The 38th Annual CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation Gala was a smashing success. The meal was delectable, the décor was stunning, and, of course, the entertainment was stellar. Each year, philanthropic-minded businesses, organizations, and individuals gather for a night of finery all in the name of the CHRISTUS mission: to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
This year’s gala was especially meaningful as we celebrated the perseverance and unity of the CHRISTUS Health Community during Hurricane Harvey. We recognized CHRISTUS employees staying steadfast in their duties as healers during one of the worst natural disasters our community has seen in decades.
We also recognized the evening’s honorees: The Beaumont Enterprise and The Hearst Foundations. The Beaumont Enterprise – a household name in our area – has been supporting the CHRISTUS Gala since its inception 38 years ago. The Hearst Foundations have given a total of $250,000 to the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation. These generous grants enabled us to renovate the CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and purchase lifesaving equipment for the Center for New Life and the Emergency Department.
The evening culminated in a show-stopping performance by Daryl Hall and John Oates. They wowed the crowd with popular hits such as “Rich Girl,” “You Make My Dreams,” and countless others.
We want to say a big “thank you” to all the community members that make our gala such a success, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!
On Saturday, April 7, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System kicked off Autism Awareness Month by sponsoring Autism Awareness Day: A Sensory Event hosted by the Beaumont Children’s Museum and The Arc of Greater Beaumont. Community members were invited to experience the excitement of the children’s museum while learning about autism.
The first hour of the event was reserved for families with children on the autism spectrum, which allowed them time to get familiar with the museum in a low sensory environment with fewer people around. The museum also provided a Quiet Room that was open all day for children who became overstimulated to have a place to relax.
When the museum opened to the public, children were able to participate in activities such as making fossils, creating custom sensory bottles, and playing with sensory toys and a tactile wall. Families were also given the opportunity to play with service dogs, meet First Responders, and learn what CHRISTUS hospitals do to make ER visits for individuals on the autism spectrum less traumatic.
Ashley Bares, Certified Child Life Specialist at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, shared how the healthcare professionals at St. Elizabeth strive to make children on the autism spectrum more comfortable during hospital visits.
“When registering at the Emergency Room, parents of children on the autism spectrum can ask for an ASAP (Autism Spectrum Awareness Plan) or SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Plan) form,” explains Bares. “These forms help us better understand the challenges some patients face when they come to the Emergency Room so that we can do our best to make them comfortable. We can offer sunglasses for light sensitivity, fidget toys to keep their hands busy, and a weighted lap pad for those who find comfort in deep touch pressure.”
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth is proud to provide awareness and support for our autism community and we hope to make hospital visits comfortable and stress-free for everyone who comes through our doors.