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!!

Call to Action for the American Red Cross in Wayne and Pike Counties!

‘Call To Action’ Volunteer Recruitment Gathering on Wednesday, June 4th at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce 209 East Harford St. Milford.

Have you ever wondered who those great individuals are wearing American Red Cross Disaster vests, taking your intake information at a Blood Drive, presenting programs about Emergency Preparedness at schools and senior centers, manning a table at a community event, assisting a veteran or armed forces member, etc.? That person could be YOU.


Please stop in on June 4th between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:30 pm to learn more about the great volunteer opportunities available for you throughout Wayne and Pike Counties!

Thank you!

Wayne County Area Agency on Aging Announces “Color of the Month” Day!

Join us on every 2nd Tuesday, starting June 10th at each of the three Wayne County Senior Centers.

We are starting a “Color” of the month day, starting with the color “Red” for June. Wear Red and enjoy foods that are “Red”

A few fun facts: Red, the most physical and sensual of the colors, vibrates the most slowly and has the longest wavelength in the visible spectrum. Red is stimulating, hot (yang), and exciting; it is associated with vitality, strength, passion and willpower.

Red stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It can be used to treat anemia, colds, low blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weakness and depression. It helps one feel present and grounded. Use red when feeling run down, to improve athletic performance, and when quick energy bursts are required. A study done on athletes at the University of Texas indicated that viewing red light increased strength by 13.5 percent and produced 5.8 percent more electrical muscle activity.

When red is present in food, it often denotes ripeness or sweetness, as well as the presence of lycopenes, quercetin, and Vitamin C. Because red is so energizing, it should be avoided in decorating eating areas, as it makes diners feel hurried. In packaging, however, red is attention getting and highly visible, so you’ll find it often on supermarket shelves

May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. May reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and complications from diabetes. May help control high blood pressure and slow some effects of aging.

Red is an energetic frequency found to stimulate physicality. Red fruits and vegetables promote health of the adreanals, gonads, colon, legs and red blood cells. Red fruits and vegetables also contain powerful phyto-chemicals such as lycopene and anthocyanins which are essential for the circulatory system.

Please, come in and join us for lunch, or if not for lunch look at the activities that are available to seniors throughout the county. All lunches are a donation of $2.00, and we have many “special” days that we celebrate throughout the year. Join us for a meal, or just a cup of coffee and some amiable conversation. If you’re more active, maybe you would want to try one of our activities such as our walking or exercise classes, dance classes, art, cards, etc. Try us out! We’re probably more than you expected!

Visit our website to see our monthly newsletter and other valuable information.

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.