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DHS news release

Aug. 29, 2006


Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738

Foundation awards grants to support Oregon State Hospital patients

From musical instruments to aquarium fish, nearly $9,500 in newly awarded Oregon State Hospital Foundation grants will benefit patients on the hospital's Salem and Portland campuses.

The awards bring to more than $87,000 the amount the foundation has donated to benefit patients since 1993. This year's $9,494, divided among 17 projects, is the largest ever.

"Our goal is to promote excellence in mental health services and to improve the quality of life for State Hospital patients," said foundation president Dorothy Haun of Salem, a registered nurse who was unit director on a forensic ward until her 1999 retirement. "We are supporting the good work we know goes on at the hospital and reassuring patients that people in the community care about them."

The Oregon Department of Human Services operates the state's psychiatric hospitals as part of a statewide system that delivers mental health services to more than 100,000 Oregonians annually, most of whom receive services in the community.

The awards are for items that support patient treatment, quality of life and reintegration into the community, but aren't included in the hospital's budget. Among them:

  • $2,900 for musical instruments for patients and supplies to make drums for Native American ceremonial and religious activities. Hospital music therapists employ musical instruments in treatment.
  • $650 to purchase a greenhouse where one ward's patients, who already have a bonsai group, can learn gardening and be responsible for nurturing plants.
  • $400 to help patients defray education costs such as those for college classes.
  • $344 for yarn-spinning supplies, proposed by a recreational assistant who believes patients who enjoy knitting and crocheting would like to be able to spin wool into yarn.
  • $100 to purchase aquarium fish for one ward, suggested by a patient who wrote that the fish would promote "serenity and tranquility."

The largest amount of money, more than $4,000, was earmarked for a variety of diversity activities on the two campuses, whose 700-plus patients include approximately 125 African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. Funded proposals included diversity celebrations on the Portland campus, activities on several wards, concerts, posters and purchase of language tapes and videos.

Haun said foundation membership is open to all interested persons and consists of former and current hospital employees, family members of patients, former patients and community members.

The grants are supported by proceeds from a three-day-a-week store on the hospital's Portland campus, a semi-annual four-day store on the Salem campus, dues and donations from foundation members, and fundraisers such as last November's Elsinore Theatre event in Salem commemorating the 1975 filming of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" on the Salem campus.