It’s no secret. Legacy of Hope’s strength lies in our community connections. The relationships we’ve built have enabled the Emergency Patient Support Network (EPSN) to grow faster and stronger than we ever imagined. The EPSN began in February of 2020 and since then, Legacy of Hope has delivered fresh groceries to 5,229 patients and family members, including 1,110 children across all six districts in Philadelphia.
“The work of Legacy of Hope and their Emergency Patient Support Network is a shining example of community partnerships that will have an immediate, measurable impact for our patients and their families.”
Dr. Brooke Worster, Medical Director, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
In addition to partnerships with Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and PENN Medicine social workers (to identify cancer patients in need), and with Brown’s Super Stores (ShopRite and Fresh Grocer) to prepare the grocery orders, Philadelphia’s police officers are a critical component of the EPSN. 109 different officers have delivered groceries to families throughout the city, acting as important liaisons between cancer patients and the Legacy of Hope team.
Case in point, Officer Javier Cortes. Officer Cortes has been on the Philadelphia Police force for 21 years, currently working as a Crime Prevention Officer throughout the schools in the 26th district.
“I love what I do because every day I get to make a difference,” says Cortes about his work with school students and in the community.
He was recently on a call when he ran into a family member of a constituent he hadn’t seen in some time. “I asked about him and they told me he was being treated for cancer, and having a really rough time. He’s been out of work and he’s struggling a lot. Not only was he having difficulty paying monthly bills, but he was struggling daily with putting food on the table for himself and his family.”
Officer Cortes remembered a conversation he’d had with Officer Ryan Barksdale—Community Relations Officer in the 25th district—about Legacy of Hope and the work being done with cancer patients. He reached out to officer Barksdale, the two of them connected
with the Legacy of Hope team and managed to deliver fresh, healthy groceries to the patient within 24 hours.
Says Officer Cortes, “I’m proud to go the extra step to push someone in a different direction to make their life a little better.”
We are proud to say that we have taken the extra step to welcome Officer Cortes to the Legacy of Hope team as our official Spanish Translator, helping us to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking patients in all areas of the city.