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Physically distanced patients get holiday greeting

SCRANTON, Pa. – Staff at Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center locations in northeast Pennsylvania brought some normalcy and brightness to a physically distanced holiday weekend on April 10 by delivering Easter flowers and care packages to patients in their homes. 

Two small teams delivered 150 flowers, offered at a discounted rate by local greenhouses and florists, to patients in the Kingston and Scranton areas. While delivery personnel was limited, in alignment with physical distancing recommendations, a larger effort to prepare care packages for patients included leaders and staff members from both health centers. 

Juliann Molecavage, associate vice president of quality and primary care services at Geisinger, said the initiative grew out of the need to stay connected to patients 65 and older — all of whom are considered at high risk of more serious complication if infected with COVID-19 — during the pandemic. 

“In addition to being vulnerable to COVID-19, many of our patients have multiple chronic conditions and need regular care to help manage those conditions,” Molecavage said. “About two weeks ago, the 65 Forward team felt we needed to call our patients to make sure they were faring well.”

The goal, Molecavage said, was to answer questions and ensure patients had their necessary medications. The team also offered wellness resources and home delivery of food and essential items to limit patient exposure to public places. 

The team identified 110 patients in need and assembled packages that contained at-home exercise guides, educational materials, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, puzzle books, adult coloring books, and a refrigerator magnet with emergency numbers for easy accessibility. Many of the home essentials were donated by local businesses. 

Since the packages were scheduled to be delivered on Good Friday, Molecavage and team thought it would be a nice touch to bring flowers as well. 

“Many of our patients live alone, have had little contact with people recently, and sadly will not be able to spend time with loved ones this holiday weekend,” Molecavage said. “We’re hoping this little extra gift will help them through this difficult and uncertain time, and we are grateful to O’Malia’s Farm and Darling’s Farm for their contributions and generosity.”

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Geisinger 65 Forward employees gathered with Easter deliveries.
From left, 65 Forward Health Center team members Stephanie Pacovsky, Wendi Cerra-Hand, Stefanie Kolbeck and Juliann Molecavage prepare to deliver Easter flowers along with care packages to their patients on April 10 at the 65 Forward Health Center in Kingston. 

For media inquires:

R. Matthew Mattei
Media Relations Specialist

570-808-3971
rmmattei1@geisinger.edu