When the festive carts filled with diversions roll by at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, people perk up. It’s no wonder they’re called Happy Carts.
Introduced last spring, Happy Carts offer puzzles, books, toys, board games, arts and crafts, and edible goodies. Their purpose is to help patients and their loved ones reduce stress, and even find joy, in the hospital.
Sabeen Askari, MD, the hospital’s past Chief of Staff, was the catalyst for the project after visiting a family member in another city.
“After being in the hospital waiting area for hours, I really appreciated the complimentary snacks that they offered,” Dr. Askari says. “The snacks made me feel nourished and less stressed, and developed my vision for a similar but expanded program at Fairview Ridges — one that focused on promoting patient-centered care and how important the little things can be.”
Funded by the Fairview Ridges Women’s Giving Circle, a group of local philanthropists, Happy Carts are available 24/7.
Dr. Askari remembers watching the first patient make a selection from a Happy Cart as he was waiting for an important medical procedure: “He briefly forgot he was scared, and his big smile demonstrated that we were truly making a difference… one patient at a time.”