Building a healty community one life-changing moment at a time

Innovative community engagement

AtlantiCare, a Geisinger affiliate in New Jersey, reaches out in exemplary ways to promote the health and safety of all residents of the community they serve. They established the “Pantry at the Plex,” a place where those who are food insecure can obtain fresh, healthy foods. In its first year, the Pantry provided close to 75,000 pounds of healthy food to nearly 500 people, thanks to a partnership with the Community Food Bank of South Jersey, Southern Branch and other community donors. AtlantiCare also hosts a pop-up farmers market with cooking demonstrations several times each month.

The hospital has also donated more than 260 automated external defibrillators, more commonly known as AEDs, to essential organizations. One such device saved the life of Matt McAnaney, who suffered a heart attack while coaching football.

The “Stop the Bleed” program is saving lives in a different way, by teaching people to handle trauma situations and outfitting them with the resources to do so. Program coordinator John Harahus, RN, explains, “It takes only three to five minutes for a person with an arterial bleed to ‘bleed out’ and die. If we can control this blood loss before a person gets to the hospital, we just saved a life. These kits make that possible.” Stop the Bleed education and kits have already saved several lives in Pa., and Mr. Harahus believes in the program so much, he donates to the Stop the Bleed fund as well.