See what Patient First is doing in the community.
What started as an Eagle Scout project and construction of flower boxes at Uwchlan Hills Elementary School in Downingtown, PA has grown into something much larger. Through a monetary gift from Patient First, this project continues to bloom and grow, with harvests produced throughout the year benefitting the school's "Helping Hands" families as well as the Chester County Food Bank.
Each season 40 to 50 students in first, second and third grades participate in "Garden Club" where they hear gardening stories, assist with planting, weeding, watering and cutting flowers for bouquets. They also help with weighing and bagging veggies the garden produces at harvest time.
School principal Robert Giering along with two faculty advisors, Ms. Kate Cool (second grade teacher), and Ms. Alicia Reiner (first grade teacher) lead the project from school staff. School families and parent volunteers also help the program continue to thrive. Two parents have been particularly instrumental with this project - Heather Landgarden and Ali Bruenderman. They are the "garden experts" and have worked side by side with school staff every step of the way.
Planting begins in April each year and continues in June and August, with crops planted during the appropriate season. Harvesting begins in spring and continues into November. Patient First's donation has helped the Garden Club purchase hoses, gloves and tools for the children as well as added soil and compost, additional native plants and flowers and even umbrellas and cabling for vining vegetables.
Schools lay at the heart of the community as the constant link that tie people together. Each year Patient First donates to multiple schools in the Mid-Atlantic region to help support the needs of its students. This year Maude Trevette Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia decided to focus their donation on the purchase of ukeleles. Music instruction is a great way to help regulate emotions and focus on social and emotional development. It also creates community, a sense of achievement, and is a great way to build self-confidence. We hope that these musical instruments allow the kids a comfortable form of self-expression, while creating enjoyable interactions amongst their peers.
Patient First has longstanding partnerships with many local schools in the Greater D.C. area.
Recently, Patient First partnered with Brookfield Elementary PTA to sponsor their annual Fun Run. The school is located near the Patient First Chantilly center. A total of 700+ students from Pre-k to 6th grade spent the day running laps around the track. Each grade level was given 40 minutes to run as many laps as possible. The students were greeted by the school mascot "Buddy the Bronco," who cheered them on through the entire race. The students also danced and sang through some of the laps with the encouraging music.
Every student was given a unique shirt color to help build camaraderie and team spirit. The event embodied team building, school spirt and health and wellness. Even some of the teachers joined in to walk and run next to their students. The students were all smiles from start to finish.
Patient First would like to shout out the amazing Brookfield Elementary PTA team, staff and students and look forward to the continuation our partnership.
Every year, Patient First selects two elementary schools near each of its 77 centers as a community partner in an effort to further support the health and growth of neighborhood it serves. Our partnership begins with a donation to the school to fund projects or programs that directly benefit the students of each of our partner schools, but it doesn't end there. We continue to engage with the faculty, students and parents at each of these schools through community events like back-to-school nights, family resource nights, health and wellness fairs, school fun runs, and even fall and spring festivals.
This week, we are showcasing Nitrauer Elementary as our Partner School of the Week. Located just minutes from our Lancaster center, Nitrauer has been a committed partner with Patient First for several years. This year, Patient First will be helping Nitrauer Elementary fund student assemblies, and a program of lunches recognizing good student behavior, culminating in a recognition of outstanding students for each quarter.
Patient First thanks principal Smita Weakland, as well as the faculty, staff and students at Nitrauer Elementary for being such great partners, and we look forward to supporting their work throughout the year!
Making our way downtown on the streets of Richmond, Virginia for the 39th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade-- what better way to get you in the holiday spirit than a community coming together to spread a little Christmas cheer!
Patient First was excited to be one of 93 parade participants involved this year. Our wonderful staff came out to volunteer their time and assist with carrying the giant Abby Cadabby balloon. Abby is a fairy in training from Sesame Street that was 35 feet long. This required a bit of determination and a lot of teamwork, especially with an unfavorable forecast. Rain was predicted to begin right before the start of the parade and continue until early afternoon. With fingers crossed and high hopes for sunshine, the weather did exactly what it said it would. Parade goers lined the streets with tents, ponchos and umbrellas, cheering us on as we made a splash down the over two mile parade route. Despite the rain, we were still able to have a fun, and memorable experience. We cannot wait to see what's in store for year 40!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Our Bethlehem, PA center is literally right down the street from the Hanover Township Community Center, and we are sure happy to be able to share the neighborhood with such a great organization. It was fun to return to participate in the annual Tree Lighting event December 2nd on campus. This year's event was likely their largest to date, and the campus was filled with cheerful holiday lights and beautiful decorations. Many activities for children and families were set up inside, as well. There was a whole lot of outdoor activity happening, too, which made the evening such fun for participants, and for us! Among the biggest hits were hot dog and marshmallow roasting over the huge charcoal grill, and of course the visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, reindeer, and culminating in the lighting of the huge tree in front of the center.
We were amazed at the number of folks from the community who came out to participate in this year's event. Our safety blinkers and light-up yo-yos proved to be a huge hit and fun to see twinkling throughout the darkened campus.
As an annual sponsor of the Community Center, this is just one of several events we enjoy participating in each year there. It was great to kick off the 2022 Holiday Season and to wrap up our 2022 event season in the Lehigh Valley at this location. Bring it on, 2023! We are ready for even more fun ahead!
This year marked our second year of participation in Bethlehem's Christkindlmarkt, and once again it did not disappoint. We were there for Opening Weekend for a full day of fun from morning until evening, and although temperatures didn't rise above mid 20-degrees during the day, it was well worth every hour we were on site. We had a blast and although it was chilly outside, our enthusiasm and the crowd's enthusiasm never chilled. The event runs weekends through December 18, 2022.
We enjoyed a fantastic outdoor location near huge tents that showcased traditional artisans and vendors, food, St. Nicholas and even a German ornament manufacturer. It was so exciting for us to be part of an event that is embedded in the Lehigh Valley, and named one of the top holiday markets in the world by Travel + Leisure, and one of the top holiday markets in North America in USA TODAY'S 10 Best Readers' Choice competition, as well as OprahDaily.com. The event is known for its unique holiday shopping experience featuring thousands of unique handmade gifts. As you might imagine, a visit to the fun events puts everyone in the holiday spirit. We are already looking forward to returning in 2023!
The warm temperatures may have belied the name, but hundreds of people came to Conestoga Pines Park in Lancaster PA to celebrate the return of the Fall Happy Harvest Festival. After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, this year marked the first time the Lancaster Rec was able to reestablish this celebration since 2019. The day-long event was divided into two parts-- the first part centered around food and a beer garden, while a second late afternoon/early evening event focused on a more family-centric atmosphere. That latter portion featured events like craft making, s'more roasting, pumpkin chunkin', and a comedy magic show featuring "Papa Tater."
This was the first year that Patient First participated in this tradition. Our table was set up inside the barn, where we oversaw the craft tables for kids building fall-themed centerpieces of their homes. While the kids created, parents could come to our table and speak with us, while taking home our promotional items. Over the last few events, an increasing number of families have expressed interest in having us become their primary care physicians, and this event continued that trend.
As with many events returning from the pandemic, attendance reports were down from past years. This year saw an estimated 300 families come out for the second half of the festival. Despite the low numbers we had many productive conversations, and we look forward to seeing attendance rise as we participate in future years.
Colors changing, leaves crunching-- what better way to welcome fall than the Bluebird Gap Farm Fall Festival! Located on 60 acres of farmland in the city of Hampton, there were lots of activities for the kids at this 2-day event. There were food trucks, live music, pumpkin chunkin', face painting, a pumpkin patch, a playground, hayrides and of course, a visit with the animals. Some of the kids arrived in their costumes anticipating Halloween.
This was the first year that Patient First participated in this event. With so much to see and do, we can't wait to see what's in store for next year. We enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing you all in 2023!
Nuckols Farm Elementary School was excited to bring back their annual Fall Festival for the 2022-2023 school year. This was a fun event for the families to enjoy. From rock climbing to cake walks, a silent auction and bounce houses, there were so many activities for the kids and kids at heart.. Many families dropped by the Patient First table to pick up some goodies, and our very own physician assistant from the Midlothian center was in attendance with her daughter.
As a community partner, Patient First was delighted to attend this event to promote health and wellness. We all enjoyed ourselves and look forward to joining the Nuckols Farm community next year!