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Legacy Salmon Creek creates a child-friendly surgical unit with funds from the community and local car dealers

A nurse pursues making the surgical area more comfortable for pediatric patients

VANCOUVER, WA. –  Every year, 400 pediatric patients are cared for in Legacy Salmon Creek’s Surgical Services unit. Studies show that children can be fearful and anxious before surgery, and it can impact their behavior and after-surgery recovery as well as future medical visits and procedures. The nursing staff at Legacy Salmon Creek wanted to create a friendly environment by creating murals on the stark walls and adding other child-friendly décor and toys for its youngest patients.

Kim Conrad, RN, a nurse in surgical services, approached hospital foundation officer Drina Simons with the idea. “There is a great deal of research that supports the general concept that pediatric patients have better outcomes and less anxiety and fear if healthcare environments look less sterile,” said Conrad. "I wanted something bright, natural, and playful to distract children from their upcoming procedure.”

Initial donations from a group of caring community members launched the project. Salmon Creek Hospital Foundation board member Monte Phillips helped the hospital find the right community partner to help it realize its full vision. Funds from Hyundai Hope on Wheels and four local Hyundai dealerships have contributed $50,000 toward the effort.

“Our local Hyundai dealerships are committed to doing what they can to uplift our local community. We see no greater cause than supporting children’s health and wellness at a renowned institution doing life-saving work such as Legacy Salmon Creek,” says Phillips, general manager and partner with Vancouver Auto Group. “Vancouver Hyundai, Ron Tonkin Hyundai, Tonkin Gladstone Hyundai, and Withnell Hyundai are pleased to partner with Legacy Health to provide a friendly, reassuring environment for children and families in Southwest Washington.”

Local muralist John Vance was commissioned to transform the interior space into a nature scene. So far, Vance has painted the entrance and the area near the reception desk. Next, he will work on the patients' rooms and even cover up an old fish tank with a popular kids' game, “I Spy.”

Legacy Salmon Creek welcomes additional donations in support of the project www.legacyhealthgiving.org/PediatricShortStay. For more information, contact Drina Simons, Salmon Creek Hospital Foundation, dksimons@lhs.org or 360-487-3263.

Local muralist John Vance was commissioned to transform the stark walls of the interior space of the Legacy Salmon Creek Surgical Services Unit into a pediatric-friendly environment, which includes nature scenes and a fun game. Vancouver Hyundai, Ron Tonkin Hyundai, Tonkin Gladstone Hyundai, and Withnell Hyundai are pleased to partner with the hospital to provide a friendly, reassuring environment for children and families in Southwest Washington.

Photo credit: Jonathan Stephens, Legacy Health

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About Legacy Health
Legacy Health is a locally owned, nonprofit health system driven by our mission to improve the health of those around us. We offer a unique blend of health services – from wellness and urgent care to dedicated children's care and advanced medical centers – to care for patients of all ages when and where they need us across the Portland/Vancouver metro area and mid-Willamette Valley. With an eye toward a healthier community, our partnerships tackle vital issues such as housing and mental health. Legacy strives to help everyone live healthier and better lives, with the vision of being essential to the health of the region. 

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503-938-7788 

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