New Geisinger program with bases in Scranton and Honesdale

Geisinger program aims to eliminate barriers to health care for most vulnerable

By Michael Iorfino
(Published: August 6, 2014)

Some fear having to pay steep medical costs. Others struggle to find rides to their appointments or are not aware of medical resources available locally.

As the region’s demand for health care services grows, Geisinger Health System launched a pilot program in Scranton aimed at eliminating the barriers to care for the most vulnerable — the area’s underinsured and uninsured.

“If we really want to take care of populations and geographies, there’s a whole bunch of patients that are sort of getting left behind,” said Thomas Graf, M.D., chief medical officer for population health and longitudinal care at Geisinger.
The program, called a “Proven Wellness Neighborhood,” relies on its staff to identify patients’ needs and connect them with resources, such as arranging transportation, teaching healthy lifestyle behaviors or determining if patients are eligible for health insurance.

For example, they could direct an ill patient who lacks health insurance to the Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured, one of the organizations coordinating with the program.

Dr. Graf expects the program’s staff — two social workers and two community health agents — to serve at least 1,000 Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured or underinsured patients in the first year. That number should jump to 17,000 in the second year, when the staff grows and awareness of the program increases.

Many patients will be referred to the program by physicians at Geisinger Mount Pleasant in Scranton or the Honesdale Family Health Center, the two “hubs” where staff members will be based, he said.

The program is mainly funded by a $600,000 grant via the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

“Ideally, if we can continue to expand and scale this, we would like to cover all of Northeast Pennsylvania,” Dr. Graf said. “The community need (in Scranton) was real.”

Join Safe Kids on June 14th for “In and Around Cars”

Safe Kids Wayne County in conjunction with Edw. J. Schwarz, Inc., will be hosting a program called “In and Around Cars”.

Saturday, June 14th

10:00 am-12:00 pm

at Edw. J. Schwarz, 145 Willow Avenue, Honesdale, PA (across from the Super Duper)

This Safe Kids event will include information pertaining to:

  • Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car;
  • Trunk Entrapment;
  • Spot the Tot; and
  • Safety Belt Safe Test

All are welcome! Great information for everyone! Please spread the word!

All who join us will be eligible to win a brand new bicycle donated by the YMCA!!

Marian Community Hospital Closing

Marian Community Hospital Closing

Wayne County Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Early Intervention would like to inform the community and other partners that the Marian Community Hospital closing has necessitated changes in the delivery of Wayne County Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services, effective Friday, February 17th at 7:00 am.

Wayne County Office of Mental Health continues to maintain a contract with Northwestern Human Services (NHS) to provide these services. With the closure of Marian, these crisis services will now be provided at Mid-Valley Hospital. This should provide a relatively transparent change, as all other service provisions, with the exception of the change in hospital location, will remain the same.

Crisis Services may be accessed by calling Northwestern Human Services Honesdale Office at (570)253-0321 or Carbondale Office at (570)282-1732. These numbers are available 24/7. As always, in the case of a life threatening emergency, call 911 ñrst.

Should you experience any difficulties with this change or with mental health crisis services, please feel free to contact our office so we can address these difficulties and work towards continuing to improve our services.