Nephrology Service, Hematology/Oncology Clinic Dedicate New Infusion Chair
By Bernard S. Little
Walter Reed Bethesda Public Affairs Staff Writer
society members cut the ribbon on two of 42 enhanced infusion chairs the
society donated to the hospital during a ceremony on Feb. 21 at WRNMMC.
Dialysis and prolonged infusion are challenging for patients, explained Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Stephen Olson, assistant chief of Nephrology Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). Efforts made to improve the comfort of those patients during their care is greatly appreciated he added in thanking a benevolent organization for donating more than 40 enhanced infusion chairs to WRNMMC’s Nephrology Service and Hematology/Oncology Clinic.
Walter Beed Bethesda leadership and members of the benevolent society cut a ceremonial ribbon to dedicate the chairs during a ceremony on Feb. 21 in Nephrology Service.
“Physical comfort definitely lessens the stress [of dialysis and prolonged infusion] for patients who cede much of their autonomy and control during the experience,” Olson said. “Dialysis patients in particular endure a marathon of 12-plus hours of treatment each and every week of every year, and physical comfort makes that marathon much more comfortable.”
Olson added the medical staff who cares for those patients share a special relationship with them, “and as such, the providers have a heighten concern for their patients’ overall well-being. In short, comfort matters, not only for the patient, but also for the provider. No doubt [the 42 chairs] will benefit hundreds of patients going forward over the years.”
WRNMMC Director Army Col. Michael S. Heimall echoed Olson’s sentiments. He said benevolent organizations are “solid supporters of everything we do here at Walter Reed Bethesda.” He explained such groups help write the next chapter of our continuing legacies of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, former National Naval Medical Center, WRNMMC and the history of military medicine in general.
“In health care in America today, relying on philanthropy of great people who just want to give back to [others] who are suffering and help make their day a little bit brighter and a little bit comfortable, is really a hallmark of American medicine,” Heimall said.
Retired Army Col. Janet Southby, past president of the benevolent organization donating the enhanced infusion chairs to WRNMMC, said it is important to her society’s members that Walter Reed Bethesda is a world-class organization. “We support the medical center in looking like a world-class organization, [and] that’s why we ended up getting these [top-of-the-line] chairs.”
The chairs are equipped to allow patients to change positions for comfort, as well as for massage and heat.
Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) John F. O’Grady blessed the chairs, praying, “They become a source of comfort, relaxation, peace and healing for patients, and those who use them enjoy better health [and] long life. The chaplain also called for blessing for the WRNMMC staff, adding they have “wisdom, strength, peace and joy as they care for patients who will occupy the chairs in their health care.”