Skip to main content

We’ve updated our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. By using this site, you agree to these terms.

Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Patient Postcard Project brings a smile to hospitalized loved ones

After nearly a week in the hospital, Katie Cowfer lost count of the number of postcards she’d received from friends, family and other well-wishers — mostly from her small town of Osceola Mills, about 30 miles west of State College. “I never knew I had so many friends,” she laughs

Katie’s postcards are part of the Patient Postcard Project, an effort launched by Rebecca Hoch, RN, and her team at Geisinger Medical Center as a way for friends and loved ones to connect with patients after visitation restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who wants to send a postcard can fill out a form online. The messages are then printed and hand-delivered by her team.

“I told Katie she’s a very popular lady and holds the record for most notes to a single patient so far. I think her total was nearly 50,” says Ms. Hoch. “She was touched and very pleased, but told me she doesn’t know why because she’s ‘not that special.’ I told her she must have left an impression on these people and perhaps she made them smile, because she’d certainly done that for me in the short time that I’d known her.”

Katie’s week in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wasn’t the first time she’d been an inpatient at Geisinger. She was born with a heart condition that had her flown via Life Flight® to Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital immediately after birth. “I spent most of my babyhood right here in this hospital,” she explains. When she developed a touch of pneumonia, her doctors were concerned that it might lead to a blood infection that could further damage her heart. So, on June 2, she was admitted once again so she could be closely monitored. “The infection didn’t spread though,” she says. “I was very lucky.” 

She was also very happy — and surprised — to receive so many postcards.

“I have no clue how all these people knew I was here,” she says. “But in a small town everybody knows everybody, and word spreads fast. It feels great knowing so many people were thinking about me. It means a lot.”

Next steps:

Have a loved one in the hospital? Send them a note.

Visit a hospitalized loved one — virtually.
Katie Cowfer, a patient at Geisinger Medical Center, is surrounded by postcard notes from friends and family.
Katie Cowfer, a patient at Geisinger Medical Center, is surrounded by postcard notes from friends and family.
Content from General Links with modal content