Feature: Cutting Edge Party


CHI St. Vincent is planning a shindig with great food, live music and a charitable purpose. But they won’t say where, yet.

Photography by Sara Blancett Reeves


Above Photo: Kristi Crum, chair, IV Party

Imagine purchasing tickets to a party without knowing the location until hours before it starts. That’s the definition of a “pop-up party,” and they’re all the rage. This year’s CHI St. Vincent IV Party, “Fringe: IV Party on the Edge,” will be one of those and, organizers say, the first of its kind in Little Rock.

Another typical characteristic of a pop-up party? Holding it in an older location that’s getting new life, IV Party chair Kristi Crum said. That’s the only hint she’d give.

Nonetheless, organizers of CHI St. Vincent’s party won’t make patrons wait for the location until the day of, though it will be kept under wraps until a few weeks before the event. Is the secret safe? Crum thinks so. Besides, if Beyonce can keep an entire album quiet, Crum said she can certainly contain this information or, at the very least, plug the leaks.

“If Beyonce can do it, we can do it,” she said, with a laugh. “I’m fairly confident that we will trace back to anyone who unveils the location of the pop-up party.”

Crum is president of the South Central Region for Verizon Wireless, and, as a party sponsor, her organization will inject some high-tech elements into this year’s event.

“The entertainment will be like nothing that has come to Little Rock,” she said. “I promise it will not disappoint.”

The refreshments will be catered by Cache, and Crum said the party won’t include silent auctions, raffles or extra “asks” for donations.

“Once you arrive, you’re going to have good food, good drinks, good entertainment and that’s it. Just a night of fellowship and good fun to benefit a good cause,” she said.

The pairing of Verizon and CHI St. Vincent makes sense from a technological standpoint, she said, and this year’s event will benefit the health system’s Nursing Excellence program.

“Under that program, there are a number of initiatives, but the one Verizon is particularly interested in, because it’s technology related, is the Simulation Lab,” she said.

The lab is a high-tech training facility for both experienced nurses and those new to the profession. It’s outfitted with life-sized mannequins that can simulate everything from a heart attack to a live birth. The lab offers a safe environment for nurses to practice and refine their skills, thereby improving patient outcomes.

Laura Cook, senior vice president and chief development officer for the CHI St. Vincent Foundation, said the mannequins all have names because they’re treated like real people.

“The SIM mom is really one of the first of its kind … she’s actually able to birth her baby through the canal without physical intervention from the nurses, and it can be born breech, via C-section, or with all sorts of complications. There’s someone behind the scenes manipulating the mannequins through software.”

Though it’s already highly advanced, the lab is in need of better video equipment to allow for more precise playback and for the evaluation of nurses following their training sessions.

“You’ve got a group of nurses interacting with these mannequins as if they’re live patients … and the video we can get from those scenarios is critical to the learning and debriefing phase of training,” Cook said.

She said the foundation is looking at new technology that would offer a 360-degree visual and, with the help of Verizon, add wireless technology to the lab.

“We’re doing a lot of things with telemedicine today,” Crum said. “Think about patients who have chronic illnesses like diabetes and the ability to monitor that remotely and send feedback to doctors, so they know when the patients are having episodes.”

“We’re hoping with this new technology, we can really increase the capacity of the scenarios, we can deliver and enhance the learning that goes back and forth,” Cook said. “We would also like to modify the existing space to better replicate our patient rooms, as well as the nursing station, so when they go back up on that floor, they’ve really experienced those true life scenarios.”

To meet its goals, the foundation hopes to raise $300,000 through this year’s IV Party, though Cook said their needs exceed that amount.

Future fundraisers will be needed to meet all of the Simulation Lab’s needs.

“We hope to achieve some of our technology goals through working with Verizon and then make some of the other enhancements that bring it all together,” Cook said.

Crum said Verizon will continue to partner with CHI St. Vincent to further the abilities of the lab and the nurses training there.

“Healthcare is one area we feel that we can impact with our technology, and it benefits all of Arkansas,” she said. “This event partners well with things I personally care about, and that Verizon cares about, so it’s a good match.”

For more information, log on to chistvincent.com/foundation/iv-party.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites