January 12, 2021

Recharge Room Provides Respite for Frontline Workers

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The COVID-19 global outbreak proved to be a stressful and trying time for everyone, especially those working on the frontlines of healthcare. Overwhelmed, exhausted, and drained – many directly exposed to the virus – healthcare professionals often found themselves in need of an escape.

As a means to meet the needs of their employees, St. Tammany Health System (STHS) created a temporary Recharge Room on the hospital’s first floor during the early stages of the pandemic. The room provided an opportunity for relief and served as an oasis of calm for employees when needed. The benefits of the room proved necessary, prompting hospital leadership to collaborate with the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation to find a way to make the space a long-term fixture.

After securing funding from the LWCC Foundation’s Louisiana Well Again: COVID-19 Response Package, the hospital foundation developed a committee to spearhead the creation of a permanent Recharge Room. Committee members and hospital employees, Sarah Gallaher and Brandon Tally, worked with Becky Parks of fl+WB to outfit the room with tranquil and calming features.  

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, STHS leadership, joined by the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation and representatives of the LWCC Foundation, cut the ribbon on the official Recharge Room for employees, located on the fourth floor of the health system’s hospital in Covington.  

“As you can see, we have it very well equipped for respite,” STHS President and CEO, Joan Coffman, said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “There are soothing sounds, beautiful healing art, green spaces… it’s just a wonderful space for our colleagues to go when they need to step away.”

The new space is conveniently located near the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), providing easy access for those who seek refuge. It is outfitted with soft lighting, a guitar for those who wish to play, bright, colorful plants, notebooks for journaling, resources to assist employees in need, and other similar flourishes.

“As a critical care nurse, one thing that has really helped me not become overwhelmed with the stress has been the recharge room available to us at the hospital. Being able to step away from the hustle and bustle of the ICU and relax among the plants, calming music, and oil diffusers has been a great way to relieve stress. The recharge room has become a quite safe haven for my coworkers and me to find some calm amongst the chaos,” says Kimberly Booth, staff nurse.

Two representatives from the LWCC Foundation, Sarah Shinn and grant reader Donna Saurage, were on hand for the ceremony. Both were abeam, and both noted that one of the more gratifying aspects of this particular project is that it is a rare grant that results in a physical space they could actually go visit.

"Our frontline workers are dedicating so much time and energy into taking care of our friends and neighbors during this pandemic,” shared Donna Saurage, LWCC Foundation Grants Committee member. “We're thankful that hospitals like St. Tammany are focused on supporting their staff and creating space for them to find respite during these challenging times. It's exciting to see their idea for a permanent Recharge Room come to fruition.”

The LWCC Foundation thanks all frontline workers for the heroic work being done across all of our communities.  We are grateful to see foundation funds go to such an impactful use. Learn more about LWCC’s commitment to elevate Louisiana at LouisianaLoyal.com.

Photos courtesy of Tim San Fillippo, St. Tammany Health System photographer.

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