What is Planetree?
Planetree is a model of health care that focuses on providing patient-centered care and offers a healing environment. It empowers patients and families through information and education, and encourages “healing partnerships” with caregivers. North Valley Hospital became a Planetree affiliate in September 2002. Today there are more than 500 organizations in eight countries that are affiliated with Planetree. North Valley Hospital follows Planetree’s 10 key components to demystify, humanize and personalize the health care experience for patients, visitors and staff.
Nurturing and Supporting Staff
This begins with nurturing and supporting staff to respect and care for one another, which freely flows to our patients. North Valley Hospital emphasizes how important it is for staff to listen to patients and their families and partner with patients to be active participants in their care.
Architectural and Interior Design
The award-winning architecture incorporates natural lighting that highlights the warm earthy colors and design supporting an atmosphere of relaxation and comfort. A water feature, natural materials, healing garden areas and a fish aquarium add to the nurturing environment. Artwork in patient rooms, treatment areas and residential spaces add to the ambiance.
Nutritional and Nurturing Aspects of Food
One thing is for certain, North Valley Hospital does not serve typical hospital food. Patients and visitors can select from seasonal, made-from-scratch items to enjoy along with an espresso bar while viewing breathtaking views of Big Mountain and Glacier National Park. Delicious, healthy cuisine is also available to our patients and their families via Cuisine-on-Call room service. Another alternative for guests are Family Nourishment Areas located in the hallways close to patient rooms. To allow our patients to focus on healing and rejoicing rather than cooking, a complementary meal for our new parents and outpatient surgery patients is provided upon discharge.
Community Health Library
The hospital’s Community Health Library offers a quiet space to relax next to the fireplace or investigate health-related topics via internet access or one of the hundreds of books on hand. We recently partnered with the Whitefish Community Library to host a free “library” of nonmedical books for our guests. An open chart policy allows patients to read their medical records. Collaborative care and a variety of educational resources provide patients and residents with information and skills to actively participate in their care as well as maximize their physical and psychological well-being.
Family, Friends and Social Support
Studies have shown that being with loved ones when you’re not well helps the healing process. That’s why North Valley Hospital has an open visitation policy that offers visiting hours 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, each patient room has a window-seat daybed that may be prepared for the night so a loved one may rest in comfort. Beyond the human family, pet visitation can elevate mood, lower blood pressure and enhance social interaction.
The stained glass door to our Meditation Room welcomes you to a quiet space for reflection and prayer. Our staff clergy makes daily rounds, Monday through Friday, while a network of local clergy accommodating most faiths are available to our patients on an on-call basis.
Patients and visitors enjoy fine, original artwork including a rotating display by visiting artists. Live harp music soothes patients and guests while musicians including those from North Valley Music School and Grammy award-winning artists from the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival play throughout the year.
Complementary Therapies and Human Touch
To help make your stay as comfortable as possible, we offer a relaxing and comforting massage free of charge to all of our inpatients. Dogs and their handlers, certified through the Pet Partners program, offer a friendly canine visit to patients, visitors and staff. Volunteers make fresh-baked cookies and deliver them throughout the hospital. Acupuncture is available to treat headache, low back pain, migraines, osteoarthritis, postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy-induced nausea and more. Most recently, aromatherapy has been added as a comfort and relaxation benefit.
Working with schools, local employers, Shepherd’s Hand Free Clinic and other community partners, North Valley Hospital and clinics are redefining health care to include the health and wellness of the larger community. We provide free classes and events including pre- and postnatal classes, cancer support groups, health education presentations, health screenings and more. For the enjoyment of the whole community, we built a Fit-Trail® system along our 1.3-mile walking path that encircles the campus.
Planetree is a journey, not a destination. Our evolution in the direction of its ideals will continue for the coming years. For more information on the Planetree philosophy, go to www.planetree.org