Thrive by IU Health

April 26, 2024

A hitching post to health

IU Health Paoli Hospital

A hitching post to health

Driving through the rural landscape of Indiana, you see a lot of corn and soybean fields broken up by rolling hills, lush green forests and the occasional town. Sometimes, you’ll even share the road with horse and buggies.

At IU Health Paoli Hospital, team members know the importance of making sure all community members are taken care of—even if their mode of transportation runs on literal horsepower.

Michelle Ridge, DNP, RN NE-BC, IU Health Paoli chief operating officer and chief nursing officer, says, “We want to have an inclusive environment for our entire community.”

That’s why they have hitching posts located at the hospital and outside of the IU Health Family and Internal Medicine office.

“Orange County has a large Amish population,” says Ridge. “As a community, they seek medical care as little as possible, and it’s important for them to be able to park just as those who have cars.”

And while this group tends to have limited medical interactions as a whole, at least once a week you’ll see a horse and buggy parked at one of IU Health Paoli’s hitching posts.

“I think it is great for our community that we are able to offer this resource,” says Jamie Sharp, Paoli Nursing administrative assistant. “They know that their horse can be securely left while they take care of their medical needs or visit a family member.”

Buggy parking sign at IU Health Paoli
Buggy parking sign at IU Health Paoli