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Q&A: How Local Hospitals Are Engaging the Community —And Why It’s More Important Than Ever

01 - Martha

Do you remember the pre-prom mock crash events held at your high school? Well, those mainstay events that educate new drivers (and, most of all, give parents peace of mind) are executed for our Philadelphia community by Martha Grieco, communications and development coordinator at Main Line Health. Grieco realizes community wellness and safety continue long past high school. And with her June retirement and a cross-country road trip just weeks away, the importance of a super-safe ride is more important than ever. That’s why these exciting prospects, coupled with a subtle nudge from her daughter (a long-time Subaru owner herself) prompted Grieco to buy a 2015 Subaru Forester. That way, whether she’s trekking from Philly to Montana or simply commuting to work, she knows her ride is safe and reliable on all fronts.

Here, we sat down with this everyday healthcare hero to get the scoop on Main Line Health’s new initiatives, her everyday work routine, and why her car is the last thing she’s worrying about.

What is an average day like for a communications and development coordinator at Main Line Health?

The average day is one of taking phone calls from staff members who are across the system and have exciting initiatives and events going on in the hospital, television interviews or exciting stories that we are going to bring to press. I deal with those assignments and get to coordinate them. And there’s also a nice opportunity to work with the press and engage in interviews and think of stories for radio and newsprint resources.

I have a very primary responsibility at Riddle Hospital to break news announcements and [raise awareness about] events. I also do newsletters and magazines for the Foundation of Riddle Hospital.

What’s the most exciting aspect of your job right now?

The spring is always great. Coming out of the winter, we kick off the spring at three or four local high schools with events called “mock crash” events. This is a partnership we’ve established with State Farm Insurance in 2008, and we bring realistic mock crash events to the high schools so students can learn the message of safety and making good decisions about driving or getting in the car with other people. The students have an open conversation that allows for discussion about consequences, how they can handle peer pressure, and think about making good decisions.

Another event that happens in the spring is the annual Man O’War Gala and then we have an employee giving campaign going on in the hospital right now which is six weeks of fundraising by employees to direct money back into patient healthcare, projects, and services.

Which one of Main Line Health’s initiatives makes you most proud?

The two initiatives I mentioned above really fit with what I do. I started my career in outreach at the hospital so that’s how those programs really got started and then Main Line Health supported them terrifically across the system, so we’re really proud of that.

Fill in the blank: Main Line Health is unique because________.

The outreach programs that we’re involved in are unique to Main Line Health. I’ve lived in Delaware County my whole life. For me, it’s an easy thing to make those calls and because you live here so long and you know everybody. If you don’t, you know how to get to someone. Our hospitals provide amazing healthcare, but we also have our primary mission which is to be a part of our community and have a supportive role that goes beyond primary healthcare—being a part of the community and being a good neighbor.

Amazingly, Main Line Health will finds ways to support things that have a strong link to what our mission is, and it becomes a part of your everyday life. It’s amazing for someone like me that has this in her blood. You couldn’t have asked for more.

Has there been a moment where your career in healthcare and being an owner of a Subaru has intersected? 

About 3 weeks ago I bought my Subaru. I am happily going to be retiring on June 30, so the funny reason why I purchased a Subaru is because I’m going to drive across the country to Montana where I’m going to live. I have a daughter who lives out there and she has a Subaru [as well as her husband] and she said that’s the only car that can handle the weather and everyone there has one. My goals are to finish the fiscal year here on a high note and leave for Montana.

Congrats on your retirement! Which model Subaru did you purchase?

It’s a 2015 Forester and I bought it at Delaware Subaru in Wilmington, Delaware.

Has Subaru made your life easier in the past?

I was [in Montana] last winter, and I had a rent-a-car. I started out with another vehicle and it started snowing and a blizzard was coming. We had to drive over the pass and to the other side of Glacier National Park. I went back to the agency to get a Subaru Forester. And that was selling point for me, too.  I’ll be driving cross-country and heading out July 4—Whitefish, Montana, that’s my destination.

For more information about finding the right ride for you, visit Subaru, here.