A Conversation With: Katie HerringtonCommunity relations director, Pappus House
Katie Herrington, 44, is a founding member and current community relations director of Pappus House, a York-area home for community members facing the end of life.
Herrington has a bachelor’s degree in the interdisciplinary study of biology and English from the University of Delaware, which she earned with honors.
She and her husband and their two children reside in Loganville.
Q: As a health educator, what did you see as the biggest thing businesses and their employees didn’t know about health care?
A: A lot of health care agencies are working with businesses for preventative health reasons, having work-site wellness programs, offering information on anything from immunizations to nutrition to diabetes education, addressing health concerns before they become costly to the business, through loss of productivity or health care claims. More and more businesses are seeing the advantage to using some of these preventative care opportunities. A lot of businesses are seeing the value in working with the health care provider for the health of their employees, because their employees are their family.
You have been involved in numerous health-care-related organizations. Why is the topic of health care so important to you?
As a mother, the health of my children and family members is so dear and important to me. I’ve always been involved from early on in my career as a health educator and working with Byrnes Health Education Center in different roles there. I saw how incredible our human bodies were.
What role can the business community play in bringing Pappus House to fruition?
Pappus House is a home for end-of-life care, and unfortunately that impacts everybody. We know a lot of people are going to come to us because their family members, their adult children, are working full time and need to stay in the workforce and might not be able to provide the 24-hour care that is needed. So we step in as that extended family, to help support the loved ones in their caregiving needs. We hope to benefit our economy in that way as well, to provide that care so they can do the other things they need to do in their lives and their jobs.
Businesses can support us a number of ways. We’re a nonprofit, so we will be receiving generous gifts from the community, as we already have. Much of our renovation process has been done through in-kind support of labor and materials from local businesses. Volunteer help will be huge. Some businesses have stepped up to do drives to collect paper goods and toiletries to help stock our shelves. We’ve had inquiries from business groups about bringing groups of people in to help with a variety of needs, cleaning, gardening, yardwork, and then actual care of our residents.
When do you decorate your house for Christmas?
I’m definitely a right-after-Halloween person. I still have little kids at home, so we have a lot of different decorations they’re expecting because it’s tradition for them. With all the craziness going on in the world, this is the one light in our day: to turn on the Christmas tree lights and see all of our pretty decorations gives us a peaceful feeling. My kids want to come home and do their homework in front of the tree.