'Scarlet Says Good-Bye' Book Launch Set for Thursday, June 28, at Excelsior Bay Books

June 27, 2012

UnitedHealth Educational Publishing Group™ is launching the new book, “Scarlet Says Good-Bye,” with a book signing by author Christine Thompson Thursday, June 28, 4-8 p.m. at Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water Street in Excelsior.

“Scarlet Says Good-Bye” is an engaging activity book for young children with loved ones entering hospice care. Thompson is director of creative programs for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.

Donations of $10 per signed book are requested. Proceeds will benefit the Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota to support efforts to build a hospice facility for children in the state.

Talking to kids when a family member’s death is imminent can be painful and confusing. Often, hospice care providers are new faces coming at the end of a journey, and grownups are distracted and not always well-equipped to explain concepts of death and loss in terms kids can grasp. “Scarlet Says Good-Bye” is designed to help children and families understand not just what hospice care is, but how they can spend time with a parent or grandparent as their loved one approaches the end-of-life.

Thompson was named a UnitedHealth Group Innovation Award winner for her concept, and company employees selected her idea for a Light Bulb Moment Awards from among 20 different idea-stage concepts. Thompson received funding for her book with support from the UnitedHealth Group Innovation Council.

“I’ve been extremely moved by this experience,” Thompson said. “I’ve received emails from folks around the world who heard about the book and shared their personal experiences with me. They told me about how helpful the book would’ve been to share with their children prior to a recent loss, or with a friend. I wasn’t expecting to get this kind of response. It has really touched my heart.”

Designed for children under age 12, the book includes an illustrated short story, ideas for activities with their loved one and games to do on their own while sitting with someone who may not be responsive.

‘“Scarlet Says Good-Bye’ offers a gentle and simple way to explain the philosophy and role of hospice to children. The book promotes positive interactions between the child and his or her loved one who is dying. It is a valuable tool as children begin their journey of grief,” said hospice grief counselor Sarah Kroenke, BSSW, LSW.

The book is available at no cost to grief counselors, hospice workers and community agencies by request. An online version may be downloaded for free at www.ScarletSaysGoodBye.com. For more information or to request a hard copy, contact Christine Thompson at christine_l_thompson@uhc.com.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 

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