Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Healy ’20 Aids Frontline Workers
The HWS Update
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Healy ’20 Aids Frontline Workers

While continuing her studies remotely this semester, Mary “Mar” Healy ’20 has also distributed more than 2,000 care packages to medical professionals and essential workers at 38 hospitals in the epicenter of the pandemic in New York City.

Initiated by their mother, a flight nurse for SkyHealth, Healy and her brothers, including Patrick Healy ’24, have assembled care packages from their Larchmont, N.Y. home. As cases continued to rise, they ramped up their efforts and established Code Frontline, a non-profit group that provides goods to frontline workers throughout New York City’s metropolitan area.

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Mar ’20 and Patrick ’24 Healy assemble care packages. The Healy’s are part of a family tradition of being educated at HWS, including their aunts, uncles and cousin Daniel ’85, Ellen ’86, Nancy ’86, Patrick ’81 and Sean ’20 Plunkett.

“Our care packages include items such as drinks, power bars, candy and makeup wipes. For the medical professionals who are worn out or anxious, we wanted to give them one less thing to worry about, like a snack during a long shift or a moment of self-care,” says the political science and philosophy major.

While Code Frontline began by distributing to hospitals where Margaret Healy had connections, the Healy siblings have been contacted by and expanded to hospitals that heard of their efforts through social media and local press coverage, including LMC Media Center.

“It is really a gratifying experience. I have connected with so many people I didn’t know before. It can be emotional when people say things like, ‘I wish I could hug you right now,’” Healy says.

Healy includes a card with Code Frontline’s social media handles in every delivery. She has been excited to see medical teams post selfies and tag the initiative, from Huntington Hospital to the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and hopes Code Frontline’s social presence will amplify their efforts. To date, they have raised nearly $10,000. They have also received donations of packaged snacks, such as granola bars and trail mix.

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Mar and her mother Margaret Healy deliver a box of care packages to a nurse at Elmhurst Hospital.

“Recently, we made deliveries to Mt. Sinai Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, located in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods. We made sure to bring enough care packages to donate to the doctors, nurses, EMTs in the ambulance bay, security guards and members of the National Guard,” Healy says. On March 25, Elmhurst Hospital reported 13 deaths in a single day.

As Code Frontline expands, Healy says she finds herself thinking about lessons from her coursework in “Biomedical Ethics,” “Math for Informed Citizenship,” “Political Violence,” and her “Philosophy Senior Seminar.” “All of these classes have influenced how I am thinking about my role in this pandemic, and how I can ethically and responsibly help others.”

The philosophy seminar, in particular, has made Healy think critically about free will and objectivity. “I had the choice to sit and observe this pandemic, or do something about what was going on around me. I hope I have been able to help people who are struggling, and to encourage others to do the same.”

On campus, Healy is the co-president of the Women’s Collective. She says event planning for the club gave her crucial experience in logistics as she orders supplies, coordinates drop-offs and communicates with donors and hospital partners.

Last summer, Healy studied abroad in India with Associate Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav and Associate Professor of Political Science Vikash Yadav. She is the recipient of the Joseph Romano ’82 Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Professor Emerita of Art History Elena Ciletti and the William Elliott Endowed Internship Fund established by HWS Trustee Katherine D. Elliott ’66, L.H.D. ’08.

To learn more about Code Frontline contact codefrontline@gmail.com and follow their efforts on Instagram @Codefrontline. Donate via Venmo to @mhealy.

In the above photograph, staff at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center show off their Code Frontline care packages.