Virtua Health has its own Santa Claus, and his name is Sam Lacroce. In a year filled with uncertainty and hardship, Sam continued his support of Virtua’s pediatric patients by purchasing and donating all of the toys delivered to Virtua during the Joseph Lacroce Foundation’s 9th Annual Toy Drive.
“This year, supporting each other and the children in our community is more important than ever,” said Sam, president of the Joseph Lacroce Foundation. “We may not be hosting our traditional parade of cars or have caroling volunteers deliver the toys, but what’s most important is the children will feel special again this year, knowing we are thinking of them.”
In past Decembers, a caravan of classic and collector cars traveled to Virtua Voorhees Hospital, where volunteers unloaded hundreds of donated gifts. This year, to ensure the safety of everyone involved, organizers greatly reduced the number of participants and arranged for the toy delivery to occur outside the Eat Well Distribution Center on the Voorhees hospital campus. In the weeks ahead, these toys will be distributed to children served by Virtua Health through its CASTLE Program, Center for Women, Child Life Program, NICU, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Early Intervention/Pediatric Mobile Services.
“The generous support of Sam and the Joseph Lacroce Foundation has provided thousands of children in South Jersey with much-needed health care services,” said Virtua President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE. “Sam’s compassion and generosity know no bounds, and we are thankful for his commitment, support, and friendship.”
The Joseph Lacroce Foundation generously committed $1 million to support the launch of Virtua’s Pediatric Mobile Services program in 2018. Each year, the Pediatric Mobile Services team provides more than 3,000 children across Burlington and Camden counties with developmental screenings, flu vaccinations, lead education and testing, school physicals, dental screenings, and more.
In 2020, during the onset of the pandemic, the Pediatric Mobile Services team quickly shifted their operations and began delivering food, diapers, and other staple items to patients and families in need. The program was recognized earlier this year by the New Jersey Hospital Association with its prestigious HRET Community Outreach Award for reducing health disparities.