University Hospital’s new CEO and president, John Kastanis, spent his first holiday season as head of Newark’s largest hospital serving homeless families at New Community’s transitional housing facility.
New Community CEO Richard Rohrman met with Kastanis prior to University Hospital serving a holiday meal to Harmony House and Rohrman expressed deep appreciation for hospital staff hosting the occasion.
“I am personally grateful to John Kastanis and his team for visiting Harmony House and spending time during the holiday season with residents from our transitional housing facility for the homeless,” Rohrman said. “University Hospital is not only our neighbor but one of New Community’s key partners in Newark and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with the hospital and its new leadership in an effort to better serve our residents,” he said.
Kastanis greeted residents, served dinner and later spoke to the residents while they enjoyed the hot meal, which was complete with turkey, gravy, side dishes and dessert. Kastanis, who came on board as the new head of University Hospital in March 2016, said that University Hospital is focused on its “patient experience” and serving residents in the best way possible.
Kbrina Blount said that the volunteers that evening did just that. Hands full with two young children, Blount, a Harmony House resident, said she appreciated how the volunteers helped her through the buffet line and also assisted her with finding a seat and getting her family situated for dinner.
Danielle Perkins, another Harmony House resident, had an opportunity to meet Kastanis one-on-one and take a photo, said she enjoyed the entire evening that the hospital provided for Harmony House.
“It was very heartwarming,” Perkins said.
Additionally, staff from University Hospital shared information about diabetes self-management workshops and Weight Watchers was helpful, Perkins added.
“We had a great turnout, the food was delicious and I believe the families enjoyed the event,” said Angela Hall, Harmony House case manager and youth coordinator.