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Visitors impressed with changes, improvements at OSH


Visitors impressed with changes, improvements at OSH 

Visitors at open house
Visitors check in for the Oregon State Hospital's open house March 2. The event featured the hospital’s newly completed living and treatment wing and drew more than 1,200 visitors.

More than 1,200 friends, family members, partners, neighbors and community members took advantage of a unique opportunity to tour the newest living and treatment wing of Oregon State Hospital during an open house event on March 2.

The recently finished wing marks the completion of the new world-class facility. It will house two of the hospital's treatment programs: the transition program, known as Bridges, and the neuropsychiatric/geriatric program, known as Springs. 

Marsha, a visitor who has lived near OSH for more than 20 years, said, "I'm amazed at what's available for the patients and how respectful it is of individual differences. You've created just such a positive environment for them."

Among the many innovations and improvements in treatment, she said several stood out including:

  • Sensory tools shown to visitors
    Recreational Therapist Stephanie Mack (right), demonstrates one of the sensory tools used at the hospital to help patients decrease their anxiety and stress. Many visitors said they were impressed by the hospital's progress and the variety and innovation of the types of treatments provided.
    The sensory rooms, which use lights, music and various sensory equipment to help patients decrease their anxiety and stress;
  • The REACH program, an incentive-based program that uses positive reinforcement to promote socially acceptable behaviors necessary for patients to achieve their treatment goals; and
  • Kirkbride Plaza, which provides patients with a community-type atmosphere in which to learn and practice a variety of vocational and life skills in preparation for life outside of the hospital.

Other notable improvements include the increased opportunities for patients to make their own choices, whether it is choosing between treatment options, how to spend their free time and even the food they eat. On their new units, patients will have only one roommate and each room has its own bathroom, compared to the old building where patients might have up to five roommates and share a communal shower. There is also an abundance of outdoor space, which can be used for treatment activities, exercising and socializing. 

Approximately 180 patients will move to the new wing March 13-15.

Sensory tools shown to visitors
Recreational Therapist Guy Forson discusses how pottery and other forms of art therapy, which focus on the creative process and not the final product, can help lead to positive changes in a patient's behavioral and thought processes.
I think it's a wonderful facility, and the patients will truly feel better about life here, said hospital neighbor Joanne Elizabeth Seibert. I've had friends who have worked here, and friends who have come here for treatment, and this just looks better for everyone right now.