Hospital Stories: High School Art Students Create Murals for Good Shepherd Health Care System

Some believe there is a direct connection between art and healing. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale is quoted as saying, “Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the object presented to patients are an actual means of recovery,”

This quote is something that Good Shepherd Health Care System Wound Care and IV Therapy Manager, Vicki Horneck believes wholeheartedly in. When Vicki was presented with an opportunity to feature artwork created by students at Echo High School, she enthusiastically agreed. According to Echo High School art teacher, Rick Thew, the student-created depict the seasons in the lifecycle of a tree – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The vibrant colors represent the tree through those seasons as it is silhouetted against those colors.

“So far, the artwork has been a conversation starter between patients and our staff. The colors arevibrant and make for a more cheerful and healing environment. We are thankful for the students and their thoughtfulness and generosity in providing us with their works of art,” exuberated Ms. Horneck.

Good Shepherd Health Care System provides Wound Care and IV Therapy services for patients experiencing wounds that have been difficult to heal and infusion and injection procedures.

FAQ: What exactly is community benefit?

School nurse programs. Free hospital care for the poor. Early cancer detection screening programs. Food pantries. What do these things all have in common? Each of these programs are funded thanks to community benefit funding provided by Oregon community hospitals.
You may have heard the term “community benefit” used when discussing certain programs provided by Oregon hospitals. What does this mean? Community benefit refers to health care-related services that Oregon’s nonprofit hospitals
provide – with little or no compensation – to address critical health needs in the community.
Providing quality health care doesn’t end when a patient leaves the hospital. Much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office – in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Each day, Oregon’s community hospitals voluntarily provide programs and services beyond caring for the sick and injured. These free programs help strengthen and improve quality of life for residents along with managing the unique health needs found within each Oregon community.
Community benefit helps bring hundreds of valuable programs, screenings and medical personnel to communities across the state of Oregon. Learn more about some of these great programs on our Community Impact page.

Hundreds of thank yous for Oregon hospital volunteers

George Skourtis, a volunteer with Providence Cancer Center, rides three buses — in his wheelchair — to report for his volunteer shift. Why? “Because I like to help people.”
In April, Our Health Oregon asked our community to send a quick thank-you note to George in recognition of his selfless and compassionate work that he —and all volunteers throughout Oregon hospitals—do every day.
What happened next was truly stunning: we received an incredible response from this community. The thank you notes would not stop coming. Personal stories were shared by former patients and visitors to Providence’s Cancer Center. People couldn’t stop talking about George.

Thank you to George from Our Health Oregon on Vimeo.

We felt we needed to let George know about this incredible response. Over 600 thank you notes were compiled into a book that we presented to George on your behalf.
George’s story is one example of how committed volunteers and staffers make Oregon’s community hospitals warm and caring spaces for every person who walks through the door. In return, the over 600 people sending George a thank you note show how that volunteers like George are appreciated for the joy they bring each and every day.
For generously giving their time and energy to patients, visitors and employees, volunteers like George create an impact that stretches across the entire state of Oregon.

Taking a closer look at the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill

It may seem like deja vu, but it’s not. Once again, health care repeal is back on the table.
After July’s defeat of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the Senate is back AGAIN with another damaging proposal that would jeopardize health care coverage for up to 32 million people including thousands of Oregonians. What’s different about this bill? So far, not much.
The Graham-Cassidy bill contains many of the same harmful as previous repeal bills. Like the others, this proposal also deeply cuts Medicaid, eliminates or weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions and increases out-of-pocket costs.
If passed, Graham-Cassidy would:

  • Eliminate or weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to charge higher premiums based on health and would waive the requirement that insurers cover essential health benefits like mental health and maternity care.
  • Eliminate the ACA’s marketplace subsidies and enhanced matching rate for the Medicaid expansion and replace with a block grant that would disappear in 2026 and contain NO requirement to offer low- and moderate-income people coverage or financial assistance.
  • Cap and cut federal Medicaid per-beneficiary funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.
  • Eventually result in larger coverage losses than under proposals to repeal ACA’s major coverage provisions without replacement. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has previously estimated that repeal-without-replace would cause 32 million people to lose coverage. The Cassidy-Graham bill would likely lead to greater numbers of uninsured after 2026 because it would not only eliminate block grant funding but also make federal funding cuts to the rest of the Medicaid program (outside of the expansion) under its per capita cap.

The goal of any type of reform should involve improving the health of our communities. Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, more than 400,000 Oregonians have gained health coverage and access to valuable health care services. This means more people who are more likely to use primary care services instead of the ER for their care. In the long-run, this means healthier and more productive members of our communities. Unfortunately, Graham-Cassidy falls far short of this and is more of the same legislation we’ve seen over the previous months.

Hospital Stories: Providence jump-starts healthy school program

Through its Community Health Needs Assessment process, Providence Health & Services – Oregon identified childhood and adolescent obesity as a major need across the state and began its “Healthier Kids, Together” initiative.
Encouraging healthy eating habits, exercise, mindfulness and mentoring were the foundations of the Clatsop County youth program, The Way to Wellville. Providence Health & Services awarded The Way to Wellville – Clatsop a $40,000 grant to hire a coordinator and bring “Clatsop Kids Go” to life in Clatsop County elementary schools. “Clatsop Kids Go” encourages students to develop healthy eating habits, behaviors, body image, emotional development and learning skills, such as growing their own food.
“We seek to partner with agencies and programs to help reach the unmet needs of the people we serve,” said Kendall Sawa, Providence Seaside Hospital CEO as he presented the award.
Sarah Brown, the coordinator for Clatsop Kids Go, works with third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students each week who could benefit from the program. They are selected by counselors and teachers. Her role is to be a positive, caring mentor in whole-body wellness in the students’ 12-week journey.
Each child receives a drawstring backpack filled with goodies to encourage healthy habits and behavior, such as a jump rope, water bottle, Frisbee and hula hoop. In addition, each has a binder with materials for a tool kit. They keep a log or “passport” of their activities, including how much water they drink, how many sodas, what kind of physical activities they participate in, and how long. They earn a Fitbit by keeping up their activities and passport.
Each session begins with a game: Kick the Can, Capture the Flag or something active to get the kids moving. Brown gives a nutrition lesson showing the kids portion sizes and how to balance grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables and fats, and how eating colorful foods helps acquire needed vitamins.
Brown says she doesn’t expect kids to change their habits in 12 weeks, but improving awareness and consciousness about nutrition and activities is a good start toward a healthy lifestyle.