RE: Letter to the editor - Care for all
Dear Dr. Hall and Dr. Nary,
Thank you for your recent Lawrence Journal-World editorial on behalf of the Kansas Disability and Health Program. I very much appreciate your inquiry about accessibility features within the new LMH Health West Campus. In healthcare design, accessibility is acutely important. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide some insight on this topic, and I welcome your suggestions for improvements.
As you might expect, LMH Health West Campus has a number of features, including:
- Wheelchairs of various size
- Hoyer lift
- Slide boards to assist patients with limited mobility
- Hi-Lo tables for assisting patients to exam tables
- Wheelchair-accessible scales
- ADA-compliant signage and restroom facilities
- Multiple elevators
- Lower countertops for wheelchair access
- Technology options to see results, make appointments, contact providers and other matters
The facility was designed with two levels of entry to maximize the access to the building. The campus also has three separate covered drop-offs with zero entry curbs and sliding doorways, allowing patients to access the building as close to their destination as possible.
Our clinical care spaces were designed with open access to exceed ADA requirements for wheelchairs and other mobility tools, and our simple, linear front lobby was designed to be easy to navigate by patients with visual or intellectual disabilities.
Transportation is also an important part of accessibility. Early on in the planning process for the West Campus, we connected with the City of Lawrence to ensure bus routes were extended to include the new facility. The LMH Health Foundation provides additional transportation support for patients in need through our Help and Healing Fund.
While these elements are important in any healthcare facility, our team members are truly key to patient accessibility. We have dedicated staff members who are trained to safely assist patients in and out of the building. Additionally, providers and staff members throughout all of our facilities take part in training and educational programs to ensure awareness of and sensitivity to patient needs.
We recognize that despite our best efforts, we will no doubt have room for improvement—we anticipate the need to make adjustments as we learn more about how our patients navigate this new space. In fact, we are already working with the city to make access to the building from the west parking easier to navigate.
We appreciate your expertise in this matter, and I would be happy to plan a tour for you at your convenience. We welcome your feedback and guidance as we create a truly inclusive healthcare experience for all of our community members. Please feel free to contact me at 785-505-2756.
With thanks and appreciation,
Associate Vice President - Ancillary Services