equine therapy

Nursing and interprofessional community involvement

Nurses Shine On

In 2010, the program was launched under the approval of Salem Health’s Practice Council, Chief Nursing Officer, and Nurses Week Committee.

The project was born from attendance at the 2009 American Nurses Credentialing Committee National Magnet Conference in Kentucky. Specialty Practice Teams (SPTs), consisting of nurses, unanimously voted to forgo their traditional nurses week gift and instead donated those monies along with volunteerism to charitable organizations.

This spirit of volunteerism is in keeping with the mission, vision and values of Salem Health to support our community. 

As a result, over 30 projects and organizations were supported during the first year. This project has continued to this day during National Nurses Week. The project have had several names — including Nurses Give Back and Salem Health Gives Back — to include any nursing or non-nursing SPTs the chance to give back to the community, each year since 2010, designated money is donated to charitable organizations along with volunteerism during National Nurses Week in May. 

Several videos featuring nurses in volunteer roles are available on our Community Matters page.

Organizations served by Nurses Shine On include:

Unit/ Department

Charity Selected

Reason Selected


Summer in the Streets

We selected this charity in 2017. It was very rewarding to see the benefits we provided for the underprivileged children and families with school supplies, money and time that our SPT decided to support it again in 2018.

Cardiac Rehab

Mended Hearts of Salem

This volunteer-run program closely aligns with the initiatives of the Cardiac Rehab program at Salem Health. The program offers a peer-to-peer support network for cardiac patients and their families, which mirrors Cardiac Rehab’s mission and values. This year we will ask Mended Hearts about their interest to sponsor a community fund that will support members to be active in their health. This includes community 5K walks, health events, or other event registrations throughout the year.

Care Management

Her Place

Her Place is an agency Care Management that works within the community to help women with substance abuse disorders. It is this alignment that led to the selection of this charity.

Cath Lab

Camp Tapawingo

As an SPT group, we have contributed funds to this charity in the past and they have been so appreciative. We were happy to donate again this year towards camp tuition for underprivileged children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.


Union Gospel Mission

In CVCU, we sometimes get cardiac patients who reside at the Union Gospel Mission. Our SPT chose to select a charity that serves our patient population.



The Center for Hope and Safety

The Center for Hope and Safety collaborates with Salem Health Emergency Department for many of our patients who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficing. This close partnership led to our selection of this charity.

General Medical

Boys and Girls Club, Athletic Program

We want youth in our community to realize their full potential so they will be productive members of society. SPT members want to support the health and well-being of the community we serve.

General Surgery

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has been the charity that our SPT has selected and supported since the beginning of Nurses Shine On! We selected them again this year to continue the trend as they value our support.


Comfort Care Blankets

Everyone on the unit appreciates this project and it also receives much praise from patients and family members. After surveying staff, it was evident that it was the most popular choice for this year as it has a very positive impact on our patients and their families.


Imaging Department

Camp Quest

We felt this charity was deserving because not only is it a place for children to learn and grow, its unique in that it serves a population of children who may not always be able to participate in regular camp activities due to their autism. We love their inclusive message, and passion for the outdoors.



Comfort Care Quilts

This project has been benefiting our dying patients since 2008. Once a month, our staff volunteer time to prepare handmade quilts to give to our patients on comfort care. Patients and families not only have a beautiful piece to enjoy while their loved one remains in the hospital, but also have a keepsake to remember them forever. This project has served hundreds of patients!


Infusion and Wound


HOAP, the Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project,has been in operationsince 1986 and offers a wide range of services for mentally ill adults experiencing chronic homelessness.This charity provides much needed services for a patient population that is severely underserviced in our community.

Inpatient Rehab Unit

Integrated Support for Living

IPR has treated many patients with traumatic brain injury. Patients with this diagnosis are often hard to place due to care needs and/or behaviors. This charity has invested just over 150,000 dollars to open the “Transitional Community Living” home for people in recovery from severe brain injury.Their goal is to help these individuals develop skills and coping strategies to eventually live on their own or in a naturally supported environment.This is the only Oregon option for individuals without private insurance or worker’s compensation benefits.



Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

The mission of this charity is to introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture. We have staff that have experienced infant loss and wish to support this charity to provide support for families suffering this loss. This charity was nominated and voted on by unit staff.



Labor and Delivery

Hayden’s Helping Hands

Our unit has a standing relationship with Hayden’s Helping Hands. This charity does such important work for our population that experiences the unimaginable loss of stillbirth. They pay for some or all of the medical expenses for a family experiencing this kind of trauma.



Father Taffee House

Our SPT selected this organization as they work with young moms who have unstable home lives. They mentor and teach these moms how to care for themselves and their babies. They provide a safe place for young moms and help them stay in school or get a job and get to the point where they can safely move out.

Medical Telemetry

St. Francis Shelter

The St. Francis Shelter provides temporary support and housing for displaced families with children, some of our community’s most vulnerable members. The Medical Telemetry Unit is proud to have helped support the St Francis Shelter in various ways for several years and look forward continuing to help them do their great work.



Ike Box – Isaac’s Room

We are very interested in supporting this cause as they help youth with making better choices. We have staff that personally volunteer and enjoyed supporting this cause last year.



Bush School

Children with cerebral palsy have a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture. We wanted to support these children by way of providing a wheelchair glider that would allow these students the freedom of movement.



Family Building Blocks

This charity is well known in our community for the work they do for families in need. Our unit voted on our favorite charities and selected this one. In addition to the monetary donation, PACU also donated 11 rain jackets, 9 pairs of rain boots, and socks for their rain boot and jacket drive. PACU is excited to partner with Family Building Blocks for future projects and to help fill needs in the community.



Liberty House

Liberty House offers a safe, comfortable, child-friendly environment for children and their families facing concerns of abuse, neglect, trauma, or grief. This mission is near and dear to our hearts in Pediatrics. We work closely with Liberty House to ensure the best care for our most vulnerable population. We have been donating to them each year for many years and would be proud to continue to do so.


Psychiatric Medicine Center (PMC)

Horses of Hope

The PMC mission is to improve the health & well-being of patients with an array of mental illnesses, including psychosis, depression & anxiety- illnesses which cause many emotional & behavioral challenges. The mission of Horses of Hope Oregon (HOH) is to improve the lives of people living with emotional & behavioral challenges through the innovative use of their safe & rewarding equine assisted programs. Our missions align, as do our goals in that we both encourage our patients to engage in healthy coping skills that build their confidence & self-awareness so they are better able to manage life’s many stressors, renewing hope in their own capabilities. Hippotherapy may not be a coping skill patients can use while at PMC, but it’s definitely one so many with mental illness could use in the community. We are grateful for the opportunity to not only meet the HOH staff, including the therapy horses, but to also support them by donating both the check & volunteer time.

Prep and Recovery

Simonka Place for Women and Children (part of UGM)

This was a majority vote for our SPT after discussion about the homeless population in Salem and the lack of resources available, especially for women and children. This shelter for women and children serves about 800 guests every year.

Pre-surgical Screening (PSS)


H.O.M.E. is an amazing organization that provides a safe haven for homeless teens. They work hard at helping these teens to develop life skills, finish school and find gainful employment. Our SPT is honored to select this charity.

Salem Cancer Institute (SCI)

Salem Free Medical Clinic

We selected Salem Free Medical Clinic because we witness the great benefit this service is to our patients. Some of our uninsured patients and their loved ones have utilized the clinic for free medical and dental care. We have also received referrals from providers at Salem Free Clinic and appreciate their attentiveness and care for their patients.


SHMG – Keizer

Medical Teams International Mobile Dental Program - Dental Van

Poor dentition can lead to many additional health problems and complications. By improving dental health, we can help improve someone’s general health and quality of life. We often see the impact of poor dentition on patient’s overall health at the SHMG outpatient clinics. By supporting the Mobile Dental Clinic, we hope to treat our community’s dental needs and prevent poor dentition from impacting a patient’s overall health.


Trifecta SPT

Willamette Humane Society

Our SPT felt strongly about helping animals who would otherwise not have a chance of survival, connect with people in the community. The mission of statement of “establishing, maintaining, and enhancing the bond between companion animals and people of Marion and Polk counties” resonated with our group. SPT members also were looking forward to volunteering with the animals. This charity received the most votes from our SPT.