PARKERSBURG - An open house on Sunday to unveil the results of a project to beautify the chemotherapy rooms at the Camden Clark Medical Center's Memorial Campus drew dozens of visitors, including the founder of the Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo program who traveled across the country to attend.
San Francisco resident Nancy Ballard, founder and president of Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, was among those visiting the recently completed rooms on the second floor of the CCMC Medical Office Building B on Garfield Avenue.
Ballard said she started the program in May 2011 with one hospital in San Francisco. She got the idea after visiting a chemotheraphy room at a hospital which she found saddening and wanted to make a change.
Photo by Wayne Towner
Kim Couch, left, executive director of the Camden Clark Foundation, Nancy Ballard, center, founder and president of Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, and Amy Ocasio, project manager, stand in a newly redecorated reception area of the chemotherapy unit at Camden Clark Medical Center’s Memorial Campus.
From there, the program has grown to include nine facilities with 57 rooms, impacting "over 55,000 patient visits a year in America and San Salvador."
"The goal is to create a space and environment of hope and care - tranquillity and peacefulness - for people who are going through chemotherapy," she said. "We paint the rooms soothing colors, we put in artwork, we stencil, we put in new furniture."
Ballard said CCMC went even further with its project, putting in new flooring, curtains and some new furniture throughout the chemotherapy section, from the waiting room to the reception areas and the treatment rooms.
"A lot of it was donated through fundraisers in your amazing community," she said Sunday.
"I have shivers and I'm excited and I'm so excited about this community and this team," Ballard said while touring the completed project at Camden Clark.
Among those involved in organizing the project were Amy Ocasio, a Parkersburg artist and the project manager, and Kim Couch, executive director of the Camden Clark Foundation. Nearly 50 people volunteered their time painting, hanging pictures and doing other work, or by donating artwork and pieces for the project.
Planning began in May and work continued through the summer. Volunteers started working a couple of weeks ago to paint, hang paintings and other physical work on the project, Couch said. The project originally encompassed nine treatment rooms and the conference room in the hospital's chemo unit but grew to affect all parts of the unit as sponsors and support from a variety of sources came in, she said.
"It's every floor, every wall, all new cabinetry," Couch said. "The waiting room furniture isn't in yet, but will be here the week of Oct. 8."
Diane Mayle, patient navigator at the hospital's cancer unit, said the changes have been well received by the patients.
"The patients have really seen the effort and felt the love that the community has put into this," she said.