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Grants Give St. Charles Patients Better Experience


We all know that going to the hospital isn’t the most pleasant experience for people, but St. Charles Medical Center-Bend is trying to change that. The hospital received over $100,000 in grant money that will go to 28 projects to help improve patient care, and some are already starting.

Nurses and doctors brainstormed ways to make patients have a little bit better stay — ideas ranging from vouchers to get mammograms for free for low income women in Prineville, to an arts program for people with cancer, and even a special toy cart for kids.

St Charles’ pediatric nurses say they are very lucky to have a playroom for kids. But now they may be even luckier, with a three-shelf, 3-foot-high, 8-cubic-feet cart that will be turned into a toy cart for patients.

“This portable cart means they will have something to play with while they are in the hospital,” said Crystal Sully, nurse manager at St. Charles-Bend. “It’s a huge deal,”

The hospital board of directors set aside $100,000 of donations to fund 28 caregiver-initiated projects at the Bend, Prineville and Redmond campuses. And the toy cart was one of them.

“I really feel that we have a responsibility at St. Charles to make sure we provide that opportunity for kids, so that they can play and escape a little bit from being in the hospital,” Sully said.

Many children are in the hospital for days or weeks at a time, and if they have a contagious illness or weak immune system, they may be confined to their room.

There will be two different carts, and each of them will be stocked full of age-appropriate toys.

And the health benefits that result also are well worth it.

“It decreases their stress and anxiety, so that they can heal faster,” Sully said. “We are hoping that they will decrease the length of stay. We want kids to get healthy and be able to go home.”

St. Charles is also painting the cancer treatment room to give it a more homey feel, creating a better experience for chemotherapy patients.

“The people doing the work have good ideas and good projects that can really make patient care better, they are the people in the trenches,” said Lisa Dobey, executive director of the St. Charles Health System Foundation.

The hospital will also be offering art and stress-reduction activities to patients during their treatments.

With the projects, staff believe they really will make a difference in patient care.

If you would like to help support more projects, like the toy cart and painting the cancer treatment room, St. Charles is still taking donations.

You can donate by going to the foundation’s website:

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