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Care community gets new wheelchair van

Officials hope the new vehicle will increase the quality of life for their residents.

DANVILLE, Pa. — National Nursing Home Week is wrapping up, and a facility in Montour County is celebrating in a big way.

There is always a lot going on at Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community near Danville.

"We're a continuing care retirement community, so we have nursing care, personal care, memory care, independent living," said Dawn Orzehowski, director of mission advancement and marketing.

Employees transport patients and residents in a van, but that vehicle is old and was breaking down. About a year ago, Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community started raising money for a new van. They raised more than $85,000 for the new wheelchair van, and on this day, the new wheels were delivered.

"We use this vehicle to take residents to doctor's appointments, to the grocery store, to Walmart, and also fun activities outside the four walls that they're in. This is going to increase their quality of life tenfold," Orzehowski said.

Fr. Charles Ocul blessed the new wheelchair van, and the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius said a prayer.

Some of the residents at Maria Joseph helped raise money for the van.

"It's really good for the patients and not just the members who live here in the community, also for patient transport, if necessary," said resident Tim Egan, a member of both the Danville Area American Legion and VFW.

"Let them know that we were raising money for a vehicle that would be utilized by veterans as well as other members of the community. They were good enough to donate significant money to get the van."

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