Over the past week Hallmark Health has continued to look at ways the organization can help employees and local residents that have been affected by the earthquake as well as contribute to the relief effort that’s happening on the ground in Haiti. As a result the organization has done the following:

Services provided to employees:

  • VNA and Hospice provided a prayer and a moment of silence at clinical staff meetings, and offered the support of HR, the Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator to the staff. The VNA is raising funds to assist 15 staff and their families.One employee has gone to the Dominican. 
  • Six one-hour counseling sessions were offered (three each at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Melrose-Wakefeld Hospital). Coffee and tea were provided- two staff members stopped in to talk.  Many others sent emails and called to say thank you for providing these services.
  • Community Services visited all nursing units at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to offer support and information two days after the earthquake, and visited key units at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital the next day.
  • The Chapel at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and the Meditation Room at Lawrence Memorial Hospital have been available 24 hours daily. The chaplains are on-call in the evening, and on duty during the day.
  • Memory books are available in the chapel/meditation rooms for staff and visitors to write their thoughts.
  • A moment of silence was offered system-wide on Friday, Jan. 22 at noon and Saturday, Jan. 23 at midnight.
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) was contacted. They provided resource materials for managers to help them to support their staff members.  
  • Employees were provided information regarding how to contact the EAP.
  • Managers have provided flexibility in scheduling for staff members who have lost, or are missing relatives in Haiti.
  • Departments have collected funds to support fellow employees affected by the earthquake.
  • A Paid Time Off (PTO) bank has been established.
  • Contacted the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing Program to ask if training could be provided for staff hoping to to go to Haiti in the future.

Services provided in the community:

  • Community Services appointed to act as a point of contact both internally and in the community.
  • Hallmark Health has joined the Tri-City Haitian Relief Task Force and has attended weekly meetings.
  • Hallmark Health has been represented on MEMA/DPH/MHA calls every few days. This topic is discussed in regular Emergency Planning meetings.
  • A survey of resources was completed for MEMA/DPH/MHA to assist the state in determining where additional state resources should be allocated.
  • Counseling Services, support groups, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services (including the store) have been offered to residents affected by the earthquake.
  • Memory books have been placed at all WIC sites and staff members are offering support to all Haitian participants that come in for appointments.
  • We have partnered with the city of Malden to host a community information session including federal, state and local leaders. Memory books (given to the city), floral centerpieces and flameless candles were provided for the event. Diane Farraher-Smith spoke about Hallmark Health resources and resource lists were provided. Gwen Blackburn and five other Hallmark Health staff attended, including representatives from Team Malden and Team Stoneham.
  • Two instructors from the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing Program have gone to Haiti to assist with relief efforts (three others had been there the week before the earthquake).
  • We are partnering with the city of Everett to host a vigil on Thursday, Jan. 28. Carol Plotkin and Judy Seifert will be presenting. We have hired a Haitian interpreter and have had our resource list translated. Team Stoneham and at least two additional Hallmark Health staff members plan to attend. Memory books will be provided.
  • Brian Pinelle, Eileen Dern and Gwen Blackburn attended a press conference in the city of Medford on Monday, Jan. 25.
  • Community Services staff will be attending a service at one of the Haitian churches in Medford on Saturday, Jan. 30. One of our Lawrence Memorial Hospital staff members and her husband are pastors of this church.
  • VNA/Hospice is planning to provide a home visit for a homebound woman in Everett.
  • Hallmark Health is providing first-aid supplies for a local group traveling to Haiti early next week.
  • We are planning a resource day to allow area Haitian residents to complete TPS paperwork- in partnership with the Tri-City group, a healing event for Haitian teen-youth in March with the Tri-City group.

For more information, contact Eileen Dern, director of community services for Hallmark Health, at 781-338-7552 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Malden; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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