Environment & Hospitality | Innovation & Technology | Patient Family & Community Engagement | Long-term Care

Blessing of the Buildings: Creating Community Connection during Isolation

Nicole Giacomino, MA, MT-BC, Manager of Creative Art and Complementary Therapies
Debra Sheridan, MTS, BCC, Director of Pastoral Care
Courtney Ternyila, BA, Business Development Manager
Tara Vellucci Colon, Business Development Manager

During the height of the pandemic, staff at the Visiting Nursing Association Health Group developed an innovative experiential program called “Blessing of the Buildings.” This initiative entailed visiting various sub-acute and long-term care facilities throughout New Jersey to provide a spiritual (non-denominational) ceremony outside each building. Led by prayer and music, these collaborative events acknowledged the lost and lived experiences that patients, families and staff faced during the darkest of times. These gatherings fostered an expression of gratitude, providing a beacon of light and hope during a time when there was overwhelming loss and suffering inside their walls. The human connection inspired by the program filled the emotional void that safe distancing was creating. This program is ongoing and continues to provide community support.