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It may have been over 46 years since Star Wars hit the silver screen, but the cultural impact of that sci-fi blockbuster saga is clearly alive and well generations later, as the Bowie Baysox held its annual Star Wars Night Saturday, June 3rd, at Prince George's Stadium.
As part of our partnership with the Orioles' AA affiliate, our Patient First table was set up right outside the First Aid station during this, one of the team's most well-attended games of the year, as the Baysox took on the Harrisburg Senators.
There were professional cosplayers on hand for photos with the fans, many of whom came in costumes of their own. In addition, there were Star Wars themed events in between innings featuring music and video presentations, and light saber duels.
Our table was well-received by the fans, who told us wonderful things about our centers, our services, and our staff. The patients we spoke to came from as far north as Aberdeen and as far south as Waldorf.
Unfortunately, the Force was not with the Baysox that night, as the team lost 13-4. But the score was quickly forgotten, as kids were allowed to run the bases after the game, and the night culminated in a spectacular fireworks show set to John Williams' iconic themes.
We still have a few games left to attend in this year's partnership with the Baysox, but this is by far one of the most fun to attend, and we look forward to our next outing with the club!
The energy and excitement of the promise of spring was felt in the heart of Towson this past weekend, as tens of thousands of people turned out for the annual rite that is the Towson Spring Fest!
Every year, this event draws throngs of people who take part in the sights, sounds, smells, and taste experiences that make up this two-day event. Once again, Patient First was proud to participate in the fun, and our tent was visited by a vast number of people (and their pets) who told us wonderful stories of their experiences at our centers, and walked away with our treasure trove of promotional items. One of the most frequent refrains heard from those who came by was, "Your table gives away the best stuff!"
In addition to the over 100 vendors that lined the streets of this six-block block party, there were musical acts and dance troop performances showcased on two stages, a petting zoo, carnival rides, and a wide variety of foods spanning the culinary culture of the globe. Mercifully, unlike past years, the weather for this year's festival could not have been nicer. The Spring Fest is one of the largest events that Patient First participates in in the Baltimore area, and it is also one of the most fun! We always look forward to being a part of it, and we certainly look forward to the fun in 2024!
Thank you to our amazing event staff!
As our event calendar returns to its familiar busy pace, and in recognition of Event Staff Appreciation Week, the Community Relations Department would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all our center staff, who've taken the time to help support our efforts!
We want you to know how much we value your contributions to making these events the successes that they are. By seeing and talking to everyone who stops by our tables, we hope you see the benefits of what you do long after they leave our care as patients, and recognize how appreciative they are of your work.
It takes special people to give of themselves to help others, and each and every one of you who've given up your time to help staff our participation at the dozens of festivals, family health nights, fun runs, and other events are very special to us. Thank you for your enthusiasm, and for being such great ambassadors for Patient First!
Health and wellness were the order of the day, as more than 25,000 people filled the Baltimore Convention Center for the 14th annual B'More Healthy Expo. This was Patient First's first time participating in this massive gathering of health organizations and exhibitors, all gathered with the intent of promoting and aiding in a healthier lifestyle for those living in the greater Baltimore area.
Our table was placed directly in front of the main entrance, and immediately across from the area with the anchors, reporters, and meteorologists from Fox45, the television station which organizes the event every year. Those two things guaranteed us an enormous amount of foot traffic past our table! Our promotional items were flying out of our hands as quickly as we could unpack them, while every person who came by told us how much they appreciated what we do for the community.
From cooking exhibitions, dance and aerobic instruction demonstrations, and several other instructional progams showcased on three stages placed around the hall, there was literally something for everyone to experience and enjoy. This is an event we certainly will return to in 2024!
It was a cold and blustery day in York, PA on Saturday, March 11th, but the Irish spirit was turned up on high, as thousands lined Market Street to cheer on this year's York St. Patrick's Day Parade! This year marked Patient First's return as a parade sponsor, after a pandemic-forced hiatus, and it was a welcome one, at that! Our staff greatly appreciated the fact that parade organizers arranged to have the local Lutheran church open its hall to parade participants, allowing them to escape the wind and cold while enjoying warm beverages and snacks as they awaited the start of the parade.
Once we stepped off to begin, there were plenty of cries of, "We love Patient First!," as we marched the six blocks down West Market Street, handing out band-aid dispensers, hand sanitizers, and yo-yo's to the crowd. Before we knew it, the parade was over, and nearly all of our handouts were gone!
Everyone agreed this was a great event to take part in, and we look forward to next St. Patrick's Day and our return!
The return to events in the Central PA region kicked off Saturday, February 18th with our return to the Lititz Fire & Ice Festival! This popular week-long event draws crowds from as far north as New Jersey and the Northern VA/DC area to the south, as this tiny Amish town suddenly bursts at the seams.
After a 3-year pandemic-induced hiatus, Patient First returned to this event, participating in this year's Chili Cook-Off, Vendor Fair & Kids' Carnival, sponsored by the Lititz Lions Club. This facet of the festival took place at Warwick High School, just a short walk from the rows of beautiful ice sculptures that lined the streets of central Lititz. About 2,500 people came through the doors to purchase arts and crafts, and partake in 11 different chilis offered by various restaurants, caterers, and senior facilities. The school's gym was also transformed into a bounce house and inflatable paradise for kids to get out all that pent-up winter energy!
After a few months' respite, it was great to get back into participating in these events, and get out and meet our patients, and thank them for choosing us as their urgent and primary care providers!
This week's school partner spotlight focuses on Fort Garrison Elementary. Located near our Lutherville center in Baltimore County, Patient First has had a long history of supporting the school, its 283 students, and the community at large. This school year, we are proud to help provide Fort Garrison with the funding for communications and learning support equipment for their autism programs, as well as a Ballroom Dancing and Family Night for 4th and 5th graders! We thank Principal Dr. Hope Baier, and PTA President Rachel Mogilevsky for their hard work, and allowing us to work with them.
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!
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.
On Friday, October 21st, and Saturday, October 22nd, the campground at Codurus State Park was filled with werewolves, witches, ghouls, and all varieties of ghastly and ghostly creatures for the 2nd annual Codurus Trail of Treats. A tradition that actually began 15 years ago, this event returned in its rebranded form in the wake of the pandemic. Campers and businesses pull out all the stops, while event organizers open up the park to 6,000 ticket holders who wended their way through the grounds, filling up on Halloween fun.
This was our first time participating in this event, and it was certainly an event to remember! A non-stop wave of families streamed past our table and tent, which was not just decked out in some creepy Halloween decor, but also featured a life-sized version of the classic game "Operation," as we invited kids to play the game to win yo-yo's, planes, and hot/cold packs. In addition, every person who came by received one of our Halloween safety blinkers, which were not only a big hit with parents and kids alike, but they also looked really cool when they all were lit up in the buckets as we distributed them! Our staff got a kick out of the wide array of Halloween costumes, ranging from the cute to the terrifying.
With the park being about 25 miles from our East York center, families were familiar with our center and services. Many said they wished we would open a location closer to Hanover to serve their needs. All were grateful, however, for the work we do, and that we came out to talk with them.
This was truly a unique event that was fun for the whole family, and based on both staff and participant reaction, we look forward to participating again next year!
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