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Archived Stories

Creating an outdoor space to foster healing

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Providence will soon begin construction to create a Healing Garden for patients, staff and visitors in the oncology unit at Providence St. Peter Hospital. The approximately 3,000-square-foot area is designed to enhance patients’ well-being, while demonstrating a commitment to spiritual and emotional health. Read more

St. Peter staff member and program graduate recognized for helping kids

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Sophia Stanley, a Chemical Dependency Professional for the Providence St. Peter Chemical Dependency Center (CDC), recently was recognized as a “Champion for Kids” by Together, a local organization that serves the South Sound area with youth substance abuse prevention and health promotion activities. Read more

AHA recognizes Sexual Assault Clinic

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Providence Regional Cancer System is in the planning stages for a Healing Garden that would be accessible to all patients and staff, and located on the oncology unit at the hospital. Patients being treated for cancer are often admitted many times for treatment, as well as side-effect management, and they often stay longer in the hospital than the average hospital patient. Read more.

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Investing in Nursing Excellence

In 2011, siblings Linnea Bremner, Laurel Seaman, and Larry Leonardson established the Leonardson Family Endowment for Nursing Excellence at Providence St. Peter Foundation. Nurse Andrea Jensen was among the first to receive an award from the fund, which she used to become a state-certified radiology nurse. Read more.

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Healing Garden Planned for Oncology Unit

Providence Regional Cancer System is in the planning stages for a Healing Garden that would be accessible to all patients and staff, and located on the oncology unit at the hospital. Patients being treated for cancer are often admitted many times for treatment, as well as side-effect management, and they often stay longer in the hospital than the average hospital patient. Read more.

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Improving communication for families through palliative care training

Thanks to donor support, the innovative palliative care team based at Providence St. Peter Hospital will begin filming a series of videos to help create a library of high-quality educational videos. Designed primarily for staff, the videos will teach techniques for holding conversations with patients who are seriously ill - and their families - about what their goals are, navigating ethically and emotionally challenging situations, and supporting patients and families with the stresses of incurable illness. Read more.

No One Dies Alone program celebrates its five-year anniversary

The No One Dies Alone program (NODA) at Providence St. Peter Hospital will be celebrating its 5th anniversary in July 2014. The NODA program is made up of community members, as well as many Providence employees, who give their personal time to become a compassionate companion to dying patients on their end-of-life journey. Frankie Shepherd, program coordinator for No One Dies Alone says, “Our compassionate companions provide a comforting presence to the patient under the guidance of the patient’s nurse, but they do not provide medical care.” Read more.

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Donors impact the recognition of warning signs

One in four girls and one in six boys has suffered sexual abuse before they’re 18 years-old —those numbers are difficult to comprehend. The Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic in Olympia is where children come to be evaluated after a reported abuse, as well as receive initial counseling services. The clinic provides awareness training called “Darkness to Light,” that trains people in the community to recognize signs of sexual abuse. Last year, the clinic saw a 450% increase in attendees over the first few years, thanks to generous support from local donors. Read more.

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Nursing scholarships improve patient care, build future for families

Soledad Fratis is a registered nurse in the Orthopedic Unit at Providence St. Peter Hospital. She is well-respected as a nurse and co-worker, a recipient of the hospital’s Spirit Award, and serving on numerous nursing councils and committees to ensure excellence in patient care. But her journey hasn’t been easy. Soledad gave birth to her son, David, at the age of fourteen. She says, “I was a teenage mother who everyone saw as a failure.” But Soledad persevered. She stayed in school and graduated high school with the highest GPA of her entire class, earning the recognition of school valedictorian. Read more.

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Rehab provides path to greater independence

The Outpatient Neuro Clinic at Providence St. Peter Hospital sees many types of patients suffering from neurological disorders or damage. They often see patients recovering from strokes, or those living with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, or amputation. The clinic sees up to 40 patients each day and has three primary disciplines – physical, occupational, and speech therapy - all located in one place. In 2013, Providence St. Peter Foundation provided $1.6 million in support to Providence ministries in Southwest Washington, including funding for equipment to help patients in their recovery from neurological diseases on a path to greater independence. Read more.

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At Providence St. Peter Hospital, the Case Management and Utilization Review department includes a staff of nurses and medical social workers, and one of their primary responsibilities is to prepare patients to leave the hospital, whether a patient is going home, to a skilled nursing facility, hospice, or other arrangement.  The department was a recipient of Foundation funding from the recent spring grant cycle. Rachel Davis-Heintz says, “We often struggle to find available resources to help in many of our complicated discharges,” and adds, “Having some funds to provide even basic resources for these patients goes a long way.” Rachel and her colleague, Tara Sol, spoke recently about their department’s work - often with the poorest and most vulnerable. Read more.


NODA Volunteers Bring Comfort, Honor LivesNODA 2013

The No One Dies Alone (NODA) program was started at St. Peter Hospital in 2009 to provide individuals with a dignified and compassionate death. The program is coordinated by Frankie Shepherd, with the help of 115 volunteers. These volunteers make themselves available during the day and all through the night, providing bedside companionship for dying patients who are alone, and also offer respite to family members or friends who need to take time away to rest or manage other responsibilities. Read more.


Psychiatric Unit Teaches Skills for LifeWater drop

The Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, along with other Behavioral Health units within Providence Southwest Washington, uses an innovative behavioral program called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with patients.  DBT was first developed at the University of Washington by Marsha Linehan, and Providence Behavioral Health staff have been trained in the therapy through recent grant support. Read more.


Answering the Call for Hospice Care

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Sandy Powers has been touched by Providence Hospice many times in her life.  Her grandmother was supported by Providence Hospice in Shelton at the end of her life, as was her mother in Seattle.  In 2004, Sandy Powers began volunteering with Providence Hospice.  Powers says, “I truly feel it is a calling to work with those at end of life.” Read more.


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Partnership Benefits Mental Health in our Community

Providence St. Peter Hospital Behavioral Health Services has a longstanding partnership with CHOICE Regional Health Network, a local organization which provides safety-net services to patients and drives regional health system improvements. Last year, Providence St. Peter Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant through the Psychiatry Fund to support the Mental Health Access Program (MHAP), making it possible for low-income individuals experiencing anxiety and depression in our community to access mental health care. Read more.

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New Resources for Patients with Limited English Proficiency

In the fall of 2012, Providence St. Peter Foundation awarded over $436,000 in grants to local Providence ministries.  One of the grants will help enhance services for patients with limited English, who can be vulnerable as they navigate the health care system, to ensure equal and quality care. Read more.

St Peter Foundation Stories 1Expanding our capacity to care

This fall, Providence St. Peter Hospital will open a new critical care unit, the first expansion of new patient beds since 1984. Since that time, Thurston County has been one of the fastest growing counties in Washington The expansion will create 21 new beds, each equipped to care for the most ill patients in the hospital. The new unit has been made possible by many generous donors in the community. Read more.

St Peter Foundation Stories 2Medical missions reach thousands beyond our borders

Each year, medical personnel from local Providence ministries embark on medical missions to help people in countries that are much less fortunate than the United States. Teams regularly travel to Haiti and Belize, as well as Vietnam and Cambodia. Providence St. Peter Foundation and Providence Health International have helped make the work possible, offsetting some of the travel costs borne by the employees. Read more.

Over $370,000 awarded for equipment and services, thanks to generous donors

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The Providence St. Peter Foundation Board of Directors awarded 2012 spring grant awards in May, totaling $374,962. Thanks to the generosity of donors, many programs and departments throughout local Providence ministries will have new equipment and services to support the diverse needs of patients and staff. Read more.

When it's a matter of life or death

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Every second of every day, the heart pumps throughout the body, keeping you alive. When the heart is struggling to keep up, it loses strength, and can begin a long process of heart failure. Sixty-year-old Olympia resident, Dave Thoma, experienced this last fall. Read more.

Compassionate care for the dying and grieving

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Don Thulin and his wife, Renate, raised their granddaughter, Amanda, from the time she was an infant. As Amanda grew up, they found themselves having to play the role of parents: providing discipline, role-modeling, and enforcing everyday household rules. Read more.