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Avedis to fund rejuvenation suite for Shawnee hospital

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star
Plans for a rejuvenation suite are underway in support of local health care workers at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee.

During a Facebook Live event Wednesday, the Avedis Foundation presented a banner of support to local health care workers; the large sign was covered in signatures and well wishes from the community.

That's not all.

Avedis announced plans to fund the design and construction of a calming space for healthcare professionals at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee to provide a respite amid the demands of the pandemic.

A 1,700 square-foot Rejuvenation Suite, planned and designed by Rees Associates of Oklahoma City, will offer several features promoting employee wellness, such as a meditation area, yoga stations, massage chairs, relaxing seating areas, a water feature, and a projection wall to recreate sounds and imagery from nature in a soothing ambiance.

Work on the suite, which will be on the hospital’s second floor, is slated to begin in January, with an anticipated completion date of Spring 2021.

“We recognize the enormous mental and physical toll that this pandemic takes on our healthcare professionals every day,” Avedis Foundation President and CEO Dr. Kathy Laster said. “Our aim in creating the Rejuvenation Suite is to provide a calm and welcoming space for these dedicated professionals to relax, reflect, and recharge during their demanding work shifts.”

Funding for the Rejuvenation Suite received unanimous support by Avedis Foundation’s board of directors. “We value the daily sacrifices that our healthcare professionals make for the benefit of the entire community,” Avedis board chair Mark Finley said.

It’s the nature of healthcare professionals to put the needs of others before their own, which often pushes their physical and emotional health to the limit during the best of circumstances, Avedis board member Chuck Skillings said.

“The relentlessness of this pandemic truly underscores how vital self-care is for these individuals, and our hope for the Rejuvenation Suite is that it will play an important role in promoting their overall wellness,” Skillings said.

“It’s exciting that our frontline healthcare team will be provided a space where they can take a quiet break, catch their breath, collect themselves emotionally and recharge before returning back to the bedside,” SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital–Shawnee President Angi Mohr said. “I would like to thank Avedis Foundation for recognizing their sacrifice by giving this selfless, hardworking team a space to relax and be rejuvenated.”

Watch for updates.