Being on the front lines of the pandemic, Lindsay McFarland, RN, and her coworkers at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center continue to work to complete their moral duty of caring for patients. However, during this public health crisis, the staff worries about bringing the illness home to their loved ones.
That worry was evident at the McFarland home. Recently, while helping her 8-year-old daughter clean her room, McFarland found a pouch that her daughter had labeled “emergency kit for coronavirus.”
“I looked inside and found tissues, hand sanitizers and other small things that she felt she might need to combat the virus,” McFarland said. “My daughter said that she is worried that I am going to get sick and not be able to come home to her. That is a heavy burden for an 8-year-old.”
McFarland shared her worry with her husband, Mike, and he reached out to his cousins who work at Lowe’s corporate offices in North Carolina. He called his cousin Christopher McFarland, national install merchant with Lowe’s, and told him about the need for additional supplies. Chris immediately called his brother Joe, who is the executive vice president of stores for Lowe’s, to see how the company could help.
The McFarland brothers grew up in Lackawanna County. Their father was from Pittston and their mother from Old Forge. Northeast Pennsylvania is their home and they have family throughout the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.
“We can’t say enough about what all the frontline employees are doing in our communities,” Joe McFarland said. “Every mask or PPE we receive, we are refusing to send to the stores. We are instead sending them to local hospitals and community groups in need.”
Joe McFarland arranged for a large shipment of N95 masks, goggles and other resources to immediately be sent to Geisinger to ensure caregivers had adequate protection.
“We have local associates in the area who are being treated at Geisinger, and we want to be there for them as well,” he added. “It is great to be able to give back to our hometown.”
The donations of supplies and money from the community to help in the fight against COVID-19 has been overwhelming, according to Nancy Lawton-Kluck, chief philanthropy officer of Geisinger Health Foundation.
“This is another example of the incredible impact businesses are having during this public health crisis,” she said. “Lowe’s and many other businesses have stepped up to serve our communities and help assure that our hospital staff has adequate protection during this time of need. We cannot thank our business community enough for helping to protect our frontline caregivers.”
To know that there are people supporting them in times like this makes all the difference to Lindsay McFarland and her coworkers.
“I know I feel safer working with adequate protection available for myself and for my patients. We are going to get through this together,” she said. “I am so grateful that I could make a connection to benefit the selfless people I work with day in and day out.”
To make a donation in the fight against COVID-19, visit Geisinger.org/fightcovid or call 800-739-6882.