Dick Swart moved to the Columbia Gorge from Minnesota in 1992. As many are, he was attracted by the beauty of the area and its great variety of outdoor activities. Since then he has seen the growth of the area through tourism, adding new neighbors, and the expansion of arts and music programs particularly at the Columbia Gorge Center for the Arts.
Always a relatively healthy person, Swart found himself with a series of setbacks over the last few years. He needed several surgeries including two hip replacements, a knee replacement and a lumbar spinal clean-up. But as Swart says, “I’m coming back and although I’m not at 100 percent yet, I can drive and travel to take advantage of the activities in Portland and here in the Gorge like the Columbia Gorge Center for the Arts. And I’m looking forward to my 60th class reunion back in Massachusetts in June!”
That Swart is back home and engaging in his favorite activities again is in part thanks to the help he received through the Transitional Care – or Swing Bed – Program at Skyline Health. Swart had his surgeries in larger Portland hospitals, but when the time came for him to be discharged, he was far from ready to return home. “You’re OK from the surgery itself, but you still have weeks of healing and rehab therapy ahead of you in a hospital care facility,” explained Swart. “This is when Skyline Health’s Transitional Care Program came in.”
It’s a program which allows smaller, rural hospitals to open up their beds to provide skilled nursing care to those patients like Swart, who no longer qualify as in-patients, but who are not quite ready to return home. This is due to needing services such as physical or occupational therapy, wound care and IV or respiratory therapies. Often, it means these patients can receive the care they need closer to home – and for Swart the Skyline program was a very attractive choice for this care.
“I was a 10-minute drive away from friends and family, and the care I received at Skyline was phenomenal,” added Swart. “Personal care is the staffs’ priority – everyone from the physicians to the nurses to the housekeepers made you feel welcomed. I was treated like a person not a number and the care was tailored to my individual needs. “It made me feel good to heal at Skyline,” continued Swart. “It’s nice to know we have a hospital offering a service of this caliber in our backyard. I don’t think I could have received better care anywhere.”