SANTA HEALER: Man Spreads Cheer At Hospital

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When you're sick around the holidays, a visit from Santa could be just what the doctor ordered to stay in good elf.

From now until Christmas, one man is spreading some cheer to those under the weather at Broadlawns Medical Center.

“I just try to present myself as a jolly old elf,” says Physician Assistant Gary Hudson, “I have a good little Ho, Ho, Ho.”

This time of year, he swaps out his scrubs for his Santa suit and makes the rounds.

“It brings a smile to their face when they're not feeling well and I've had many of tell me that's a good thing they feel a little better when they leave here,” says Hudson.

It's hard not to smile, when he walks into the room.

“I chuckled, I kind of laughed,” says patient Rochelle Long.

Hudson first started playing Santa more than a decade ago after his wife noticed a striking resemblance.  Now his character has become a Christmas tradition at Broadlawns.

“We're all in a better mood when we see him walk around the corner with his Santa outfit on,” says Dr. Paul Baumert.

Baumert says having a Santa Claus on staff brightens and lightens the mood at the hospital.

“It goes back to your childhood and the dream of Santa Claus,” he says.

For the little ones, who wind up at the doctor’s office, a visit with Saint Nick often does just the trick.

You might have seen Hudson in character helping out local charities or in a commercial on TV.  In case you're wondering, he does have a white beard year round, but starts growing it out every August.