The Milford Hospital Auxiliary and the hospital's "Excellence Always" team have partnered to help keep hospitalized patients connected with family and friends who are unable to visit them.

Through this new initiative, patients will have access to a wireless tablet so they can instantly engage in "face-to face" visual communication with their loved ones over the Internet.

"This technology will allow patients to visit with anyone, anywhere, anytime," said Karen Kipfer, director of community relations.

The idea was developed during the winter months when, due to the influenza outbreak, the hospital enforced visitor restrictions, limiting visitation to only immediate family members over the age of 18.

"It's very difficult to tell a patient that they can't have visitors, especially our new mothers who want to introduce their baby to siblings or extended family,” Kipfer said.

It was this kind of circumstance that inspired the hospital's "Excellence Always" team to take action. Two of the team members, Jeffrey Borges and Alan Lynn, developed a proposal to present to the Auxiliary.

"At the request of the Excellence Always team, we unanimously approved a request to fund the purchase of two tablets so that patients can have virtual visits with their family and friends who otherwise would be unable to visit the patient," said Milford Hospital Auxiliary Co-Presidents Connie Miller and Sandy Vigilio in a written statement. "We are very pleased to be part of this initiative that will enhance our patient's experience at Milford Hospital."