In May 2020 we will be transforming six new Smilezones at North Bay Regional Health Centre which serves as the district referral Centre for the region and provides both acute care services and specialized mental health services to North Bay and all surrounding, smaller communities.
2,900 children aged 0 – 18 seek inpatient and outpatient care from North Bay Regional Health Care. The children and youth who consist of francophone, indigenous and very diverse cultural backgrounds, receive treatment for a variety of illnesses and conditions.
Our Operations team visited NBRHC this summer to work with front-line staff to create a customized design plan to best suit the unique needs of the children and youth accessing their services. NBRHC has requested Smilezones for their Paediatrics Main Hallway, Paediatrics Main Entrance and four Treatment Rooms.
This project is important to the Northern community because funding received by hospitals and health centres typically goes towards direct programming, administration costs and operating expenses with little consideration for how the environment impacts the experience, attitudes and success of treatment. We work to fill that missing gap by transforming cold, environments that are often intimidating and scary for children into uplifting, encouraging and warm Smilezones the children enjoy. There is a substantial opportunity to make treatment into a much more welcoming and positive experience for children by enhancing the environment.
The Main Entrance and Hallway in the paediatrics department are currently very institutional, bland and do not appeal to the children who all come through this area. Environments such as this make kids feel anxious, scared and uncertain about their visits. Our projects make treatment spaces less scary and more engaging, comfortable and fun.
By adding bright, fresh paint and custom, hand-painted murals to these spaces we will allow children to feel happy, welcome and at ease from the moment the enter. The murals offer plenty of distraction and engagement through their “I-Spy” features, age appropriate themes, characters which they can identify with and reflect their cultural diversity and fun, uplifting scenes, making their visits a much more enjoyable experience.
We have a lot of experience transforming treatment rooms and through tons of children, staff and family feedback have found that adding murals to the ceiling and walls has a tremendous impact in the anxiety level of the children. The paintings give the kids something to look at, focus on, discover and explore; taking their minds off of their treatment and helping them stay calm and at ease.
The staff at NBRHC have expressed how they have witnessed first-hand the impact changing a health care environment has on the entire experience the children have throughout their healing journey with the other Smilezone projects we completed with them. Because of this, they said “Having the opportunity to see the transformation of several Smilezones and see and hear about the impact on patients and their families, the Pediatrics care team knows that that this can exponentially enhance the environment and comfort for children and their families.”
Our ability to meet all NBRHC needs and contribute to the health and well-being of the nearly 3,000 children and youth who use their services is dependent on the financial support we receive from generous donors.Please consider donating to this Smilezone project to make tough days brighter for some amazing and very deserving children in North Bay.