Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital workers were showered with thanks during national appreciation weeks

By Shanee Edwards and Christina Campodonico

Health care workers at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital were treated to ice cream, a boisterous caravan and a visit by the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders during National Nurses Week (May 6 to 12) and National Hospital Week (May 10 to 16) earlier this May.

Hospital staff were fêted with Re:THINK Ice Cream cups

Scoops of Joy for Hospital Heroes

In honor of National Nurses Week, George Haymaker, founder of Re:THINK Ice Cream, went on a mission to share his velvety sweet-treats with local hospital workers, which included a pit stop in Marina del Rey.

Though Haymaker runs his business out of Napa, California, he wanted to come to SoCal where he sells his low-sugar and keto-friendly products at Westside grocery stores like Gelson’s and Bristol Farms. “I rented a freezer truck and headed down to LA. We hit about 40 hospitals, delivering about 20,000 single serve cups. I was just going from one to the next for three days straight,” Haymaker says.

The reaction from the health care workers was very positive overall. “Tons of gratitude. Lots of smiles. It’s just hard to believe that ice cream can make people so happy, but it does which is one of the great reasons I got into it. Hospital workers have been grinding hard on the front lines. Just knowing that people are thinking about them, they are super thankful. There’s a lot of people donating to hospitals, but no one has really been doing ice cream,” Haymaker says.

Haymaker founded Re:THINK Ice Cream in late 2018 after he was in recovery for alcohol and pain pill addiction. “I realized I needed to have more meaning in my life,” he says. “I created this brand to give back and help others, hopefully on a large scale someday. … We look for any way possible to help people whenever there’s an opportunity,” says Haymaker, proving that ice cream can make almost anything better, including a pandemic.

Gratitude from First Responders

On Tuesday, May 12, local first responders celebrated their fellow front line workers with a lively caravan and helicopter flyover.

Led by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division, two-dozen police, highway patrol and sheriff’s department vehicles flashed their lights and sounded their sirens in front of a lineup of health care workers outside the hospital while an LAPD helicopter circled overhead.

Officers presented Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Hospital Operations Joanne Laguna-Kennedy, MSN, RN with a bouquet of flowers and balloons.

“We’re so honored to get this recognition from local first responders who have been working so hard themselves during the pandemic,” said Laguna-Kennedy. “I couldn’t be prouder of our staff who have demonstrated incredible strength during this time.”

“Police officers are seen all the time and thanked quite often by the public. However, health care workers are behind the scenes and not generally thanked openly,” said Pacific Division sergeant Kevin Lowe, officer in charge of Pacific Area Community Relations. “But we’re all part of the same team that’s fighting against this virus to save lives. We want every part of the team to be noticed.”

Cheers for Health Care Workers

To top off the celebrations, the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders stopped by on Thursday, May 14, to cheer on health care workers as they left or clocked into their shifts at the hospital. In addition to bringing a little pep to the morning and afternoon shift changes, the cheerleaders gave out T-shirts inspired by the Rams’ new uniform design to health care workers staffing the hospital’s two primary COVID units.

“It was another appreciated expression of thanks from the greater LA community and it brought smiles and good cheer to the health care teams,” said Cedars-Sinai lead communications specialist Soshea Liebler.

Do you have a scoop of good news to share? Email christinac@argonautnews.com.