Far Rock hospital distributes bags, health advice


St. John’s iCare Foundation is helping Far Rockaway students get back to school on the right foot, providing students with backpacks filled with school supplies and health information for a strong start to the year. 

For the seventh year, families were welcomed last Friday to the front parking lot of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital to pick up backpacks, play games, eat treats and learn about physical and overall health. 

Nancy Leghart, executive director of the iCare Foundation, was proud of the organization’s success this back-to-school season. In the recent past, the event was more grab-and-go style due to Covid.

“It makes going back to school a little bit more fun because we really want summer to last forever, but this makes it a little fun, to go back with a nice new backpack,” Leghart said.

The pre-school year celebration also featured tables of health care professionals, scheduling attendees for medical appointments and informing them on health information such as dietary knowledge, health insurance, financial health and services offered by St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

“The best thing we can give is healthy information to our community,” Leghart said.

The hospital’s mobile unit was also present, offering screenings to community members.

In addition to its backpack event, the iCare Foundation also hosts a holiday fund-raiser to distribute toys to families in need. Additionally, the organization provides new mothers with baby bags, co-pays for community member’s pharmacy medication and equipment for the hospital.

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital on the Rockaway Peninsula. The facility serves the Rockaway communities as well as the Five Towns and surrounding towns in southwest Nassau County.