Jeanna Barbieri came up with Pictures for Patients after a high school friend thanked her for working at Lowell General Hospital, where his father was being treated for coronavirus.
Barbieri offered to bring family photos to decorate his room.
“Just to see how excited they were to have that piece of comfort with him, it made me realize I want to do more of that,” Barbieri said. “I never imagined in a million years it would turn into anything other than a small project.”
Now, the program has a dedicated Lowell email address and the social media hashtag #picturesforpatients. Barbieri purchased a printer for completely virtual delivery.
Barbieri says she has organized at least 22 photograph deliveries as of April 23, including a surprise pregnancy announcement for a family member.
“Jeanna has done a wonderful thing,” said Rae Russo, the wife of Barbieri’s first photo recipient. “It’s made all of us have peace on mind.”
Russo’s husband, Robert, has been transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, but their family’s photos have followed him.
The photographs also help medical personnel staff working grueling shifts during the pandemic, according to Barbieri.
“I think it’s good for the nurses to bring in something positive,” Barbieri said.