Construction of an all-inclusive rehabilitation playground for St. Charles Hospital pediatric patients and their families is in the works and has been made possible by the generosity of Shell Norco and its contract partners.
Jimmy Miller, director of rehabilitation services for St. Charles Parish Hospital, said that he expects doctors and therapists will be able to work with about 7 to 10 children per day at the playground, which will be located at the Plantation View Medical Offices in Destrehan.
“The playground gives the therapy team the ability to work with children on their gross motor skills, strength, balance, coordination, proprioception, social skills and communication,” Miller said. “The playground provides a good tool to help children with special needs and provides them the ability to progress with development and learn to crawl, walk, run, socially interact and communicate to become more functionally independent and improve their quality of life.”
Rochelle Touchard, Shell’s external relations manager, said the idea to raise money for the hospital was presented by Shell’s previous general manager, Brett Woltjen, when the company kicked off its 2Dat Crackin Turnaround back in July 2019. Shell and it’s contract partners contributed dollars for every OSHA Injury Free work day delivered during the event.
“It was initiated as a way to generate a greater sense of purpose for personal safety and the broader community,” she said. “Once it was decided to add a charity focus to the 2Dat Crackin Turnaround, I looked for opportunities that could benefit from this effort and ultimately we selected St. Charles Parish Hospital, managed by Ochsner Health Systems.”
Touchard said the initial goal was $12,000.
“The event ended up raising $42,750,” she said. “This changed the hospital’s focus, since additional funds were raised, and their plans turned from individual pieces of equipment to an all-inclusive playground.”
Fast forward to Shell’s planning for the recent Rock Dat Turnaround – and with the plans now for a full playground – Shell authorities decided to once again partner with the hospital to fully support the initiative.
“Our charity goal for the Rock Dat Turnaround was $35,000,” Touchard said. “We rocked it with a total of $57,475. These two injury-free major work events generated a total of $100,225. Efforts like this allow us to connect what we do on site to make a difference in our community.”
Touchard said executing turnaround events allows Shell to service and make improvements to the site’s assets so that the company can continue to safely generate products used in local communities and all over the world.
“The main focus of this work is that it is done safely – everyone going home just as they arrived at work,” she said. “This charitable goal gave us a little bit of extra motivation to work safe and injury free. We are proud to have completed the turnaround with no injuries and extra proud that we opened our hearts, along with 21 contractor companies, to help the children in our community.”
Norco General Manager Tammy Little and Turnaround Manager Earnest Maxwell recently presented the check to St. Charles Hospital CEO Keith Dacus and Miller during a post-turnaround awards ceremony. The playground is scheduled to open in the fall.
Rock Dat contractors contributing to the playground effort included Deep South Crane, Excel, SWAT, PFS, Aqua Drill, Analytic Stress, Brown, Hydrochem, Turner, Integra, ISC, MMR, Kaizen, Versa, Controlworx and Core Occupational Medicine.
Dacus said the hospital system is very grateful for the partnership that they have with Shell.
“To have a company who is devoted to the community and is invested in the health of the residents, especially kids, plays such a huge part in our goal to bring high quality healthcare close to home,” Dacus said. “Community partnerships like this with Shell are a vital piece of delivering healthcare to the community. We would not have been able to accomplish this without their generosity. We are honored that they have given this donation to St. Charles Parish Hospital, and this will have an impact on helping our youth for years to come.”