Leaving Sleigh Up North, Opting for Chopper for Visit to Local Hospitals

TUCSON, Ariz. – (Dec 17, 2009) – Before Santa Claus takes to the skies the old-fashioned way on Christmas Eve, he is making a special trip from the North Pole to Southern Arizona by helicopter! Santa will visit three Carondelet Health Network hospitals on Monday, December 21, 2009. The special mode of transportation is provided courtesy of Santa’s special helpers at Arizona LifeLine who convinced St. Nick to make this quick trip south just in time for the holiday!

Here is Santa's arrival schedule:
9:30 a.m. – Santa Claus arrives by helicopter at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Children, families and the media can gather near the helipad to meet Santa for photos and treats.

11:00 a.m. – Santa Claus arrives by helicopter at Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Children, families and the media can meet Santa near the helipad for photos and treats.

12:30 p.m. – Santa Claus arrives by helicopter at St. Mary’s Hospital. Children, families and the media will be asked to gather outside the hospital’s main entrance along the sidewalk. Santa will land on the roof top helipad and come downstairs to meet the children outside.
At each of these locations, Santa will walk through the hospital after visiting the children and deliver treats and holiday greetings to associates, volunteers and patients. Media is invited along during his visit.

Important Note: Because of this year's visitor age restrictions at local hospitals (due to the H1N1 and seasonal flu outbreaks), Santa will visit with all the wonderful children under age 13 near the helipads upon his arrival. Children will not be able to follow Santa into the hospital as he visits associates and patients.

Media interested in covering Santa’s arrival should contact Lisa Contreras, at 520-444-6600.

Carondelet Health Network, located in Tucson, Arizona, is a Catholic, nonprofit health care system dedicated to responding to the healthcare needs of Southern Arizonans. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Carondelet facilities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital and Tucson Heart Hospital in Pima County and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Santa Cruz County. Other Carondelet services include an ambulatory surgery center, multiple Carondelet Medical Group primary care locations and outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, nonprofit healthcare system. In FY 2008, Carondelet contributed $26,500,000 or 5.4 percent net revenue in Community Benefits to the community. More information is available at www.carondelet.org.