Imagine yourself, as a doctor, not having the proper supplies to complete your task at hand. Imagine having patients who count on you to perform a surgery or diagnose a disease in hopes of treating their problem, and you can’t because you lack basic supplies.
These situations are real and are happening all across the world. Until now, they practically have gone unnoticed. That is, until Crozer-Keystone’s administrative director of Oncology, Marie DeStefano, her son, Kenny DeStefano, and a group of high school seniors from Malvern Preparatory School decided to start paying attention.
“DCMH’s nursing department went to mandatory blue scrubs,” DeStefano says. “If they were going to throw their old scrubs out, then maybe someone could use them. It just didn’t seem right to just throw them away, so that is where the idea to donate these scrubs came from.”
A flyer was sent out to the different nursing units inside Delaware County Memorial Hospital, making them aware that they were holding this donation and that the scrubs would be sent to doctors in underprivileged countries. “The response was immediate,” DeStefano says. “In fact, with it nearing the end of the drive, I still have people from the nursing department and other departments in the hospital coming to me and asking if there is still time to donate. I say, it is never too late.”
The donations were piling in so DeStefano contacted Larry Legner, Director of Christian Service at Malvern Prep, and asked him if he might have any use for the scrubs. “Malvern Prep does Christian service all over the world. Many of the places we go are third world locations where the medical situation is far behind the United States. Most of the workers, both medical and support staff, wear their own street clothing,” Legner says. “When approached with the prospect of bringing them scrubs, I was thrilled! Where we go in Peru the local hospital washes out gauze after each surgery so it can be reused the next day. This year when our students head to the Dominican Republic, I am sure they will be just as excited to see the surprise of the donated scrubs.”
“These scrubs are a blessing from the nursing staff at Delaware County Memorial Hospital,” Legner continues. “My students and I cannot thank them enough for their generosity and for trusting us to pass the scrubs forward to people in real need.”
Back at the hospital, this change will prove to be a helpful one. “I think it is important that nurses be in one color,” DeStefano says. “It was decided that the nurses’ uniforms should be consistent, so that any patient could be able to identify a nurse right away.” This is just another example of how DCMH is constantly finding new innovative ways to enhance a patients’ hospital stay.
Photo Caption from left to right: Jo-Zetta Shawl, Assistant Vice President of Patient Services for DCMH, Malvern seniors Ian McLarney and Kenny DeStefano, and Marie DeStefano, administrative director of Oncology Services for Crozer-Keystone Health System.