Hopkins County Health Care Foundation and CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs hosted a special unveiling ceremony and blessing for Annie’s Room, a maternal fetal telemedicine room at CHRISTUS Medical Plaza in Sulphur Springs, Tuesday evening.
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs President and CEO Paul Harvey welcomed everyone to the Plaza Conference Room, where the event began. After recognizing CHRISTUS officials and staff, Harvey offered thanks to Kayla Price, Executive Director of Hopkins County Healthcare Foundation, for her work for the foundation, for her hard work putting things together for the occasion.
“We are here for a special young lady today, so I don’t want to forget little Miss Annie Toliver,” Harvey said, pointing to the namesake for the new facility and asking her to wave.
Harvey then turned to Annie’s grandparents, Leesa and Brian Toliver, to offer “a very special thank to the family that made Annie’s Room possible. So Leesa and Brian, your generous support means so much to our health care providers and to our families that don’t even know they are going to need something like Annie’s Room. Your selfless gift will live on for decades through the children and parents we serve as part of maternal fetal telemedicine program. The hospital gives a deep sense of gratitude when community members come forward as the Tolivers have. Not only will this new room be a blessing to all of our families, but also an encouragement to staff to continue their good work on behalf of the hospital and the public.”
The hospital CEO introduced Father Justin Wiley, who offered a prayer of thanks.
Hopkins County Health Care Foundation Board of Directors Chair Maleta Reynolds noted the purpose of the foundation is to identify needs in the medical community, then try to raise funds to meet those needs. Over the last year, the foundation has had the pleasure of working with the Tolivers on the project of Annie’s Room, a project close to their heart.
“If you know the Tolivers at all, you know they moved to this community and they embraced us and took us on as their own; and we are all better for it,” Reynolds said.
Reyolds then recognized foundation members and introduced Dr. Martin Fielder, chief medical officer and OB/GYN, who was unable to be present for the blessing, but did provide a video thanking the Tolivers, noting what a pleasure it is to have “such generous people in our community willing to devote themselves to the patients and health care in the Hopkins County area.”
“Annie’s room has been fantastic already so far. It’s had enabled us to have our high risk patients see specialists locally here in Sulphur Springs instead of having to drive to the Metroplex or having to drive down to Tyler even, as many of our patients, that’s just something that they cannot do,” Dr. Fielder said. “We were able to take care of our patients here locally and be able to get them the care that they need that they wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s already been a great blessing to us here and to all my patients and all obstetrical patients in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County.”
Reynolds then introduced Leesa and Brian Toliver; and Jonathan and Sally Toliver, their son, Davis and daughter, Annie.
Leesa Toliver noted that in addition to being involved with the Health Care Foundation for a number of years, the 2021 project especially touched their hearts.
“If we’d had this in our hospital, back when Sally was expecting Annie, it would have saved a lot of travel and heartache and worry in our family. I know other families have that same concern,” Leesa said.
She said when Sally was visiting Dr. Fielder he found a possible heart defect in her unborn child, and referred them to a specialist. That meant Sally had to make many trips back and forth to Dallas for doctor’s appointments, adding to a complicated pregnancy.
“When Brian and I were talking, and approached about possibly providing a room for this, for parents to come and families and talk to a doctor and do the tele-med and not have to travel to Tyler or the Metroplex, it just made sense to us. We wanted to prevent other families from having that worry and that hardship of traveling. That was something we felt like we could do and provide for our community, and we were happy to do it,” Leesa said. “We feel like Annie is a beacon of the future for those families, that they have some hope that things will turn out just like our beautiful little granddaughter.”
“Thank you, we are indebted to you,” Harvey said. Noting that Annie’s Room isn’t the only assistance the Tolivers have provided over the last few years to the hospital and CHRISTUS facilities. They also generously donated a trailer early in the COVID pandemic which allowed the hospital to reprocess their personal protective equipment. “We do thank you for everything.”
Andy Navarro, CHRISTUS vice president of mission integration, expressed gratitude and thank, and e to the Toliver family, the Foundation Board, all of the leadership team, and “especially thank the Good Lord for the little one, and how well she is doing.”
“This is a state-of-the-art telemedicine room, but more importantly, it’s a state of the heart of the generous givers, it’s a statement of heart of the foundation and what they mean to the hospital,” Navarro said. “Truly, it’s as we say, everything we do is a tangible expression of how we live out our ministry. So, as we gather together today as a community of people of good will to bless this telemedicine room, Annie’s Room, we do so in order that people can experience the love and healing of God. So they have an opportunity to do that.”
Father Daniel Oghenerukevwe served as celebrant and Father Justin as co-celebrant for the Blessing, with Sisters Rose Marikudi taking part in the program. Fr. Daniel recited the Introductory Rites. Also read, with some standing, was Matthew 15:30-37, followed by an Intercessions and Concluding Rites. Those present were asked to participate by reciting appropriately from the program where designated.
The group was then lead to the elevators to the upper floor, where Father Daniel sprinkled Holy water in Annie’s Room, with Annie and the Tolivers present. The sign outside the door was unveiled by Annie and her grandparents. Annie’s Room was opened for guests to tour the room designed as a private telemedicine room, where pregnant moms who are experiencing complications, and their families, can meet with their doctor remotely via the telemedicine link. The room features a big sofa and chair, where moms-to-be can get as comfortable as possible during their virtual medical appointments. The walls included images of moms-to-be and bright flowers by Leesa Toliver, who was asked to contribute some of her images for the room. Young Annie is a budding artist as well; her artwork was featured across the front of the event program.
After touring Annie’s Room and photos, those attending the dedication were encouraged to return to the conference room on the first floor of Medical Plaza to enjoy cookies with purple cookies with “Annie” written on them in white icing; chocolate, lemon, strawberry and turtle petit fours, ginger ale and white apple juice, and blood orange juice. The refreshment table was adorned with flowers and an assortment of pumpkins and fall foliage. Annie was joined for the naming of her namesake room by a group of friends and family members.