Allison Filewich tested out one of the new chairs that has already been set up for use in the hospital’s newly renovated emergency department and triage area. Raven Nyman photo.

South Cariboo Health Foundation aids mobility project with chair donation

‘If it helps improve our mobility project, it could be seen as the standard of care’

The South Cariboo Health Foundation (SCHF) recently donated four new chairs to the 100 Mile and District Hospital that will hugely benefit the hospital’s mobility project.

On June 24, Interior Health’s 100 Mile House-based mobility project, Back to Basics, was awarded the Award for Merit in the Dianna Mah-Jones Award of Excellence in Person-Centered Care at the B.C. Health Care Awards.

The mobility project included collective efforts from both physiotherapy and acute care nursing teams at 100 Mile House Hospital to help patients increase mobilization, stamina and strength, resulting in improved overall patient function, reduced hospitalization time, and improved quality of life.

“It’s going to really help patients,” Allison Filewich said of the donation. Filewich is a registered nurse for Interior Health and is the manager of acute care services at the local hospital. She said that the new chairs are intended to augment the mobility project, and one of the chairs has already been set up for use in the hospital’s newly renovated emergency department and triage area.

Related: 100 Mile District Hospital recognized for a unique project focused on patients mobility

“Currently we have been very successful with getting people up and moving so that we can improve their overall health, discharge them sooner, and take them to a higher level of function by getting them moving,” explained Filewich. “This [chair] promotes sitting up rather than like a reclined seat.”

The new chairs are fully adjustable and can move to meet the height of the patient using them. Additionally, the chairs enable easy transfers for those who require a wheelchair to get around. Before the SCHF purchased and donated the four new chairs, Filewich said it was common to see RNs and care aids helping patients from a seat right beside them on their beds.

The new chairs are not cheap, said Filewich: “They go for about $1200 each.”

Currently, the hospital is set up with short, rigid chairs that lack any sort of reclining option. The new chairs donated by the SCHF will provide more support and accessibility to patients and Filewich said that “god willing”, the hospital may be able to get more chairs in their inventory once they have experienced the functionality of the four chairs currently in place.

“This is an additional, augmented chair,” she said. “It’s not our standard care in our everyday hospital, but if it helps improve our mobility project, it could be seen as the standard of care, if it’s proven to be successful.”

Filewich has been in the community since last July herself, but has a 30-year nursing history in oncology, or cancer care. Twice a week, the hospital offers chemo services from their oncology clinic, which Filewich oversees in addition to her position as the acute care manager.

Read more: 100 Mile Hospice to receive four new specialized mattresses

She added that the SCHF has been able to provide the local hospital with equipment that is over and above what could typically be afforded by the municipality: “They do a lot for our patients and our community at large.”

Chris Nickless is the chair of the board of directors for the SCHF. He said that many in the community may not realize how much the SCHF actually does. Over the years, Nickless said that the SCHF has donated a total of over 3 million dollars to the community.

“As board chair, I would just like to state to the community that the Health Foundation appreciates donations because that’s the only way we can supply the hospital with equipment. Not only the hospital but Millsite Lodge and Fischer Place. We’re so happy to help the community, and we’re so happy to get donations so that we can do that.”

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