Mercy Flights partnering with Autism Society of Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore.- Mercy Flights is partnering with the Autism Society of Oregon to present sensory bags.

Tobi Rates, Executive Director for the Autism Society of Oregon, says it and Mercy Flights were looking for better ways to calm folks in emergency situations, especially people with autism or other disorders. She says as much as these bags are directed towards those with autism, they can help any and everybody going through an emergency situation.

“One of the big things we’re working on is to reduce barriers to health care access, whether its communication barriers or sensory barriers,” Rates said. “We see these sensory kits as one more in that line of helping to make health care accessible for everyone.”

Rates says with sensory bags, which have things like weighted stuffed animals or blankets, communication cards, noise canceling headphones and more, emergency responders can better care for a person going through a traumatic event. Sabrina Ballew, Mercy Flights Mobile Integrating Healthcare Manager, says along with the sensory bag, Mercy Flights’ partnership with the Autism Society of Oregon allowed them to provide education for their teams.

“We’re getting ready to deploy these today,” Ballew said, “and moving forward, they’re going to be in all of our ambulances, our Mobile Integrated Healthcare vehicles and our flight. We’re just very excited about the education and partnership moving forward over the next year and how that develops.”

Ballew says these bags don’t just help in emergency responses, but any of Mercy Flights’ interactions with patients.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
Skip to content