LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2021) – Toyota Kentucky has partnered with the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation to donate a modified Toyota Camry to the rehabilitation department, located on the fifth floor of Saint Joseph Hospital. The vehicle will help rehabilitation patients, including total joint replacement patients, practice getting in and out of their vehicle before traveling home – which is one of the first obstacles these patients face after surgery. The addition will help patients across the region maintain their mobility.
“We believe this is the first time Toyota worldwide has taken on such a project,” said Leslie Smart, CFRE, president, Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. “We are thrilled to finally be able to have a celebration and share with the community one of the tangible ways Toyota is helping to make mobility a reality for many across the region.”
The Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation’s partnership with Toyota Kentucky began more than two years ago. The modified Camry was assembled at the Georgetown plant and reassembled it on-site last December inside the hospital. Now, the vehicle is helping patients down the road to recovery and an active, independent lifestyle.
“At Toyota, we’re not just focused on building quality vehicles, but also being a vehicle for change throughout the communities where we operate,” said Kerry Creech, vice president of manufacturing at Toyota Kentucky. “We hope that this vehicle will be an irreplaceable tool for the hospital staff and will benefit many in our community for years to come.”
When Toyota installed the car simulator at Saint Joseph Hospital, the team included a hydraulic lift so the car can be raised to emulate the appropriate level of each patient’s vehicle. The car operates like a normal vehicle with adjustable seats and a working trunk to give patients real-life experience during this therapy process. A special touch is the license plate on the front of the car, which reads “SJH 1877” to commemorate the founding of Saint Joseph Hospital by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1877.
“We have an incredible team who help our patients be as independent as they can be following surgery, injury or periods of immobility,” said Tony Houston, CEO, CHI Saint Joseph Health, and president, Saint Joseph Hospital. “We know that mobility – the ability to walk, to take care of yourself – is one of the keys to good health. We’ve had the car available for several months now and our patients have loved it.”
To download photos and video of the car being produced, click here.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation
Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation supports CHI Saint Joseph Health’s drive for excellence by inspiring donors to make a tangible difference through their philanthropic investment in outstanding patient care facilities and services, the education of caregivers, advanced clinical research and improved access to quality medical care.