A long term care resident at the Oilfields Hospital in Black Diamond has lead a project for a makeover to the basement with hopes to increase use of the space.

Site Manager with Alberta Health Services, Carla Ralph, says the space needed some TLC to make it more appealing, so residents have somewhere to go, other than their rooms.

"A lot of our patients and families felt like, other than in their hospital room, there was nowhere to go. So, we definitely wanted to increase this usage as another place to be that may be a bit of a distraction from what they're experiencing while in hospital," she said.

Long term care resident, Dorothy Jackson, lead the project, doing extensive research into the history of Black Diamond, which inspired the names she chose for the area rooms and hallways.

Ralph says Mrs. Jackson put her whole heart into the project as a long time resident of Black Diamond.

"She gave us a look at the hallway from her perspective. She did a lot of research into the local history of the area, so each of the departments now has a name that has a historical reference," she said.

Mrs. Jackson named the hallways "Cooks Corridor," and "Hartell Hallway," and renamed a meeting and education space "The Royalite Room," as well as naming the cafeteria " The Dingman Diner."

In addition to the new names, the lighting has been upgraded and Jackson had local photographers and residents submit photos, which she hand-picked to line the walls of the basement area, creating an art walk as elevator patrons exit on that floor.

There was also a tribute wall designed in her honour, featuring photos and pieces of Black Diamond's history used in the project.


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