Nursing and interprofessional community involvement

Caring Beyond the Bedside

In 2010, the “Nurses Give Back” program launched under the approval of Salem Health’s Practice Council, Chief Nursing Officer and Nurses Week Committee. The program was born from attendance at the 2009 American Nurses Credentialing Committee (ANCC) National Magnet Conference in Kentucky. Nurses unanimously voted to forgo their traditional Nurses Week gift and instead donated those monies along with volunteerism to charitable organizations. This spirit of volunteerism is in keeping with the mission, vision and values of Salem Health to support our community. As a result, Salem Health nurses supported over 30 projects and organizations during the first year with the support of their Specialty Practice Teams (SPTs).

The project evolved over the years and was renamed “Nurses SHINE On” with emphasis placed on volunteerism to charitable organizations in the Salem area. Each year during Nurses Week, the Unit Department Councils, or UDCs (previously SPTs), had the opportunity to volunteer their special talents along with designated monies to provide support to charitable organizations. UDCs with interprofessionals, such as Rehab Services, Respiratory Therapy and Clinical Nutrition started participating in the program so Practice Council renamed the program to Salem Health Caring Beyond in February 2020. They also decided to align the distribution of monies to the National Volunteer Week in April rather than Nurses Week in May.

2021 Salem Health Caring Beyond the Bedside
April 18-24, 2021 National Volunteer Week

Organizations served by Caring Beyond the Bedside in FY21 include:


Charity Selected

Reason Selected


Bush Elementary School

The Salem Anticoagulation Clinic Council (SHACC) chose Bush Elementary School because SHACC was looking forward to meeting the needs of a local school near Salem Hospital. Upon conversation, the school stated they were hoping to buy chairs for special needs children with the donation. Not only is this in alignment with Salem Health’s mission to support our community, one of SHACC staff members has an adult son with Cerebral Palsy and SHACC felt it would be so beneficial to help a school that would provide resources for children like our coworkers son- almost a pay it forward. SHACC is looking forward to continuing this partnership in future.

Care Management

Northwest Human Services, Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project

The Care Management team refers many patients to the HOAP program to provide them with resources and support after discharging from hospital. Our team recognizes the importance that this organization has in our community to support a vulnerable population, and we want to provide them with our support.

Cath Lab

Center for Hope and Safety

The cath lab chose The Center for Hope & Safety because of the work they do to provide a safe and inclusive environment for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and/or human trafficking for over 40 years in the Salem community. The cath lab staff firmly believe that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, and aligns with the CHS belief that “everyone deserves a life free of violence”. The Center for Hope & Safety provides advocacy services and a safe refuge for all who seek their help. Currently the Center for Hope & Safety is developing HOPE Plaza in downtown Salem to generate affordable housing and job opportunities for their clients. The plan is that Hope Plaza will also provide case management and other services to support their clients in the Salem community.

Clinical Nutrition

Safe Sleep United, a part of United Way of Mid- Willamette Valley

This charity was selected because as a team of all women, we feel strongly about supporting other women and organizations that aim to do the same. We work with many patients experiencing homelessness and know the impact that it can have on our patients. We believe that having a shelter for women who are experiencing homelessness is so important in Salem and we want to support it in any way that we can.


Camp Tapawingo

CNA council chose to work with Camp Tapawingo because of their commitment to helping kids and guests grow within their faith and relationships. They offer a quiet, peaceful, natural environment and enable a positive atmosphere. Our council member, Nicole Clark also has a personal connection with this camp and we are excited to volunteer this summer with them. Council will be available to check temperatures at check in and help streamline the process of making sure everyone is safe under COVID guidelines. The camp will be utilizing the donation Salem Health has provided to gather more first aid supplies and thermometers.


West Salem Church

Kara Toma has been attending this church for over a year now. The Church partners with Chapman Elementary School and has stepped up in assisting students who do not have the home resources to attend school. The church has utilized their own funds to upgrade their internet services so students can attend school at the Church. They have also provided volunteers that are available to assists the students when needed.

Emergency Department


H.O.M.E. Youth and Resource Center serves homeless or at risk young adults who are in need for job skills, day shelter, or positive social interactions. The Salem Health Emergency Department voted H.O.M.E. as our charity selection due to our heartfelt interactions with young runways or homeless youth as patients. In the past SHED has voted for H.O.M.E. and provided clothes and goods through fundraising.

Float Pool and Vascular Access Unit

Acres of Hope Youth Ranch

Our UDC selected this charity due to interest in helping out vulnerable youth in our community. The purpose of this charity is to help children who are HURT (Harmed, Unseen, Rejected, Traumatized). By supporting youth at this ranch providing jobs, lessons, and personal development we felt this was something all of us on the UDC found to be important to support.

General Surgery

Habitat for Humanity

General Surgery has been supporting Habitat for Humanity for many years both financially and with volunteer hours. Although we weren’t able to participate physically this year we wanted to support them monitarily and hope that soon we can open up some volunteer hours. Although the gifting of financial assistance is important it is really the camaraderie we enjoy and meeting the families that will soon move into their new homes that we helped construct.



Comfort Care Blankets

We have been making quilts for our comfort care patients for years. Making these quilts and providing them to our patients and their families has been a comfort to them during a very difficult time in their lives.

Imaging Department

Camp Odakoda

Imaging UDC chose Camp Odakoda to help give a wonderful camp experience to children that would not be able to attend summer camp. Camp Odakoda has supported children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. Knowing what it would take to facilitate medications, intake of patients and settling the campers in their rooms is quite the feat. Camp Odakoda staff 1 adult councilor to every 2 campers. Having the support of the Imaging UDC will make the first night of camp go smoothly. Salem Health Imaging Department staff have the knowhow of medication management and the friendly skills to help the campers feel welcome and loved. The imaging department really hopes Camp Odakoda will open this year. We have volunteered in the past and are excited to get another chance this year!


Comfort Care Quilts

Historically IMCU has used Caring Beyond the Bedside (previously Nurses SHINE On) sponsorship to purchase materials (fabric, thread, batting) for our comfort care quilts. Due to this past year and the inability to gather as a unit to make quilts, we have plenty of supplies on hand. Therefore a consensus decision was made to purchase blankets that we can use for our comfort care patients until the time comes again for us to gather as a group and make quilts.

Inpatient Rehab


The Salem Family YMCA has served for more than a century, making an impact on the community and coming up with innovative programs for the future. It meets the health and fitness needs of over 5,000 participants. The full-service facility provides opportunities throughout Marion County. From promoting healthy activity to supporting the health needs of the community, this was a good choice for our Inpatient Rehab Council.

Interventional Recovery Unit

Boys and Girls Club — Dental Program

Most of the staff in the IRU are parents, so a children’s charity focusing on preventative health is something the IRU staff felt was a good place to donate to. We often see adults in our care who would have benefitted from preventive healthcare when they were young that they maybe didn’t have access to. The Boys and Girls Club Dental Program helps create healthy smiles though education, prevention, and treatment, and is one of the many programs that The Boys and Girls Club provides to those in need. We appreciate their contribution to preventative health here in Salem and surrounding areas.

Labor and Delivery

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

This charity supports abused children who need court advocates. This is a cause that is dear to the labor and delivery community and we are excited to support their mission.

Mother Baby Unit

Father Taffe

The Father Taaffe House provides housing and support to single, pregnant and young moms in our community who do not have a safe place to live. This organization provides supplies, resources, and guidance on how to succeed as single moms. As mother-baby staff we care for many young moms and their babies and believe in the Father Taaffe House mission statement to “champion the positive development of children and adults, strengthen families, and build community” and want to lend our support. Our unit council plans to partner with this organization to provide education classes to young moms on how to care for themselves and their babies after discharging from the hospital.


Medical Surgical Oncology Unit

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Our council wanted to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” event in 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, the event was canceled. We felt this would be an important cause to support because we serve a large population of Leukemia and Lymphoma patients on our unit. We are hopeful that the 2021 Light the Night event will occur and a group of staff are excited to fundraise and attend. Funds raised for the Light the Night event are allotted directly to research and development for treatments (and hopefully someday, a cure) for blood cancers.

Medical Surgical

Salem Free Clinic

Salem Free Clinics provides free medical care to those with no insurance. 4S voted on this charity because it addresses health disparities in our community. While working primarily with COVID19+ patients over the last year, our unit saw first-hand the horrible effects of health disparities in our own community. We hope to spend time volunteering with Salem Free Clinics and further support their cause of providing access to care for those in need.

Medical Telemetry

St. Francis Shelter


The Medical Telemetry Unit has a long history of supporting the great work of St Francis Shelter. The Shelter provides an invaluable service for providing temporary housing for displaced women and children. These are some of the most vulnerable members of our society and St Francis Shelter is more than deserving of our support.


Neuro Trauma Care

Willamette Humane Society

Not only has NTCU sponsored and participated in a “Kitten Klinic” in the past, we have also volunteered at other animal facilities to represent NTCU of Salem Health. NTCU’s UDC finds that working with animals alleviates a lot of the stress we acquire in our professional work. This type of volunteering encourages staff to participate and enjoy time with their peers away from work. This provides the staff the opportunity to improve communication, relationship building and explore teamwork activities.

Oncology Service Line

Marion Polk Food Share

In 1987, Marion Polk Food Share was formed as an independent nonprofit to help lead the fight to end hunger in Marion and Polk counties. Today, Food Share collects and distributes food to a network of more than 100 partner agencies such as food pantries, foster homes, low-income daycare, senior housing sites and meals on wheels for seniors. Members of our collaborative felt that we can positively affect more people in our community through this charity, to help stop hunger and food insecurity.

Operating Room

Ike Box

The staff of the operating room found that the IKE Box mission aligns with many of our beliefs. The IKE box has set out to mentor the divested youth of our community, with a goal to provide tools they need to be independent and confident. Their vision is to strengthen the young members of our community to restore our future. They know that a healthy community isn’t possible without “engaged and caring” young people. As a unit, we work hard every day to improve the health of our community members. Although we use different approaches, our hearts are in the same place.


Summer in the Streets

Orthopedics has supported Summer in the Streets since 2017. We support this charity by assisting with a backpack and school supply giveaway to children in need, in the Turner/Aumsville Cascade School district. Our contribution includes a monetary donation toward the giveaway, as well as donations of a variety of hygiene items, such as hand sanitizer, oral care items, shampoos, etc. We continue to offer our time and support each year due to the community connection we have made with the charity group and the children and families it serves.

Post Anesthesia

Family Building Blocks

PACU has partnered with Family Building Blocks for over the last four years by sponsoring families at Christmas time and participating in coat and rain boot drives. It seemed a natural progression to add them to the Caring Beyond the Bedside selection as well.



Her Place

Her Place is connected to a specific population served in the pediatric unit. Our unit council has spent countless hours developing better communication tools for use between staff and families who experience drug addiction and subsequent neonatal opiate withdrawal. As a continuation of our work to make better connections with this patient population, we chose to donate to Her Place. This is one more way we can support moms and babies who are trying to better their lives.

Psychiatric Medicine Center

Recovery Outreach Community Center (ROCC)

ROCC has been devoted to providing peer support and validation to those in mental health recovery, including addiction and trauma since its founding in 2007. Our patient population faces mental health illness. This charity is a safe place for people recovering from or who are interested in mental health, addiction, trauma or other related issues.

Prep Recovery

Simonka Place

Our department has enjoyed supporting the Simonka Place which provides supportive services, employment assistance, and learning centers to women whose greatest needs are stable employment and housing. For the last two years, Prep/Recovery has provided money donations, created giving trees at Christmas, and routinely donate miscellaneous personal items throughout the year. We believe in the work Simonka Place provides.

Pre Surgical Screening

Salem Harvest

Our department selected Salem Harvest as we feel strongly about supporting our community with the most basic needs. We believe in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, where humans cannot function without having the most primal needs met, in this case, food.

Patient Safety and Clinical Support

Mended Hearts

Mended hearts is a program for patients who have gone through a cardiac event to mentor community members/patients who currently face these challenges. The Safety and Quality Division Unit Division Council (UDC) chose Mended Hearts to receive the funds, as one of the UDC members has seen the great work the Mended Hearts Volunteers do. “I worked in CVCU for 8+ years as a care manager, and I got to see the daily interactions with the Mended Hearts members and cardiovascular patients,” said Jessica Williams, former care manager. “They were an instrumental support for not only cardiac patients, but also their families. They helped bridge the transition from inpatient cardiac care over to the outpatient cardiac rehab services. It was an amazing program that benefited our inpatients, their families and the outpatients too. Some of the inpatients who experienced these services even went on to volunteer with the program once they were recovered!

Rehab Services

Union Gospel Mission

This charity connects to our patients, specifically those with physical mobility limitations and are also homeless. Because UGM exists, many of these at-risk patients have a roof to stay under. Such a roof helps significantly reduces the risk of falls, starvation, and exposure. We breathe much easier knowing this community location exists when recommending discharges. During the height of the pandemic, we had the privilege of organizing a food drive for UGM, which ultimately collected 200 pounds for their organization!

Respiratory Therapy

American Lung Association

As Respiratory Therapists, we are impassioned about the lung health of our patients and do what we can to educate about lung health. The American Lung Association complements the values that Respiratory Therapist strive for -- to improve lung health and prevent disease. Many of our respiratory therapist have partnered with the American Lung Association during their internships while completing advanced education. This year the RTC raised $1,138 during the ALA’s Fight for Air Climb.



Participation in external professional boards and committees

Salem Health nurses proudly represent local and national organizations, including:

  • Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, National and Mid-Willamette Chapters
  • Association for Nursing Professional Development – Northwest
  • Association of Nursing Professional Development
  • Association Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Mid-Valley Suicide Prevention Coalition, OR Action Coalition 
  • Salem Free ClinicOregon Nursing  Association
  • Capitol Manor
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Liberty House 
  • Northwest Organization 
  • Gilbert House
  • Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Oregon Nurse Staffing advisory Board
  • Deepwood Estates
  • Center for Hope and Safety