THUNDER BAY – Health – Of the 60 applications submitted to the Family CARE (Care Recommended by Employees) Grant program in 2012, 42 were chosen to be funded by the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and TBRHSC Volunteer Association – including the one submitted by Nella Lawrence.
The Family CARE Grants offer employees of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre a chance to apply for funding for programs or items that they feel will enhance patient care and visitor experience at the Health Sciences Centre.
Health – Small Ideas That Make a Big Difference
Nella’s suggestion? To re-upholster chairs from elsewhere in the hospital, and repurpose them to allow patients and visitors a place to take a break.
“We recognized the fact that, because we’re built horizontally instead of vertically, there are distances to be traveled. Some patients and visitors are not physically able to walk that long distance without taking a bit of a rest.” Nella explains, “We felt that if we provided a little stopping place, somewhere they could sit down and relax a little bit before continuing on their journey, it would be a benefit to them.”
To date, 16 chairs have been re-upholstered with vinyl to meet infection control guidelines, and have been placed strategically throughout the North-South corridor on all three of the hospital’s patient floors. “In some cases, we removed a few chairs from our larger waiting rooms that weren’t entirely utilized, and put them in the corridor to give patients and visitors the opportunity to use them.”
Patients and visitors are certainly taking advantage of the opportunity. A walk down the corridor on a busy afternoon provides proof that Nella’s work is, indeed, appreciated. “I’ve noticed there has been occupancy on those chairs,” she says with a smile. “They are always being used.”
Nella (Manager of Capital Projects & Telecommunications at the TBRHSC) recognizes that the newly re-upholstered and positioned chairs are not necessarily something everyone will notice, but she says that those who need them will be glad they’re there. “We’re always trying to look at opportunities to make things easier for our patients and visitors – and this is actually a little thing for us to do, but I think it might go a long way to help them out.”