Being in the hospital can be an unfamiliar, unnerving experience. The same could be said for staying with your family member or friend while they are in the hospital. For Katherine Porter*, it was the feeling of being confined within her hospital room and missing precious time with her college friends. However, thanks to the Parkview Foundation donors, the outside world came into Katherine’s room.
“After ignoring the fact that I was getting sick for quite some time, I finally went to Parkview Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in March of 2019 and I was told I had pneumonia,” Katherine said. “I thought pneumonia was something you only got in the winter months, so I didn’t expect that.”
Because Katherine’s pneumonia was so severe, she was hospitalized for six days with breathing treatments and IV fluids. It was during her hospital stay that she and her family discovered the Parkview Life Channel.
The Parkview Life Channel initially began as the “Chapel Channel”. The Chapel Channel was turned on with a literal flip of a switch, broadcasting to those at PRMC who were watching the specific station. Many people don’t know that both PRMC and Parkview Hospital Randallia have a chapel, which offers a tranquil place for prayer or reflection anytime, 24/7. The chapel at Randallia has been in existence for roughly 25 years, solely through the generosity of donors.
With the initial programming of Catholic Mass and non-denominational worship services for roughly 30 minutes a day that occurred in the chapel, most patients did not engage with the Chapel Channel. However, when Patrick Riecke, director, chaplaincy and volunteer services, spoke with his team and the Parkview Foundation, they discovered that the Chapel Channel had the potential to become much more, and progressed into what is now known as the Parkview Life Channel. The long transition began in May of 2017, with the first official video airing in early 2018.
“Our donors are a gift to us, and with their generosity, we have been able to look at what’s good for the heart and soul of our Parkview patients,” Patrick said. “Not just their A1-C levels, their orthopedic needs or their cancer diagnoses. Certainly, they have a team of wonderful nurses and physicians to help with those, but we want to give to the other side of that, such as dealing with grief and mindfulness – the non-clinical side.”
The Parkview Life Channel is an internal resource uniquely created for the patient that can bring hope, healing and comfort to them. While Parkview patients are in their hospital room, they can tune into the Parkview Life Channel and view a variety of videos. With the generosity of donors, these videos are produced with the help of Dr. Lance Clark, Associate Dean of the Arts, Professor of Digital Media Arts for Huntington University and owner of LC Media, Inc.
Katherine expressed that her favorite video was a flyover of the Johnny Appleseed Festival. Like her, most patients have favorite videos. Patrick has made sure to include a wide range of videos and topics for everyone.
“There are videos of Curtis Smith doing interviews with co-workers, videos on meditations, drone footage of Fort Wayne, nature in Northern Indiana, tips on mindfulness, and we have many more in the works as well. These videos tend to play on a four-day cycle and we still broadcast our chapel services, too.”
The Parkview Life Channel does not stop there. Patrick explained that the channel recently went live at Parkview Randallia at the end of July where the content is reciprocated between Randallia and PRMC. By the fall of 2020, Patrick and his team hope to have community-specific content on the Parkview Life Channel for every patient at Parkview’s community hospitals.
With continued support from the community and its donors, the Parkview Life Channel can continue to help make a difference within Parkview’s walls.
*Katherine Porter’s first and last name have been changed to respect her privacy.