Oaklawn staff help raise health-care awareness during special October activities

Each October, health-care services nationwide bring attention to specific health-care needs – and honor those who provide medical services.

At Oaklawn Hospital, the events include weeklong celebrations focusing on emergency staff and overall health-care quality, as well as mental health, physical therapy and respiratory and emergency care for patients – all planned in conjunction with national observances.

Special seven-day periods will mark National Emergency Nurses Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week, both from Oct. 7 through 13; National Health Care Quality Week, from Oct. 14 through 20; and National Respiratory Care Week, from Oct. 21 through 27.

“Oaklawn has 16 registered nurses with membership to the Emergency Nurses Association,” said Beth Green, clinical coordinator of Oaklawn’s Emergency Department. “We also have 11 nurses who have attained the status of certified emergency nurse, and four of our Emergency Department nurses recently attended the ENA's annual three-day Scientific Assembly.”

Green also welcomed Kimberly Campbell, formerly of the staff of Chelsea Community Hospital, who joined Oaklawn recently as its new Emergency Department Nurse Director.

“New leaders bring new ideas, new visions and new processes,” said Green, noting that Campbell’s work at Chelsea since 1988 included initiatives to improve patient safety and quality.

Since 1989, the 40,000-member ENA has celebrated the second Wednesday in October as Emergency Nurses Day, to honor emergency nurses’ commitment to patient care. Starting in 2001, ENA expanded the celebration to a full week. More ENA information is available at www.ena.org.

National Health Care Quality Week, Oct. 14-20, sponsored by the 5,000-member National Association for Healthcare Quality, highlights the influence of health-care professionals in achieving excellent patient care and health-care delivery systems. More about the event is available at www.nahq.org/hqw.

Oaklawn Hospital will observe the week “by recognizing the impact each of us have on providing high quality care,” said Jane Jones, executive director of organizational excellence at the hospital.

“Oaklawn prides itself on bringing state-of-the-art health-care technology and practice to our community,” Jones said. “We also understand the importance of providing personal, individualized care to each patient and family member entering our facility. Every employee has the ability to influence that component of the care experience, whether they provide direct, hands-on care or by walking someone who is lost to their proper destination.”

During the week, hospital employees will share information about recent and current quality-improvement projects, said event coordinator Audrey Hoffman. A weeklong display in the hospital’s front lobby will focus on enhancements to patient safety and medical-care quality.

All of October is set aside as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, sponsored by a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies.

Low-income, uninsured women age 40 through 64 living in southwestern Michigan may obtain free mammograms by meeting specific financial guidelines. Appointments are available by calling (800) 873-0649. The sessions will be Oct. 5, 19 and 26 at the Women’s Diagnostic Center in the Ricketson Medical Building, 103 E. Mansion St., Marshall.

The support group “Surviving and Thriving Breast Cancer” meets from 6 to 8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month, except December, in the Ricketson Medical Building conference room. Information about the group is available from Julie Hammon at (269) 789-3962. Information about breast cancer may be found at NBCAM.org.

October also is National Physical Therapy Month, sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.com). In addition to special events for staff and patients, Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation Services plans open houses at its three principal locations, said physical therapist Lisa Middleton.

“The open houses are intended for people who’ve never been to our facilities to take a tour of the department, and to invite former patients to return and converse with staff members about how they’ve been doing,” Middleton said.

Each open house will be from 4 to 6 p.m., and will be held Oct. 17 at the Marshall physical rehabilitation center at 13697 15-Mile Road; and on Oct. 23 at the Albion center at 300 B Drive North and the Olivet center at 202 N. Main St. Refreshments will be served at each event.

An extensive list of national health observances during October and at other times of the year may be viewed at healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp.

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