By Kim West
Arrangements of hydrangeas dotted the banquet tables, the aroma of pulled pork barbecue filled the air and a display table laden with hand sanitizer greeted more than 250 people attending Wednesday’s Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation luncheon.
Foundation Director Shelli Waggoner said the annual luncheon allows the hospital foundation to show its appreciation for community support and provide updates about ongoing projects.
ALH has launched a $780,000 project to refurbish two nursing units in the east wings of the second and third floors,
Jan Lenz, chief nursing officer for ALH, said during her luncheon speech the hospital is installing state-of-the-art beds with built-in scales. She said the new CareAssist beds would improve safety for patients and staff and increase comfort and adjustment options.
“The project we’re working on right now actually started last year with our gala and golf tournament when we started our capital campaign,” said Lenz, who recalled a time when beds were cranked by hand instead of electronic controllers. “Every room in second east and third east (wings) will be remodeled and get new beds …
“This will be a new and comfortable healing environment for our patients.”
The remodeling project includes new beds, mattresses and furniture, fresh wallpaper and paint in neutral tones, updated flooring and flat-screen televisions.
The ALH Foundation is offering room sponsorships for $15,000 to defray project costs. Hospital officials say nine of the 52 hospital rooms have already been adopted. The project model will be Room 203, which was adopted by Mary Johnston. Her late mother died at age 101 in the same room at ALH.
During the luncheon, state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw and state Rep. Dan Williams presented a $10,000 donation on behalf of the local legislative delegation.
“That is the fourth community I’ve lived in, and this town is so unique in that we have so much community support — that’s what makes Athens a gem,” said ALH CEO Kelli Powers. “We’ve done so much in the past three years, and we’re so excited about the things we have in our future.”
The foundation’s annual Crystal Cup golf tournament will be Friday, Sept. 13, and the Sherri Adams Pink Ribbon run/walk is Nov. 3.