LEWISTON – Patients and visitors arriving via the emergency entrance at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center are now transported in new STAXI transport chairs, an innovative alternative to the traditional wheelchairs utilized by health care facilities.

Funds to purchase the new chairs came from profits at the St. Mary’s Gift Shop. This year’s gift shop profits will also underwrite new, more traditional wheelchairs for use on other hospital units as well as at d’Youville Pavilion Skilled Nursing Facility.

“Our emergency entrance volunteers enjoy working with the new STAXI chairs because they are easy to maneuver, have automatic brakes and arm rests that adjust so patients can get in and out with ease,” said Joyce Paradis, director of volunteer services.

“Patients arriving at the emergency entrance have come to love the new chairs, referring to them as the Cadillac’ chairs.”

Paradis also added that hospital Security Department personnel like them because they are easily stackable, have no removable parts and don’t fold up, thus making them theft resistant.

Emergency entrance volunteers began their “valet role” in 2002, meeting, greeting and helping patients and visitors arriving and departing from the entrance on Golder Street.

“The valet service is a lifesaver in terms of helping people who may be facing a stressful day and is so appreciated by patients, especially those needing immediate wheelchair assistance. Our wonderful volunteers take care of their needs and their car, too,” said Paradis.

The Volunteer Services Department is responsible for overseeing the valet service and the gift shop, both dependent on volunteer manpower, as well as other support services throughout the health care organization.

“Our volunteer service needs are growing,” said Paradis. “We’d love to have more people join our team.” Those interested in helping are encouraged to contact her at 777-8369.


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