On Thursday, September 3, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (SJEH) hosted its 4th Annual Community Wellness and Back to School event in a new way. In past years, the hospital hosted a large community event with over 50 vendors, games and music. This year, the community event was re-imagined. The pre-registered event provided 500 children with drawstring bags containing back to school supplies including hand sanitizers, facemasks, thermometers, pencils, notebooks, crayons, and other essential items. Parents and guardians were also able to schedule their child’s well visits hassle-free on-site.
This yearly event has become a hospital and community staple in which families look forward to attending.
Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital was determined not to cancel the event, but to “reimagine” it instead. In light of New York State guidelines surrounding events and social distancing, the hospital staggered attendance by asking the public to select specific time slots to pick-up their “Grab-And-Go” bags. This helped to ensure order and continue to maintain social distancing.
Renee Hastick-Motes, Vice President of External Affairs at St. John’s said, “While we’re still faced with these challenging times, we wanted to push forward and host this event for the benefit of the community, especially the children. Back to school is always an exciting time for kids and we wanted to continue to be a part of that excitement. Healthcare is the best back to school supply.”
The hospital also provided backpacks to New Horizon Counseling Center and is currently raising funds to support the purchase of Chromebooks for students. If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit ehs.org/school supply and select the “Chromebook Sponsor” option.
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