St. Barnabas Opens Multi-Sensory Room

Thursday, October 10, 2013

St. Barnabas announces the addition of a multi-sensory room to its program offerings.

St. Barnabas's multi-sensory room is state-funded by UnitedHealthcare Community and State Plan, and can be set to either relaxation mode or stimulation mode. The room can be staged to provide a multi-sensory experience or single sensory focus, simply by adapting the lighting, atmosphere, sounds, and textures to the specific needs of the individual at the time of use.  

Specific therapeutic outcomes aren't expected – instead, the focus is to help users gain the maximum pleasure possible from the multi-sensory activity, officials said. Because it does not rely on verbal communication, it may be beneficial for people with dementia and those who would otherwise be almost impossible to reach. Sensory stimulation can decrease behavioral issues arising from mental health and dementia diagnoses, according to researchers.        

"This modality is already being used with autistic children and the mentally ill," says Traci McKenzie, member advocate, East Tennessee, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. "Research indicates the elderly also benefit, that sensory stimulation can de-escalate behavior issues, improves mental outlook, and decreases depression." 

For instance, aromatherapy improves appetite, says Ms. McKenzie, and is also indicated in the triggering of memories.

"We are pleased to be chosen to launch this important new program," said St. Barnabas President and CEO David Wildgen. "This concept aligns very well with our mission as a health care ministry." 

The CHOICES program, part of TennCare, requires managed-care organizations to participate in a quality of life project, and St. Barnabas was selected to pilot Tennessee's first multi-sensory room in a health care facility.

"I wanted to do something in a facility that would promote better quality of life for residents in our community," says Ms. McKenzie, who attended St. Barnabas's dedication of its new facility in 2007. "I feel non-profits like St. Barnabas don't always get the opportunities." 

St. Barnabas provides health care and rehabilitation therapy. For more information, visit www.st-barnabas.com


Local Girls Recognized By The American Lung Association For Outstanding Achievements

The American Lung Association in Tennessee will be recognizing the work of five local scholars, published authors, and accomplished philanthropists next month. But these women haven't had a lifetime to build their success. They haven't even graduated from high school yet.  The ALA Young Women of Distinction Award is offered each year to high school seniors who set themselves ... (click for more)

Alexander, Murray Introduce Budget Amendment For Medical Treatments To Reach American Patients

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Thursday introduced a budget amendment to promote the research, development, and approval or licensure of the "most cutting-edge, safe and effective medical treatments, devices, and cures for American patients and to ensure that America remains the global leader in biomedical innovation."  ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)