MultiCare Chaplin Annette Gildemann realized something was missing.
She was walking the halls of the Covington MultiCare when she was notified of a family who had been at the hospital for quite a while. This family had nowhere to pray or have some downtime while their loved one was being taken care of.
“(They) were really struggling to find a place to do basic morning prayers and afternoon prayers because there wasn’t anything,” said Monica Hurley, interim executive director of the South King Health Foundation. “I mean even hallways weren’t available.”
When the Covington MultiCare was first built and opened in 2018, it lacked a place for reflection or prayer due to budget constraints. But the site now has a reflection room, thanks to Gildemann’s initiative and financial help from the foundation.
“Annette came to us in the foundation and said, ‘Is there anything that we can do?’ And our foundation board said, ‘Absolutely,’” Hurley noted.
She explained that this was such an easy decision to make because they wanted to ensure MultiCare is providing people who come into the hospital with that piece of healing that’s above and beyond the standard of care.
The reflection room cost about $120,000, according to Hurley. That money was made possible because of the South King Health Foundation.
The foundation is still fairly new as it only began about four years or so ago. Its mission is to further provide high quality health care for the growing populations of Auburn, Covington, Kent, Maple Valley and Black Diamond, it stated in a press release from the foundation.
The foundation started a campaign in 2017 to raise money for not only Covington MultiCare, but also Auburn as well. The campaign raised about $1.18 million, Hurley said.
The money in Auburn is going towards several components, including their recent emergency room revamp.
“But in Covington, the reflection room is one of the most important pieces of taking care of people in the hospital because we really do address mind, body and spirit when we talk to people and we know that all three are integrated,” Hurley explained. “Our mission statement is, ‘Partnering for healing and a healthy future,’ and that’s because we can’t take care of all three of them at the medical profession, but we can pay attention to all of those things and we can make accommodations on all of those things.”
To honor those who donated money to the campaign to make both the reflection room and the revamp a reality, Covington MultiCare now has a “donor wall.” On that wall, there are the names of the people who donated money to the campaign.
Hurley said this wall is to show someone who is walking through the halls of the hospital that there’s someone out there who might understand what they are going through.
She said, “It’s a connection that we have as humans to each other. It’s so important that we put those names there to give the opportunity for a relationship even if you don’t know the other person. You know that someone was there before you and it’s not just a sterile place that is faceless, and instead really does [have] humanity intertwined in it.”
The wall in itself is to show donors they are acknowledged and that they truly did help with something worthy.
When walking into the hall where the donor wall is, you may notice another wall. That’s the story wall, Hurley said.
The story wall has stories of care on it that tell more human connecting stories.
Hurley said if someone has been sitting in the hospital for weeks on end or has been visiting someone for a long time, people can get “myopic.” The stories can give people a bit of brightness in their day, or week, and help them know they are not alone.
To unveil the walls, the Covington MultiCare hosted an event to showcase them on Feb. 26.
“We saw our community come together, we celebrated together. The fun of watching people come up and put their hands on that craft paper and get ready to rip it right off, was really exciting,” Hurley said.
To contribute to the South King County Foundation, visit support.multicare.org.