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AYER — “Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer knows their patients are MVP’s,” said Rico Petrocelli, former Red Sox shortstop and third baseman and current spokesman for the Medical Center.

“They have formed the ‘Red Socks Safety Team,’ a unique, organization-wide project to reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls. The program raises the awareness of everyone, outpatient, inpatient, clinical and non-clinical staff and visitors to be vigilant and dedicated to patient safety,” said Petrocelli.

“As an expert in his own field of baseball, we hope that together with the experts here at Nashoba Valley Medical Center, we can work together to educate the public on the many health initiatives available to them and raise awareness of health issues that affect all of us at one time or another,” said CEO Andrei Soran. “We are pleased that Rico is partnering with us and helping to bring attention to our innovative Red Socks Safety Team here at the hospital. This program is just one way our hard-working staff thinks outside the box when it comes to caring for their patients.”

Patient safety is of utmost importance in any hospital and Nashoba Valley Medical Center is ahead of the curve with their Red Socks Safety Team initiative. Someone who is at risk to fall, because of age, medication, or physical condition, needs to have extra safeguards put into place to prevent a fall.

In addition to the many effective measures already in place to prevent falls in the hospital, any patient who is at risk to fall now wears red no-skid socks, and anyone who sees someone wearing those socks out of bed and unattended is responsible to stay with that patient and get them the help they need.

Since August, the Red Socks Safety Team has been in place. The entire hospital, led by the nursing staff, wore red for a week to kick off the safety season and the entire first week of August was devoted to raising awareness of the Red Socks Safety Team.

“All of our patients are MVP’s — Most Valued Patients,” said James McCarthy, Director of Emergency Services. “This initiative is the first of its kind in the state, and the only Red Socks campaign that I am aware of. It has been wonderful to see everyone get excited about this campaign and get involved in whatever way they could.”

“That sense of being a united team to benefit the patients who stay here — in this case concerning safety from falls — is what gives our hospital such a family feel,” said Karen Gurnick, Director of the Operating Room. “We are all here for the patients and campaigns like this benefit the patients and keeps all the departments in the hospital focused on patient safety — and that’s our goal.”

Petrocelli agreed, “The expert staff here at Nashoba Valley Medical Center are all stars — they go the extra distance to ensure patient safety and that’s a win for everyone.”