Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation embarks on partnership to research hospital quality for blind patients

Huntington, WV (June 11, 2019)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), along with Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation, has received a $77,000 grant from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust to conduct research on the access to quality care for hospital patients who are blind or visually impaired.

The Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation received the grant funds and will disperse them as needed to create access opportunities for the program within the hospital system. AFB will design, develop, and execute the program and develop best practices that can improve access and experiences for visually impaired patients in hospital settings.

The project is comprised of four phases:

  • A literature review, to document access and quality issues for people who are blind or visually impaired seeking medical treatment
  • Focus groups in the Cabell Huntington service area with blind or visually impaired individuals who have experience with the Hospital, to gather insights into participants' experiences
  • Interviews with hospital staff in various departments likely to encounter blind or visually impaired patients, to identify departments or processes where patients may face barriers
  • Development of training materials, including fact sheets, brochures, and other materials

The information will become available to all 3,000 hospital staff and include tips on communicating with blind or visually impaired patients, community resources, how to provide access to written materials, how to assist or guide a person with vision loss, and other instances communicated through focus groups and literature review. Additionally, AFB will provide materials in alternative formats, including braille, large print, and e-text, so patients or hospital staff with vision loss can easily access them. The materials will be available online and would be available to other hospitals for purchase.

“We are extremely grateful to the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust for the funding to make this important initiative a reality,” said Kirk Adams, AFB president and CEO. “We are eager to get to work with our colleagues at the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation to improve the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired seeking health care.”

“What a great partnership to promote inclusion and awareness for those we serve,” said Bradly Burck, vice president of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation. “The driving idea behind this is that we could create a national model for other health care institutions to follow to improve the patient experience.”

"The Teubert Foundation is pleased to approve our most recent grant awarded to AFB and CHH for their collaborative project to provide best practices in a hospital setting for people who are blind or visually impaired, and to educate their hospital staff," said Jimelle Bowen, Executive Director of the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust. "This grant supports an innovative project that will serve blind individuals, which furthers the mission of the Teubert Foundation in the Huntington area."

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About the American Foundation for the Blind
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. Visit: www.afb.org

About the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation
The Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation was created in 1983 to support the mission of the hospital and to heighten awareness and understanding of the essential role quality health care plays in our community. The Foundation is a separate 501(C) (3) corporation with a volunteer community board of trustees. The Foundation proudly helps Cabell Huntington Hospital, Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, Pleasant Valley Hospital, Huntington’s Kitchen and Senior Services and is a member of Mountain Health Network, Inc.

About the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust
Established in 1987, the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust provides support for organizations that aid and assist people who are blind or visually impaired residing in Cabell and Wayne Counties in West Virginia. The mission of the Trust is to cure, prevent, correct, and alleviate the hardships of blindness.