Washington Wizards Spread Holiday Cheer to Hospitalized MedStar Health Patients

Washington Wizards Spread Holiday Cheer to Hospitalized MedStar Health Patients

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Wizards Visit MNRH_COVER PHOTO washington_wizards_visit_to_mnrh_ja_ 028-3.jpg

Players, coaches, and front office staff visited MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards, in partnership with MedStar Health, conjured up holiday magic through festive visits to patients spending part of their season at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. The team’s players, coaches, and front office staff traveled room-to-room through units at both hospitals gifting autographed mini basketballs, gift cards, Wizards t-shirts, socks, and more.

Wizards Visit_MWHC Jared Butler and Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr with patient-2.jpgAt MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the team spent quality time with patients preparing for and recovering from heart surgery in the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, as well as those undergoing joint replacement, spinal, foot, ankle, or hand surgery in the Orthopedic-Trauma Inpatient Surgical Unit.

“Visits like this one by the Wizards are such an integral part of the healing process for our patients,” said Ira Rabin, MD, vice president of Medical Operations at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “They matter just as much as the medical interventions that they’re getting. Especially during the holiday season, this lifts their spirits more than you can imagine. Some are in pain and some are weak and tired but, without a doubt, this means the world to them.”

Wizards Visit_MWHC 20231212_Wizards_AG_11332667-2.jpg“It’s been awesome spending some time with them,” said Wizards point guard Tyus Jones. “They’re going through so many different things in their individual lives. This is just an opportunity to bring them a smile and a little bit of joy this holiday season.”

Across the street at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, the Wizards played games, drew pictures, and even shot some hoops with children in the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation (NCCR). The program specializes in treating children ages three to 16 in the state-of-the-art, child-friendly, and secure acute inpatient pediatrics unit within the hospital.

Wizards Visit_MNRH patient E.J. Smith shooting basketball-2.jpgPatient E.J. Smith of Michigan underwent brain surgery in October to treat epilepsy and is now at NCCR working on strengthening the right side of his body. The Wizards players actually contributed to his rehab by helping him shoot — and make — a few right-handed baskets during the visit.

“It’s really special,” said E.J.’s mother A.J. Smith, “This facility is really great and it’s so nice to have the players come in and actually spend time with the kids, a lot of whom are big basketball fans like my son. It makes them feel so special. They’re not just coming in, they’re actually engaging with the children and spending one-on-one time with them.”

Wizards Visit_MNRH washington_wizards_visit_to_mnrh_ja_ 023-2.jpg“It means so much to our patients for the team to take the time to visit and spread some cheer over the holidays,” said John Rockwood, president of MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and senior vice president of MedStar Health. “Thank you to the Wizards for a day that our patients will never forget.”

MedStar Health is proud to be the trusted medical team of the Washington Wizards.