Last Resort Program

We’re helping indigent patients recover after a hospital stay

2016MLA-SouthwestWash-LastResortAfter hospitalization, it is important for patients to have a safe, healthy place to continue their recovery. This can be a challenge for our poorest patients and their families. The Last Resort Program seeks to help bridge this gap in Washington state.

The program was launched in 2011 when a discharge planner at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia asked colleagues to donate money to cover the co-payment on some prescriptions for a patient who was about to leave the hospital. While it was a common practice for our caregivers to “pass the hat” to help impoverished patients, they realized they couldn’t meet all patients’ needs in this way.

Hospital staff received a grant from the St. Peter Foundation to pay for essential transition care expenses and Last Resort was off and running. Besides the foundation funds, Last Resort is helped by the hospital’s pharmacy team, which works with patients to lower the costs of medication, and the Sunshine House, an on-campus housing facility that provides rooms for out-of-town patients’ families.

Since the program launched, more than 750 patients have received help after hospital staff identified them as being at risk for poor transition care. This care has ranged from life-saving food supplements to a sleeping bag for a homeless man, car repair to transport a cancer patient to doctor’s appointments and diapers and special formula for babies. Other care comes in the form of shoes and clothing, bus passes and other items most of us take for granted.

Now Providence caregivers are working to expand the program to our medical clinics in the area, recognizing that while these patients might not require hospitalization, some of them also could use help managing a sudden illness or chronic condition.

By filling the needs of some of the poorest members of our community, we strive to fulfill the Providence Mission to provide compassionate care.