As a former restaurant owner and the director of the Culinary Arts Program at Youth Link, Matthew Swartz of Swampscott knows his way around the kitchen. One of the first lessons he teaches his students at the eight-week program for at-risk teens in Boston is the importance of kitchen safety.
Even those with experience, however, can have accidents. For Swartz, a member of the Journal’s Board of Overseers, his occurred last Thanksgiving. He had spent much of the day preparing a delicious dinner for a small group of family and friends when it was time to carve the turkey. Struggling to get one of the wings off of the bird, he decided to take a knife to it and when he did, it hit his thumb, causing a deep cut.
Not wanting to spoil the holiday for his guests, he quickly wrapped up his injury and told his company that it was just a minor cut and nothing to worry about. The next morning, Swartz grew more concerned about the injury. He was fairly certain he needed stitches and thought he may have nicked a tendon. So, at the encouragement of his wife, he went to the Salem Hospital Emergency Department on Dove Avenue.
When he arrived at the facility, which opened in 2019, he was immediately impressed at how bright it was. It was more welcoming than any emergency room he had ever seen.
What impressed Swartz even more, however, was the care he received. “I was overwhelmed with the quality of care from the doctor and nurses that were working on my hand,” he said. “After a thorough exam of the hand they confirmed there was no permanent tendon or ligament damage. Because I waited to seek treatment, they used medical glue instead of stitches to close the cut and referred me to an orthopedic surgeon to follow up.”
Not long after his visit to the ER, Swartz realized that he wanted to give back to the people and place that helped him during a time of need. He is fortunate to be one of the directors of the Swartz Shalom Charitable Foundation and decided that making a donation would not only help the hospital, but also make people aware that their local hospitals are in need of support to continue providing care to the communities they serve.
“My sister, Debbie Shalom, and I were happy to present a check for $10,000 to Dr. Phillip Rice Jr. and Sabrina Federico, RN, MSN, executive director of Emergency Services,” added Swartz. “It felt good to be able to give back and while I hope I don’t need their services again, it is comforting to know that such great medical care is so close by.”