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Published on April 12, 2017

Abington – Jefferson Health’s Safe Harbor Program Recognized for Volunteer Excellence

Camp Charlie, Safe Harbor’s Bereavement Camp for Children is a Second-Time Recipient of an American Hospital Association Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence

ABINGTON, PA (April 12, 2017) – Abington – Jefferson Health’s Safe Harbor program, which provides ongoing grief support for children, teens and their parents or caregivers, recently received its second American Hospital Association (AHA) Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) in the community service category for its Camp Charlie bereavement camp.

Volunteer with participants

This award is given to acknowledge outstanding volunteer programs and services that improve health care and promote collaboration between healthcare providers and local communities.

Camp Charlie is a no-cost week-long summer camp held once a year for bereaved children ages six to 12. Throughout the week, campers engage in a variety of activities and challenges which help guide them through the healing process. Staff, volunteer facilitators and teen buddies make this camp possible. This year’s camp theme was “Calling All Heroes.”

Volunteer group

“I went to Camp Charlie because my dad died. I met a friend whose dad had a heart attack,” one camper from summer 2017 said. “I liked my team because there were a lot of nice people.”

Michelle Balcer and Heidi Marcelis, program directors of Camp Charlie, emphasize the important role that volunteers play in the Camp Charlie experience.

“Were it not for the generosity of time, energy and creativity given by these extraordinary volunteers, Camp Charlie would not exist and continue to grow as it has these last 10 years,” says Marcelis.

"While many of our volunteers are simply giving individuals compelled to offer their time—enduring the heat and exhaustion at camp—to provide grieving children a healing, fun experience, Camp Charlie also affords many previous Safe Harbor participants the opportunity to complete a very important task in their grief: that of giving back,” says Balcer. “The HAVE Award gives these special people the recognition they deserve.”

For more information, visit the Safe Harbor web page.

About Abington – Jefferson Health

Abington – Jefferson Health encompasses Abington Hospital in Abington, Abington – Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township, two urgent Care Centers and five convenient outpatient facilities, which include Abington Health Center – Willow Grove, Abington Health Center – Warminster, Abington Health Center – Blue Bell, Abington Health Center – Lower Gwynedd and Abington Health Center – Montgomeryville. More than 1,400 physicians are on staff at both Abington Hospital and Abington – Lansdale Hospital. In addition, some physicians are members of Abington Health Physicians, an employed network of primary care physicians and specialists. Abington – Jefferson Health is part of Jefferson Health and Jefferson, a newly formed organization dedicated to providing the highest quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

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