by Tyller Moorer
It is probably safe to say that almost everyone who has ever been a hospital patient has experienced a degree of anxiety, nervousness, etc. Caroline Fosnot, D.O., a Chestnut Hill resident for five years, graduate of the Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006 and an Anesthesiology specialist at the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, certainly has seen this anxiety up close in the 12 years that she has been a physician. So this caring doctor decided to do something about it, creating “HOSPITALity Kits.”
“I came up with the idea,” she told us, “because I have been a physician for over 10 years, and when I take care of patients, it has frustrated me that people only know to send them food or flowers. On some hospital floors you’re not allowed to have food or flowers. I thought it was time to develop a kit with things that are of comfort to patients. And now, they’ve developed into something that anyone can use for self-care.”
Dr. Fosnot has been giving the kits out for about three-and-a-half years. She crafts them and receives feedback from friends and co-workers. She constantly changes what the boxes contain based on of the feedback from patients, who are also able to customize them, not through the website but by emailing Dr. Fosnot directly.
One example of a stock kit that can be found on Dr. Fosnot’s website is “The Comfort Bundle,” which includes cozy plush socks, a gel-bead sleep mask that can be warmed or cooled, four aromatherapy patches, a proprietary aromatherapy blend lip balm and an unscented all-over honey body moisturizing oil.
Orders that are placed online will be shipped out the same day. The kits are sent out using UPS Priority. Funding for HOSPITALity Kits comes from Dr. Fosnot personally. Her initial inspiration was from breast cancer patients, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to various breast cancer research endeavors. “Every time I make a kit, my heart expands,” Dr. Fosnot said. “We all need comfort sometimes, whether we’re in the hospital, sick, about to get a medical procedure, going to the dentist, having a baby, having a bad week … the list goes on.”
HOSPITALity Kits were created initially to comfort patients before and after surgery. However, over the years these kits have proven to be the perfect answer to: “I don’t know what to give/send my loved one when (blank) happens”
‘”I received my HOSPITALity Kit after spending some time in the hospital for a family death,” wrote one patient on the internet. “No matter how big or small, gestures of any kind were appreciated. Flowers galore were delivered to our home and displayed. However, when I received the HOSPITALity Kit, it was something that was truly different, thoughtful and very much appreciated. “As beautiful as the flower deliveries were, this was a gift that lasted past the flowers. The eye mask for my very puffy eyes, fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm, lip balm to quench my chapped lips. It was something that I’d never think to send or think I would receive during this time, and I was very appreciative. I know I will be keeping these lovely kits in mind for my family and friends.”
According to health.usnews.com, patients have rated Dr. Fosnot “Very Positive” in the three categories they list: Ability to Answer Questions, Clarity of Instructions and Amount of Time with Patient.
For residents who want the HOSPITALity Kits locally, they are sold at Tailored Home, 8528 Germantown Ave., or one can place orders at hospitalitykits.com. For customization, email firstname.lastname@example.org