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Medical and Mental Preparedness Grant

JPII Adult Program nurse, Pam Traczuk, instructs staff member on proper CPR techniques

The COVID pandemic brought two health-related issues to light for JPII’s nurses and therapists.  Our nurses took a deeper dive into our preparedness to treat medical emergencies and identified the need for additional medical equipment and supplies to monitor and treat acute and chronic health conditions.  Our therapists and teaching staff recognized that many of our population were experiencing and expressing feelings of food security, anxiety, and general overall mental health crisis.  A recent grant through the Home Health Care Foundation fund of Berks County Community Foundation will allow us to address our center’s medical and mental health crisis preparedness. 

Meghan Wenrich, JPII School Nurse

“I was thrilled to hear we received the grant,” says Meghan Wenrich, LPN, JPII school program nurse.   “This will allow us to continue with specialized certifications and programs to impact the daily lives of our students further. As the school nurse, I strive to be the best I can be for my students. This grant will help continue high-quality care and give our families the confidence and security that their loved ones are safe at school.”

“The peace of mind that comes with knowing that we have the equipment needed to keep our students, adults, and staff safe is invaluable,” acknowledges Pamela K. Traczuk, RN, Healthcare Coordinator. “If nothing else, the last two years have taught us that we need to be ready for anything!”

In addition to purchasing specialized equipment, the funds will be used to expand our nurses’ education, providing access to other medical professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Our therapists will receive training that will assist them with dealing with the influx of mental health issues as well as purchasing online courses for students to use as tools.

“Through this grant, I will be able to complete American Sign Language classes, allowing me to better communicate with our non-verbal students.  This will help me to better respond to our students’ needs and provide them with even better care,” Meghan says.

Principal Mary Adams agrees, “It is very important for us to stay at the forefront of keeping our students and adults safe and protected since many of our population have multiple disabilities. Wellness – medical and mental – is valuable for everyone at our center.”

The Home Health Care Foundation Fund of Berks County Community Foundation awarded five organizations healthcare grants totaling $143,500 for programs that address health-related issues among residents of Berks and nearby counties.

The Home Health Care Foundation Fund provides grants to organizations and programs that do one or more of the following:

  • Help residents recover from illness or disability at home.
  • Support preventative healthcare for residents and overall community health.
  • Provide health-related charity care to residents.

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