Personal protection equipment donated to Carleton's

Carleton Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wellsboro received donated PPE equipment that was distributed by John “Herm” Suplizio. Pictured (left to right) are Angella Werni, Carleton director of nursing; Suplizio; Nicholas Tedeschi, rehab manager; Kendra Barrows, administrator; Kathryn Kriner, social services; and Peter C. Varischetti of Guardian Healthcare.

In these times of social distancing, Carleton Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center recently received a welcome visitor.

Last week, DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio stopped at Carleton to drop off donated personal protective equipment for essential frontline healthcare workers.

“We need to protect the workers who are doing so much to protect others,” Suplizio said.

Peter C. Varischetti of Guardian Healthcare, which owns Carleton, said Guardian is grateful for the donated supplies.

“It’s crucial to keep our employees safe because their jobs are vital in this fight against COVID-19,” Varischetti said. “Every day, without fail, they arrive at work knowing about the potential threat of coronavirus. Their dedication to helping others comes first and is commendable.”

A major part of keeping employees safe is ensuring they have the necessary PPE.

“This donation is certainly helpful, and we thank Herm for thinking of us,” Varischetti said.

This wasn’t the first time Suplizio thought of Guardian. He contacted the Brockway-based company a few weeks ago after hearing that a skilled nursing center in nearby DuBois had an immediate need for PPE. Varischetti said Guardian was happy to donate supplies.

A long-time volunteer firefighter and former DuBois fire chief, Suplizio said he was inspired to spearhead this effort to collect and distribute donated PPE because he knows the importance of having the proper protective equipment in a critical situation.

“I’m glad I can help where there’s a need,” Suplizio said of coordinating the PPE donations. “It’s just my small way of saying thank you.”

Suplizio’s efforts reached Michael Killion, deputy general counsel, Government Affairs at Equitrans Midstream Corporation in Canonsburg, who was inspired to help as well. Equitrans then donated the PPE supplies that Suplizio distributed to Carleton.

“This truly is an example of paying it forward that came full circle,” said Suplizio, who is seeking the Republican nomination for state senator in the 25th District. “I’m pleased so many people have responded, but I’m not surprised. I’m proud to be from an area where everyone helps one another and always has.”