It’s your birthday and you’re staying in the hospital. Not a great situation. But then your meal tray arrives and on it is a special birthday cupcake, courtesy of Food and Nutrition Services.

It’s bound to brighten your special day, even if you’re spending it in the hospital.

A Happy Birthday napkin and cupcake

If you’re an inpatient one of Saskatoon Health Region’s hospitals in Saskatoon on your birthday, you’ll get a little treat like this to brighten your special day.

“Food and Nutrition Services has always provided a cupcake and birthday greeting to inpatients on their birthdays,” said Noella Leydon, Director, Food and Nutrition Services for Saskatoon Health Region.

Diet office clerks in the main Food and Nutrition Services offices at the three acute care sites in Saskatoon – Saskatoon City Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Royal University Hospital, note any birthdays every day, and the cupcake goes up with the next nourishment delivery along with a birthday serviette and a greeting on the meal tray.

At Parkridge Centre, Food and Nutrition provides a decorated cupcake with whipped topping and sprinkles, and a candle, for residents celebrating a birthday. For those on a pureed diet, they send up a pudding parfait with a candle.

“It’s a simple way we can make a patient’s special day better, and to show we care,” Leydon explained.

Recently, an appreciative elderly patient at Royal University Hospital found an innovative way to express her thanks for her birthday cupcake. On a paper plate, she wrote a note to the staff thanking them for the greetings and her delicious dinner.

“Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes,” she wrote. “I really appreciated it. The salmon was tasty, too. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.”

A note written on a paper plate.

This note was written by a grateful patient after she received a birthday cupcake.

Paper service was used that day as the RUH dishwasher was down for repairs.

The patient note was brought to the attention of Region leadership as part of the cross-functional huddle that occurs daily now in Saskatoon Health Region, one of the changes brought by 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day.