Penn State Extension and Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health resources help consumers navigate Health Insurance Marketplace

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On November 15, 2014, residents of Pennsylvania who are without health insurance will have the 5245 WebFlyerHeathcareGOVopportunity to enroll in a health care plan through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Created under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Marketplace is a resource where individuals, families, and small businesses can learn about their health coverage options; compare health insurance plans based on costs, benefits, and other important features; choose a plan; and enroll in coverage.

The Marketplace also provides information on programs that help people with low to moderate income and resources pay for coverage. This includes ways to save on the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs of coverage available through the Marketplace, and information about other programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a unique opportunity for previously uninsured consumers, small businesses, and others to shop for health insurance and compare plans at one location. The next enrollment period runs from November 15, 2104 to February 15, 2015, with coverage beginning as early as January 1, 2015.

To assist consumers in using the Health Insurance Marketplace, Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health have launched a website, “Health Insurance and You” ( designed to be a one-stop resource for information on the Marketplace, the benefits of health insurance, a county-by-county listing of “patient navigators,” and other resources.  The website can be accessed at

The website provides extensive resources that are just a keystroke or phone call away for Pennsylvania shoppers who want to do their homework before deciding which policy to buy, according to consumer-issues specialist Cathy Bowen, professor of agricultural and extension education in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We have consolidated many of the key reliable resources for consumers in a no-frills format,” she said, noting that most of the references are from the federal government and nonprofit agencies and are designed to provide unbiased information. Added Lisa Davis, director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, “Those who are eligible to get their health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace need to have a good understanding of the basics of health insurance and how to apply for benefits. These webinars will give the information needed to get enrolled or resources for more information.”

As an additional resource, three one-hour webinars are planned that will focus on the specifics of the Health Insurance Marketplace, enrollment, and local resources for consumers interested in health insurance. The webinars are planned for noon on October 31, November 14, and December 5. To register for one of the webinars, go to

Editors:  For more information, contact Cathy Bowen at 814-863-7870 or; Lisa Davis, Director, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, at 814-863-8214 or; or Walt Whitmer, Senior Extension Associate, at 814-865-0468 or

The Advocacy Alliance hosts Family Support Group

Family Support Group

A support group for families/friends who have lost someone to suicide meets on the 2nd Monday of the month for mutual support at :

The Advocacy Alliance

1st floor, 823 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510

6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

When a person who is a part of our life dies by suicide, understanding this unique grief from this kind of loss needs to be recognized. Friends and family who experience the death of someone to suicide must no longer suffer alone and in silence.

We want you to know that we understand.

When you are ready you can connect with other individuals who share the commonality of having someone loved die by suicide.

For more information you can contact Margaret Moran toll-free at 1-877-315-6855 or 570-558-3233 or by email at

We are seeking a Deputy Director of Advocacy and Community Services

Deputy Director of Advocacy and Community Services

Incident Management Services

We are seeking a Deputy Director of Advocacy and Community Services (Incident Management Services) in Scranton. This position works closely with County Administrators and Providers of Developmental Disabilities Services to ensure that the health, safety, and rights of persons receiving mental health supports and services are respected.

Responsibilities: (pursuant to assignment)

  • Oversee and manage the daily operations of the Incident Management Department;
  • Consult with stakeholders on Incident Management processes;
  • Conduct Incident Management training;
  • Develop reports and recommendations to County Administrators;
  • Check the Home and Community Services Information System (HCSIS) database;
  • Manage assigned staff; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Educational/Professional Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Services or related field preferred but not required;
  • Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Investigation Certification preferred;
  • Experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities;
  • Leadership skills as demonstrated by the ability to lead people and get results through others;
  • Management skills as demonstrated by the ability to organize and manage multiple priorities;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Attention to detail; and
  • Strong Team Player.

Salary with benefits to commensurate with experience. Please reply in confidence to one of the following:

Mail to:

The Advocacy Alliance

Vice-President/Chief Human Resources Officer

846 Jefferson Avenue

P.O. Box 1368

Scranton, PA 18501

Email to:

Fax to: (570) 207-9194

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action y Employer

Full Time Wellness Nurse needed in Monroe County

The Advocacy Alliance is looking for a Full-Time Wellness Nurse in Monroe County. This position will  include travel to surrounding counties. Education/Professional Experience:

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Interest and/or experience in Behavioral Health
  • Excellent computer and communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a collaborative team to improve the health and well-being of individuals who have extensive physical and behavioral health conditions

Job Description:

  • Identify and provide, in collaboration with case managers, individuals with frequent usage of physical and/or behavioral health services and offer them assistance in developing an individualized wellness plan
  • Design and conduct periodic “health surveys” for individuals with co-morbid conditions
  • Provide case-specific training and consultation to behavioral health staff who are working directly with individuals with co-morbid conditions
  • Develop and implement programs around compliance to medical appointments and medication
  • When necessary, accompany individuals to medical appointments
  • Advocate for the health of the individual by: referring, helping access, and coordination of quality physical/behavioral health services; coaching individuals to advocate for themselves in meeting with health care providers; develop wellness materials for individuals on identifying and managing chronic health conditions
  • Convene team meetings for individuals with complex physical/behavioral health issues
  • Develop preventative wellness plans to preclude the development of chronic health conditions
  • Assists in educating provider network about the needs of individuals with serious mental illness
  • Complete all necessary paperwork and reports in order to meet the administrative requirements of the program

Salary and benefits commensurate with experience.  Please reply in confidence to:

Mail to:
The Advocacy Alliance
Chief Administrative Officer
846 Jefferson Avenue
P. O. Box 1368
Scranton, PA  18501


Fax:  570-207-9194

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer