by Reading Hospital – Tower Health
Everyday, healthcare workers and first responders take the risk of knowing they may expose themselves to a traumatic incident. Yet, Reading Hospital employees show up for the communities we serve every single day to offer the highest levels of clinical care and support.
On March 24, just before 5 p.m., an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Company plant devastated the surrounding communities. Reading Hospital employees, some clocked-in and some not, sprinted into action to offer life-saving care and support to the employees and their families.
It is tragic incidents like the R.M Palmer Co. explosion that bring to light the situations in which healthcare workers and first responders are willing to take risks to help people in need at all hours of the day.
In light of all first responders, healthcare workers, and emergency personnel do for our community, Reading Hospital Foundation hosted Post-Traumatic Purpose, an event to support those who face traumatic and critical situations regularly.
The event took place at the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences on Sept. 9, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and was open to Reading Hospital employees and first responders in and around our community. Family members were also invited to attend the event because of the important role they play in their lives.
“Our employees never truly know what emergencies may walk through our doors,” said Charles F. Barbera, MD, President and CEO of Reading Hospital. “But, they are always prepared, and their dedication never wavers. I am extremely proud of and thankful to all of our employees who continue to show up for our patients.”
Reading Hospital reserved seating to ensure that those who responded to and treated victims of the Palmer incident had priority access to the event.
Post-Traumatic Purpose is a mental health movement created by Travis Howze, an international touring speaker, author, and motivational wellness educator who spent 14 years in the military and emergency services as a U.S. marine, police officer, and firefighter, who presented at the event.
Post-Traumatic Purpose strives to spark a discussion on the experiences of healthcare workers, military personnel, first responders, and family members who have been deeply affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We are happy to provide this event to support emergency personnel in our community,” said Katherine Thornton, president of the Reading Hospital Foundation. “Hospitals play a vital role in the community, and many times, first responders and healthcare workers come across situations that can be very traumatic. We hope that this event provided a safe space to share, listen, and support one another.”
PTSD most commonly occurs in people who have witnessed or personally experienced a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a life-threatening event, or the sudden loss of a loved one.
Tower Behavioral Health, a provider of comprehensive PTSD treatment for adolescents and adults of all genders, also took part in the event. “Post-traumatic stress disorder can be very difficult to live with,” said Jenna Pacini, SHRM-SCP, CEO of Tower Behavioral Health. “However, with treatment and support, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms to help regain control of their daily activities.”