“Camp Healing Hearts” to Take Place Virtually This Month

CAMP HEALING HEARTSCamp Healing Hearts is a five-day camp experience sponsored by Hospice of the Sacred Heart to provide grief education and arts to children ages 8 to 14 who have experienced the death of a loved one. The camp will be held Aug. 10-14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

Some online instruction will originate from Hospice of the Sacred Heart Center for Education, 340 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic.

Children work with trained bereavement counselors and members of the regional arts community to help them progress towards acceptance of the loss and use the arts as a means of self-expression. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2020 Camp Healing Hearts will be conducted safely via Zoom Video Conferencing.  

This year’s five-day camp is made up of two back-to-back 45-minute instructional sessions each day to provide a sense of routine, consistency and ultimately closure for the entire process. Each session utilizes a different theme explored through the arts. Bereavement counselors will be available throughout the week if any campers or family members require individual support. 

“We were committed to conduct this camp in a safe and meaningful way in the midst of the current COVID-19 Pandemic. It remains one of the most impactful and sacred youth programs we offer,” said Diane Baldi, Chief Executive Officer, Hospice of the Sacred Heart.  

Community volunteers lend their time and talents to campers with artistic projects culminating this year in a video retrospect, which will be presented before the feature film at the Circle Drive-In, 1911 Scranton Carbondale Highway, Dickson City, on a date to be determined in late August. 

The camp schedule for the week follows: Monday, Aug. 10, Photography with Julie Jordan and Yoga with Hilary Steinberg; Tuesday, Aug. 11, Pizza Making with Brenda Bistocchi and Cupcake Decorating with Sara Grande; Wednesday, Aug. 12, Singing and Dancing with Joanne Arduino and Michele Conaboy McGrath and Writing with Lisa Bath; Thursday, Aug. 13, Singing and Dancing with Joanne Arduino and Michele Conaboy McGrath and Painting with Katharine Schkloven; Friday, Aug. 14, Singing and Dancing with Joanne Arduino and Michele Conaboy McGrath and Photography with Julie Jordan. 

Camp Healing Hearts is presented by New York Life and receives generous in-kind support from Simrell Media, Mansour’s Market Café and Lamar Advertising. 

Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame Makes Donation

Hospice donation

Shown in ront row, from left: Dr. Patrick Kilduff, Medical Director, Hospice of the Sacred Heart, and Jim Martin, Chapter President, Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. Back row, same order: Karel Zubris, Chapter Historian, Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, and and Diane Baldi, CEO, Hospice of the Sacred Heart.

The Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame recently donated equipment to Hospice of the Sacred Heart to assist with telemedicine and remote visits with patients. The generous donation included two Apple iPads and 10 smart phones. 

“We are grateful to our friends at the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame for their donation of equipment that will aid in remote care for our patients and provide a human connection between patients and their family members,” said Diane Baldi, CEO, Hospice of the Sacred Heart. 

The Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame endeavors to perpetuate the memory of local athletes, male and female, who have brought lasting fame and recognition to the state of Pennsylvania through their athletic achievements and community involvement. Eligible for such distinction are those individuals who have brought similar recognition to the state through their contributions to sports through general managerial, promotional, and other influential capacities. 

“In the advent of the current crisis that we are presently facing together, we must push forward to create an environment of inclusion. We must reestablish and strengthen this communication factor, at a time when people are battling depression, loneliness and isolation. In our service to the community, we hope to parallel the mission of Hospice of the Sacred Heart by providing Comfort, Care, Hope and Choice to patients and their families,” said Jim Martin, Chapter President, Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. 

The chapter holds an annual Induction Banquet, presents a Scholar-Athlete Award to male and female high school seniors chosen from school districts in chapter counties and proudly support worthwhile causes in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The chapter also maintains a museum-like exhibit at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.  

“The COVID-19 world crisis is unprecedented and this donation will go a long way to assist with clinical services that can now be provided remotely via secure video and audio connections. It also enables family members to visit remotely with their loved ones under our care. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made face to face visits with some patients difficult or impossible,” said Dr. Patrick C. Kilduff, Medical Director, Hospice of the Sacred Heart. 

Remembering Frances G. LaRussa

LaRussa Frances G obit photoFrances G. LaRussa
June 8, 2020

Frances G. LaRussa, 95, Dunmore, died Monday morning at Hospice of the Sacred Heart Inpatient Unit, Dunmore.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Anthony Frank LaRussa in 1991.

Born in Old Forge, daughter of the late Saverio and Ann Marie Gillot Amantea, she was a graduate of Old Forge High School in 1942, and had been employed in sales at the Globe Store in Scranton. A woman of deep faith, she was a member of St. Lucy’s Church and its Altar and Rosary Society, and had attended numerous retreats throughout the region.  She was involved with the Scranton Catholic Charismatic Conference held annually at the University of Scranton, where she attended their prayer breakfasts and healing masses, and met countless friends while there.  Frances always had a positive attitude, and was selfless and nurturing, putting the needs of others before her own, most notably when caring for her late son, Anthony, as he fell ill.  She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt, who served as a second mother to her nieces and nephews.  Family was of the utmost importance, whether it be as a member of the PTA at St. Francis Cabrini School, never missing a game of grandchildren’s sports, or watching her son as the Assistant Coach for boys’ basketball at Holy Cross.  She had many best friends, and was part of a Sunday breakfast group that would meet after mass to go to different restaurants.  She had also made strong friendships as a member of the West Side Senior Center.  Even at the age of 93, she participated in the Young at Heart choir, which would go around to visit and sing at different nursing homes, always striving to make people feel happy and loved.  

Surviving is her son Richard C. and wife Kathleen Zayac LaRussa, who was her main caretaker; grandchildren Allison, Richard M., Rebecca, and Victoria LaRussa; her sister-in-law, Anita LaRussa; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her 10 sisters and brothers, and her son Anthony J. who died in 2017.

The family would like to thank the staff of Hospice of the Sacred Heart for all of the kindnesses shown to Frances during her times of need, especially Shelly who attended to her at home.  

The funeral will be Thursday with Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Lucy’s Church, West Scranton.  Family and friends may call from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church.  Due to our current pandemic, all those attending are kindly and respectfully asked to socially distance without direct contact while giving condolences, and are required to wear a mask immediately upon entering the church.  

For those not able to attend, the mass will be live streamed on the St. Lucy’s Parish Facebook page.  

Arrangements and care provided by Savino Traditional Funerals and Cremation Care, West Scranton.  Carl J. Savino, Jr., Supervisor.

Contributions in Frances’ memory may be made to St. Lucy’s Church, 949 Scranton Street, Scranton, 18504.  

To offer the family an online condolence, please visit www.WestScrantonFunerals.com.