Crozer Health celebrates employees and name change | News

UPLAND — Tents and music and laughter took center stage on the Crozer-Medical Center lawn as part of a Heroes Month luau, as officials wanted to applaud their employees before a potential spike from COVID-19 may resurface.

Crozer Health was celebrating Heroes Month all throughout September after being forced to severely curtail its spring salutes for Hospital Week, Nurses Week, Doctors Day and EMS Week due to COVID-19. After that, Crozer Health CEO Peter Adamo convened a 20-member Staff Engagement Team and the Physician Engagement Team to create a tribute worthy of the Crozer system.

“We deliver services at 150 different locations,” Adamo said. “So, trying to make sure that everybody is involved is a major undertaking so we can’t do this every day. But, we have food going to all of those spots. We try to do it seven days a week so that no one is left out. We have night shift activities here as well … We’re doing our best to make sure that everybody feels the love.”

One of the messages of the month, the CEO said, was to tell his staff, “You are heroes, thank you.”

The month included free lattes, dress down days where staff could wear their favorite team’s apparel, Lifesavers and even videos, of which more than 400 people made, where employees would record who their hero was.

“Everybody who has been fighting against this virus is special and we want them to feel that way and this is maybe a moment that we have before the second phase potentially arrives because we may have to be back in lockdown in a few months when the flu season arrives,” Adamo said, adding that Crozer Health did see a rise in COVID-19 patients this week, but nowhere near what the height was back in the spring.

Last week, the number of COVID patients was in the single digits across Crozer’s entire system, at one point being as low as four, Adamo said. The largest number they experienced was 190 people being treated for the virus in their facilities on a given day.

On Monday, there were 15 patients in the Crozer Health system being treated for the virus.

Adamo credited the uptick to Labor Day activities.

“It was probably more exposure and this is two weeks following it,” he said. “So, my guess is that it’s probably spiked in the teens and we’re going to see it … probably decline again. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Part of the month-long festivities also highlighted the new name.

“We went from the Crozer-Keystone Health System to Crozer Health,” Adamo said. The logo also includes two colors – dark green and light green with a two-tone flag and a tagline, “Be Well. Do Good.”

“It’s not just a nice thing to say,” Adamo said. “‘Be Well’ is take care of yourself and that’s important for us, because going forward, health care will be more about health and less about sick … and ‘Do Good’ means take care of the community that takes care of you and by partnering with people in the community, we have a better shot at doing the things that create an environment, an entire county of healthier people, whether it be education, whether it be economics.”

For instance, he said Crozer Health was doing its best to send as much of its work to local vendors, particularly minority-owned local businesses, as possible.

“As levels of affluence rise, the incidences of certain diseases declines and vice versa,” Adamo explained. “As wealth levels decline, the levels of disease rise and it’s socioeconomic. Your health rides with your affluence, it rides with your education.”

At the luau, Salima El Mezouri, operations improvement project manager, was helping to distribute lanyards and T-shirts throughout the day while getting to enjoy the festivities herself.

“From my end, especially after these few trying months that we’ve had, I would say that this just reminds us of all the hard work that everybody has put in and what sacrifices everybody has put in in order to make sure that everybody in our community is healthy and wins over this pandemic,” she said. “It’s really a celebration for everybody … For me, it’s also a moment I can take to really say thank you to everyone here, who works day in and day out to make sure that we’re doing exactly what we’re meant to do, which is take care of our community.”

Tafadzwa Mupfumbu, a nurse who rotates among Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Taylor and Delaware County Memorial hospitals, happened to be at Crozer-Chester Tuesday for training and got to grab a plate with burgers, coconut rice and asparagus before heading out on her rounds.

“I like to eat so free food is great for me,” she laughed. “I’m actually here for training today. I didn’t know this was going on, so I was like, ‘Yay!’ I picked a good day for training.”

The Delco resident was appreciative for the recognition.

“In the five years that I’ve been here, I haven’t seen this,” she said. “It’s great! The music and everything, it’s good. It’s just that we’re so busy as nurses. I don’t know if the nurses even have five minutes to come down and do this.”

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