Kaweah Delta's Employee Relief Fund set to end July 3, putting "Hope in Motion"
New campaign will raise funds for equipment to help stroke, spinal cord
injury, amputation and various other diagnoses regain mobility.
VISALIA – The community and Kaweah Delta employees are approaching
their final days to contribute to the Kaweah Delta Employee Relief Fund,
which is expected to raise approximately $110,000 to help employees who
saw a reduction in hours or were furloughed because of the decrease in
patient volume due to COVID-19.
“People generously contributed to this fund and thank you, it has
meant a lot,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Delta’s Chief Executive
Officer, noting that 2,000 of Kaweah Delta’s employees contributed
to the fund. “I can tell you the reaction from our employees to
think that someone did that for them has really been heartfelt.”
With the hospital opening up to elective surgery and other health care
services, the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation will roll out its next
campaign Hope in Motion on July 4. It will allow for the purchase of the
SafeGait 360 Balance and Mobility Training, a track-and-harness system
that assists with balance and fall prevention for patients who are learning
to stand or walk again after a stroke, a spinal cord injury, multiple
sclerosis, amputation, and other neurological or neurodegenerative diagnoses.
It would be used at Kaweah Delta’s Rehabilitation Hospital where
physical therapists can increase patients’ confidence and reduce
their fears of falling. This system’s software tracks patients’
movements, so physical therapists can make adjustments quickly and safely,
while letting patients learn to negotiate stairs, transfers and floor
Walking and standing are two of things many people take for granted and
the road is long and hard to recovery when something like a stroke takes
away those abilities from people. That’s what happened to David
Fleming, a talented graphic designer in our community, who suffered a
stroke and was rushed to the Emergency Department. Since then, he’s
worked hard to gain his life back.
“There were days when I just wanted to crawl up back in bed. I just
wanted to lay back and not do anything, and you just have to force yourself
to get up and get to work,” said Fleming, a patient at the Rehabilitation Hospital.
David pushed himself every day to get back to who he was before the stroke--
an effort that didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s exciting when everyone sees me and sees my progress,
and when I hear the therapists talk about my case. It’s just great,”
In part, he credits his progress to the therapists at the Rehabilitation
Hospital who have helped him every step of the way.
“These people know what they’re doing, which I had total faith
in to begin with, but I just gained more faith in myself that I could
The role of helping patients, like David, get back to enjoying their lives
to the fullest is the therapists’ priority, but having the resources
to facilitate the process is invaluable. Learning to walk again can be
challenging, both for patient and physical therapist. When a stroke, amputation
or accident mean we have to re-learn those activities, Kaweah Delta staff
can put hope in motion.
“The Hope in Motion campaign will allow us to take our therapy, specifically
our stroke rehab as we are a stroke specialty center, to the next level.
The SafeGait 360, will also benefit a lot of other diagnoses such as amputation,
people recovering from debilitation, multi-trauma accidents and any other
type of neurological disease,” said Tara Norman, Therapy Supervisor
at the Rehabilitation Hospital.”
Physical therapists, too, can benefit from this equipment, as they are
less likely to be hurt catching a fall, which gives them the opportunity
to expand their intervention strategies. They won’t have to be on
guard for falls, the most likely time for work-related injury to occur,
which will also mean fewer staff are needed to work with one person, opening
up for other patients. Data provided by the system will also be available
to help physical therapists evaluate their treatment plans.
The Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation was created in 1979 to help Kaweah
Delta Health Care District achieve excellence in patient care through
fundraising from the hospital family and the community. The nonprofit
501(c) (3) Foundation, with its elected board of directors, has raises
funds in support of Kaweah Delta through personal solicitation, grants,
special events, direct mail, and social media appeals as well as through
future, planned gifts such as bequests.