When she turned 75, Violet Feden decided she belonged in the hospital. Not because she was sick. The Allentown resident wanted a new adventure, and hospital volunteering seemed like the perfect choice. Remarkably, a quarter century has passed, and Feden is still helping patients and staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street.
“Helping others is extremely rewarding,” she says. “I especially like helping out in a community hospital.” Feden delivers cards and flowers to patients and performs various clerical tasks in the volunteer office. “I also really enjoy the time I spend with my fellow volunteers,” she says.
The feeling is mutual. The 5-foot-2 inch dynamo inspires her volunteer peers with boundless optimism and an impish giggle that never quits. “Violet’s a real role model who leads by example,” says volunteer coordinator Lynn Schaeffer.
Through the program, a team including patient navigator Yahnily Ocasio-Rivera and community health workers Jamie Santana and Ivette Orench visited the family’s Bethlehem home. They also provided the family with information sessions. Along the way, they taught Elienid that dust, cigarette smoke and chemical cleaners can trigger the asthma attacks. The team worked with Elienid to design an asthma action plan for her boys.
Clever sewing students at Dieruff High School and colleagues at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) are teaming up to repurpose common blue sheets that protect operating room instruments before they’re used. They’re stitching the sheets together into ponchos, duffel bags, tarps and bedrolls and giving them to area homeless people.
The idea took shape late last year when Katie Velekei and Laura Walker, of LVHN’s sustainability and occupational safety departments, discussed it with Melissa Fitzgerald of marketing and public affairs, who’s on LVHN’s Green Team, led by Velekei.
The question: How to turn some of the scads of durable, waterproof sheets that wrap surgical instrument trays during sterilization into useful, low-cost products? The cloths are removed from the trays in the OR before surgery and bagged, then most of them trucked off-site to be recycled. LVHN generates about 10 tons of this “blue wrap” each year.
It’s impossible to know what the future might bring in terms of your health, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for it. A nationwide initiative called National Health Decisions Day, which formally takes place this year on Saturday, April 16, focuses on the wisdom of advance health care planning. The idea is to avoid difficult situations when a person may become seriously injured or too ill to make his or her own choices. Planning now for what might happen eliminates the need for loved ones trying to guess what you might want if it does happen.
The planning would include designating a personal health care representative, someone who could be contacted by emergency workers or providers in the event you can’t speak for yourself. It’s also wise to have your wishes spelled out in writing in terms of what type of medical care you would want in case of an end-of-life situation. Read More »
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has partnered with Bethlehem Steel FC as the official jersey partner and medical provider for health care, orthopedic, sports medicine, medical and physical therapy services, the club announced today. LVHN is the club’s first Foundry Partner, the premier corporate status for Bethlehem Steel FC.
“This is a historic day for Bethlehem Steel FC and we are honored to announce this partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network,” says Bethlehem Steel FC Managing Director Rich Searls. “LVHN is one of the most respected health networks in the nation and its commitment to our community aligns perfectly with our vision and values as a club.”