Critical support from Highland Foundation

A donation from the Highland Foundation has enabled Latrobe Regional Health (LRH) to purchase two treatment chairs for use on its Critical Care Unit (CCU).

“We’re delighted to receive this donation from the Foundation. They will make a positive difference to our patient care in CCU,” LRH Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Simone Redpath said.

“Being stuck in bed for long periods of time may affect a patient’s muscles. Placing them in a chair changes their body position, allows us to manage pressure areas and provides a different level of comfort.”

The chairs can be adjusted so a patient is able to sit up or lie down while continuing to receive treatment. They will be a welcome addition to the soon to be opened hospital expansion, where patients in intensive care will be able to be taken out onto a balcony for fresh air.

The Highland Foundation is a private charitable body which was founded by Joan and Rick Smith who manage it with members of the family.

“We arrived in Traralgon from Scotland in 1959 and lived here for ten or so years. We’ve maintained a relationship with the area with some of our relatives still living locally,” Rick said.

It was the extended family’s experience as patients of LRH that led the Highland Foundation to contribute to the purchase of the chairs.

“We still have a strong connection to the area and LRH. Mum’s sister Pat, who passed away in 2017 received great care here so this was a way of acknowledging that” Rick and Joan’s daughter Sharon Landy said.

Members of the Smith family were given a preview of the chairs during a special visit to LRH recently.

“It’s been nice to actually see the chairs and hear from staff about how they will be used and how they will make a difference to patients,” Joan said.

Donations and individual fundraising efforts provide LRH with more than money to purchase equipment – they also provide a vital connection between the hospital and the community.

The treatment chairs will carry a nameplate signifying the donation and remembering Joan’s sister Patricia Couper.


Front:    L-R                          Joan Smith, Rick Smith – founders of the Highland Foundation

Back:     L-R                          Anne Wilson, Sharon Landy, James Couper, Joanne Couper – members of the Smith family,
Simone Redpath – LRH