Irene Dunne Guild Donates Funds for Patient Safety Program

December 16, 2014

The Irene Dunne Guild recently announced a donation in excess of $100,000 to Saint John’s Health Center that is being used to help fund the Safe Patient Handling & Mobility Program. The gift enables the purchase of equipment to help lift, position and move patients. Safe patient handling is a term that refers to policies and programs that use technology and techniques to allow caregivers to safely lift and move patients without causing injury or unnecessary physical stress.

“We chose to fund this gift because the program strongly supports patients and caregivers at the same time,” says Kate Prudente, president of the Irene Dunne Guild. “This is specialized equipment that enhances the delivery of compassionate care in a manner that is safer for hospital staff and caregivers.

Among nurses, back injuries are the most common type of work-related accidents, Prudente notes. When used correctly, the new devices will help minimize the risk of injuries to caregivers.

Likewise, patients benefit from being moved in a manner most conducive to their safety and comfort. Safe patient handling has become a prominent issue in acute health care settings, she says, with legislation pending in some states to mandate more of these types of programs.

The guild’s gift is part of a larger patient handling and safety strategy at Saint John’s that will include in-depth staff training and support and a specialized lift team, Prudente says.

“The feedback I hear is that the nurses love the equipment, and the benefits for the patients are substantial,” she says. “The lift team is also very impressed with how easily they can move patients and assist all the nursing units in a more timely manner. This is an important program, and the guild is pleased and proud that we were able to help augment it at the Health Center.”

To learn more about the Irene Dunne Guild, please visit