Christmas In The Forest 2021 Theme - Hope & Joy

Providence St. Peter Hospital Respite Care Program

For dozens of patients without a safe and supportive place to recover following a hospital stay, a vicious cycle develops. As a result, these patients spend days, or even weeks, longer in the hospital than medically necessary.  This not only causes great stress for the patient, but also for the next patient in need of a hospital bed.  Discharge is delayed because these patients have nowhere to quietly rest and heal until they are well enough to navigate daily life again.  It is common for these patients to struggle in their recovery and end up back at the hospital in crisis.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  This cycle can be broken.  More appropriate care leading to better outcomes is underway.

Providence St. Peter Hospital, working in partnership with Interfaith Works and Thurston County has initiated a pilot program to provide a place for respite care and recovery, and social service support to provide for a more stable future.  The program provides beds for up to 30 days at local hotels and shelters, complete with wraparound case management by Interfaith Works and funded by Providence Southwest Washington Foundation and Thurston County. The pilot started this past summer with four beds dedicated to patients being discharged from St. Peter Hospital and is poised to grow from there. The work of the partners is already providing improved care for these patients and opening much needed beds at the hospital.

It’s a win-win idea, with a proven track record at a Providence hospital in Spokane, a place where a similar program has run for more than five years and been expanded several times.  Interfaith Works has already expanded the pilot to provide additional shelter and support for two patients from Capital Medical Center every day.

The benefits?

  • It eases a critically overtaxed system, where more hospital beds for acute care are needed.
  • It levels health equity gaps for the poor and vulnerable in our community.
  • It allows those without housing to get stronger after an illness and take more responsibility for resuming a healthier life with the support they need to succeed.
  • It provides for connection to resources to help with major issues contributing to homelessness, such as substance use disorder, mental health care and job training.
  • It alleviates unnecessary suffering, financial hardships, and economic impacts not only to our local health care systems, but to police, fire and social service providers responding to the resulting crisis when adequate recovery and support falls short.

The respite care program lends yet another chance for critical community partnerships between Providence and the local network of expert providers like Interfaith Works and others to serve as a beacon of compassion to those most vulnerable in our community. Join us in making this an even better place to live.


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Thank you!
These programs only exist through the generosity of our community. We thank you for your support of the Providence St. Peter Hospital Respite Care Program through the 2021 Christmas in the Forest Fund A Need.

For more information, please contact:
Stacey Genzlinger