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Technical College High School Students Give Christmas Joy to Malvern Patients

December 19, 2017 — Phoenixville, Pa. – Students from Technical College High School (TCHS) Pickering Campus presented patients struggling with addiction at The Malvern Institute with toys and Christmas ornaments. The Malvern Institute’s Malvern Campus on King Road is the Delaware Valley’s oldest private addiction treatment facility, with nearly 70 years of experience treating addiction through inpatient treatment.

Kelly Cardieo, Itzel DeLeon, Maura Kern, Lizzie Payne, Erin Wilkins, Olivia Wolfrom and Kady Vigil are students at Technical College High School and members of HOSA – Future Health Professionals chapter selected opioid addiction as the social cause to help during the holidays with oversight from their instructor is Donna Karkoska. The students held a toy and Christmas ornament drive in an effort give back to those in treatment for addiction during the holidays. The handmade ornaments were decorated by students for the Malvern Institute patients. Students gave out toys and ornaments for patients to keep or give as gifts to loved ones.

Recently declared a national emergency by the United States government, the opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on American families and communities. According to data recorded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania rose by 37 percent last year. In the Delaware Valley, 907 deaths were recorded in Philadelphia alone and overdose rates in the surrounding suburbs rose even faster.

“My fellow students and I see the impact of drug addiction on families and our communities, so we wanted to show people struggling with the disease of addiction that we understand and support them in their recovery efforts,” said Maura Kern, the group leader from Malvern, PA. “The patients at Malvern were so grateful for the gifts that they asked us the join them for dinner in their cafeteria which meant the world to all of us.” We just wanted to spread some cheer during the holidays, and I hope we succeeded.”

“The Malvern Institute is grateful for this effort, and our clients were moved by the kind gesture from the students at Technical College High School,” said David Lumpkin, executive director, Malvern Institute at the Malvern Campus. “Malvern Institute is dedicated to helping those affected by the disease of addiction as the drug epidemic continues to wreak havoc on families and communities across the Delaware Valley, including Chester County as well as the United States. Support from the community is especially meaningful to inspire more people to seek a life in recovery, especially during the holidays, which can result in stress for families.”

(From left to right) Itzel DeLeon, Maura Kern, Lizzie Payne, Erin Wilkins and Olivia Wolfrom.
(From left to right) Clinical Director Dana Pasini, Itzel DeLeon, Maura Kern, Lizzie Payne, Erin Wilkins, Olivia Wolfrom and King Road Executive Director David Lumpkin.

(From left to right) Erin Wilkins, Olivia Wolfrom and Itzel DeLeon.

 About Chester County Technical College High School

The Chester County Technical College High School (TCHS) is a part-time, public high school of choice specializing in career and technical education for students in grades 9-12. Students attend one of three campuses located throughout Chester County and receive a high school diploma from their sending school while being able to participate in all sports, clubs and activities offered by their home school. TCHS’ student-centered approach crafts an educational experience as unique as each of its students. All of the career and technical programs offered at TCHS are aligned to the Pennsylvania State Standards, focused on national industry certifications and are tuition-free for students. For more information, please visit

 About Malvern Institute:

Malvern Institute founded in 1948, is the region’s oldest private addiction treatment center. A leader in the addiction field, Malvern Institute is Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive and effective substance abuse treatment centers, offering evidence-based complete continuum of care with a 12-step approach for those affected by the disease of addiction. Malvern operates two inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation centers, as well as five outpatient locations in the suburbs of Philadelphia and South Jersey. We provide patient-focused care through unrivaled dedication to clinical care and innovative treatment solutions. For more information visit or call 610-MALVERN.


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