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Tuesday, October 08, 2019
Nearly 40 patients – and 66 of their friends and family members – took part in Friends and Family Day at Oregon State Hospital’s Salem Campus on Sept. 28.
The purpose of the event was to create a festive and welcoming environment where friends and family of patients could enjoy an extended visit. They were able to share a meal, and they talked with staff to learn about the hospital and the services it provides.
“This gives my family a chance to see where I’m living and how I’m living,” said Matthew Gabbard of Bridge 2. “Having them here is uplifting. They can see how I’m still growing and learning.”
This was the hospital’s third Friends and Family event since last fall. The next ones are planned for March on the Salem campus and April on the Junction City campus.
For many families, the highlight of the day was the photo booth – which enabled them to take a keepsake family photo to take home with them. Others said they liked talking with hospital staff – including social workers, peer recovery specialists and family support specialists. Visitors also appreciated learning about the types of therapy the hospital offers.
Annette Valdivia, Gabbard’s mom, said she drives to Salem from the California Bay Area every month to see her son. This was the first time she toured the hospital, and she enjoyed learning about the spaces where he spends his time.
“Now, I’m feeling more at ease about him being here,” she said, adding that she loved the pottery room and the outdoor quads. “He has so many resources available, and that makes me feel good.”
Reassuring families is one, key, reason why the hospital hosts Friends and Family Day, said Superintendent Dolly Matteucci. Through this event, she hopes to share information about the hospital and encourage family involvement in their loved one’s care.
“The purpose of Friends and Family Day is to bring patients, staff, family and friends together to celebrate the community at OSH,” she said. “We all have a role to play in helping patients on their recovery journey.”
For more information about Friends and Family Day, call Consumer & Family Services at 503-947-8109 or email OSH.ConsumerFamilyServices@state.or.us.
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