitowoc County town of Newton are showing signs of contamination.
Time continues to tick away as to whether or not Walmart can continue to have exclusive rights to a piece of property in Green Bay's Broadway District.
The Outagamie County District Attorney's office is reviewing possible charges against a former Appleton West High School teacher's aide.
Looking for a job? A Pulaski boat maker is hiring, after scoring a contract with a Dutch company.
A new report sheds light on whether a piece of wood found earlier this year in Lake Michigan is part of a centuries old shipwreck.