ScaleSomething as simple as a scale can prevent a patient from being readmitted to a hospital.  Nora Brennan, a heart failure nurse coordinator in Cardiology, knows this well.  “When fluid starts to build in heart failure patients – a sign that something is wrong -- they can gain two to three pounds, overnight,” she explained.  “And that’s before any symptoms appear.  That’s why I tell my patients to weigh themselves every day.”

The problem is that not everyone has -- or can afford -- a scale. To provide for her patients,  Brennan applied for and received a $1,000 grant from the Penn Medicine CAREs Foundation.  This was great news but one challenge remained:  finding a company that would sell the scales at a good price and provide an invoice upfront.

Enter Andrea Blount, outpatient trauma practice educator and injury prevention coordinator, who contacted Brennan to get data on decreasing readmissions specific to heart failure.  Blount also does community outreach, with a focus on preventing falls (for which she also received a CAREs grant). When she heard about Brennan’s dilemma, she said, “Try Walgreens” and gave her the name of the store manager she knew from various health fairs.

“Her call was serendipitous,” Brennan said.  Chirag Patel, Walgreens manager in Upper Darby, not only gave her a great price but would deliver free of charge and provide an invoice.

Brennan now has 70 scales for her patients which “I know will prevent hospitalizations. By giving them a scale, you’re driving home the message that it’s important to do this.”

And she got to meet two “really great community minded people.  A big thank you for both Chirag and Andrea.” 


Photo caption: Nora Brennan (third from left) with the team who helped get the scales for her patients (l. to r.) Chirag Patel, Monica Maguire, Andrea Blount,  Miray Ghaly, Pharmacy Manager, and Suren Ratliod

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