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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:03:01 15:21:54

Submitted photo From left, Paul Dougherty, principal, West Scranton Intermediate School; and from The Wright Center for Community Health, Kellen Kraky, manager of student health services; Allyson Favuzza, doctor of nursing practice; Paige Miseo, certified medical assistant; and Debbra Irving, certified medical assistant. Kraky displays a certificate of recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:01:25 16:46:01

Submitted photo The Wright Center for Community Health and the Maternal and Family Health Services were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from AllOne Foundation to support the organizations’ work within the community-based Healthy MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) Pregnancy-Recovery initiative. From left: Maria Kolcharno, director of addiction services, The Wright Center for Community Health; Cindy Kennedy, director COC and DSS Operations, Maternal and Family Health Services; Yurii Lynn Harden, licensed clinical social worker, Maternal and Family Health Services; Bette Saxton, president and CEO, Maternal and Family Health Services; Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, chief executive officer, The Wright Center for Community Health; John Menapace, board member, AllOne Foundation and Charities; John W. Cosgrove, executive director, AllOne Foundation and Charities; Mary Carroll Donahoe, program officer, AllOne Foundation and Charities; Dr. Maria Montoro-Edwards, vice president of strategic initiatives, The Wright Center for Community Health; and Scott Constantini, director of behavioral health, The Wright Center for Community Health.

The Wright Center for Community Health and the Maternal and Family Health Services receive grant from AllOne Foundation to support regional initiative

The Wright Center for Community Health and Maternal and Family Health Services were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from AllOne Foundation to support the organizations’ work within the community-based Healthy MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) Pregnancy-Recovery initiative.

The Healthy MOMS program launched in late 2018 with a goal of organizing regional players in the health care, legal and social services sectors to care for pre- and post-natal women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and, ultimately, reduce their babies’ risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Benefitting from these grant funds, moms-to-be within multiple counties served by AllOne Foundation (Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming) are eligible for services/care during their pregnancy, through delivery and continued throughout their postpartum “fourth trimester.” Support can include assistance with housing, childcare, transportation, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), substance abuse counseling, case management, mental health counseling, recovery supports through a certified recovery specialist and medical care for mom and baby.

The Healthy MOMS program is modeled after Ohio’s successful MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) Project, a community-based model that addresses the needs of pregnant women struggling with OUD and their newborns. Care is coordinated through a team of community partners specifically aligned to guide a woman with OUD on her path of recovery.

Although The Wright Center for Community Health and Maternal and Family Health Services are the co-recipients of this grant from AllOne Foundation, the Healthy MOMS collaborative is made possible through the engagement of many community-based organizations, including Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services, Susquehanna County Children and Youth Services, Moses Taylor Hospital, Outreach Center for Community Resources, Geisinger and Scranton Primary Health Care Center.

The Healthy MOMS program continues to grow, and interested community partners within any of the counties served may reach out to Maria Kolcharno, The Wright Center for Community Health’s director of addiction services, at 570-955-7821 to get involved or make a referral into the program. People may also self-refer by contacting Kolcharno at 570-955-7821.

More details about the program, including downloadable literature and information for potential community partners, is available at

Bleeding control kits donated to Northeast Pennsylvania

schools, governments and community groups

Since January 2017, Geisinger trauma services has trained more than 10,000 people through the national Stop the Bleed program. Now, Geisinger is providing more than 2,300 bleeding control kits – including 1073 kits to locations in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Monroe, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties – to further arm first responders and residents in the battle against blood loss.

Regional schools, churches and public locations will receive wall-mounted bleeding control stations, containing eight bleeding control kits each. Individual kits are being provided to emergency responders, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and community groups.

The bleeding control kits contain plastic gloves, gauze, tourniquets and easy-to-follow instructions. They are designed to be used by anyone to help control bleeding during a traumatic incident.

According to the National Trauma Institute, 35 percent of fatalities occur due to blood loss before victims arrive at a hospital.

The kits supplement the nationwide Stop the Bleed training program. Launched as a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, the White House and other agencies, Stop the Bleed trains ordinary citizens – and potential bystanders – how to help during a severe-bleeding incident before medical and emergency professionals arrive on scene.

To learn more about Stop the Bleed, send an email to

Commonwealth Health, Jefferson

collaborate on stroke telemedicine

Commonwealth Health joined the Jefferson Neuroscience Network, a collaboration that uses telemedicine technology to provide local patients with access to Jefferson Health’s comprehensive stroke program and an immediate link to the top neuroscience specialists in the country. The Jefferson Neuroscience Network connects community hospitals with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, providing around-the-clock access to neuroscience specialists and further advancing Commonwealth Health’s stroke care in the region.

Patients who are admitted to the emergency departments at Commonwealth Health’s five acute care hospitals within 24 hours of exhibiting symptoms of stroke will be linked through telemedicine services to a neuroscience physician from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

This arrangement offers Commonwealth Health access to Jefferson Health’s stroke program including education programs for clinicians and the community, clinical trials and advanced protocols for the treatment and management of stroke.

A patient who is admitted to a Commonwealth Health emergency department showing signs of stroke is immediately linked through Jefferson Expert Teleconsulting, or JET, a high-tech, mobile robotic teleconsulting system that is covered by the top neuroscience physicians in Philadelphia. Newly installed software and robotic equipment at Commonwealth Health hospitals enable the Jefferson Health neuro-specialist to examine patients remotely while speaking directly with the clinical team at Commonwealth, the patient and their family members.

Here’s how the program works:

■ The emergency room physician at Commonwealth Health places a phone call to Jefferson Health and requests a JET consult.

■ Within minutes, the Jefferson Health neuro-specialist on call uses a computer or iPhone to connect remotely via the robot to see and speak with the attending physician, patient and family members.

■ The Jefferson Health physician obtains the patient’s medical history, examines the patient, reviews CT scans and lab results and provides recommendations for immediate treatment.

■ A decision is made to either admit the patient to the Commonwealth Health facility for continued care or to transfer him or her to a hospital such as Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience for more advanced care.

Commonwealth Health includes five acute care hospitals: Berwick Hospital, Columbia County; Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital of Scranton, Lackawanna County; Tyler Memorial Hospital, Wyoming County, and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Luzerne County.

The Jefferson Neuroscience Network introduced its stroke telemedicine program in 2010 in response to the growing shortage of neurologists facing rural and smaller market hospitals. It serves 37 community hospitals and has performed more than 10,000 remote acute stroke consultations.

Allied Services Transitional Rehab Units named region’s highest performing Nursing Homes​

Allied Services Transitional Rehab Unit in Scranton recently received the title of “High Performing” in the 2018-2019 ratings done by U.S. News and World Report.

U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 homes nationwide. The ratings draw on data from Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes.

Allied Services Transitional Rehab Unit and Heinz Transitional Rehab Unit are the only two facilities within 100 miles of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area to receive the survey’s top rating of “High Performing” in both the Overall and Short-Stay Rehabilitation ratings. This double accolade earned these non-profit health facilities the “Best Nursing Home” designation.

The Wright Center for Community Health first in the country to earn NCQA School-Based Medical Home Recognition

The Wright Center for Community Health’s School-Based Practice in West Scranton Intermediate recently became the first in the country to receive National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) School-Based Medical Home Recognition.

Based on the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) care model, practices that follow medical evidence to deliver high-quality, coordinated care and are committed to continuous improvement over time are eligible for NCQA distinction. Qualified programs provide a range of services for students and families in the surrounding community, from attending to episodic needs of students during the day and coordinating with outside primary care providers to acting as patients’ primary care medical home.

To learn more about The Wright Center for Community Health’s School-Based Practice, visit To learn more about NCQA School-Based Medical Home Recognition, visit

The Diocese of Scranton announces letter of intent with Allied Services for sale of health care facilities

The Diocese of Scranton announced on Friday, March 8 that it received a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) for the sale of its long-term health care facilities in Wilkes-Barre. The Diocese entered into a due diligence agreement with Allied Services Integrated Health System, a locally-based, regional not-for-profit health system with a 60-year tradition of providing quality health care and human services with compassion and empathy.

Assets included in the sale are:

■ Little Flower Manor, a 133-bed skilled nursing facility with 71 private rooms

■ St. Therese Residence, 60 units with access to the finest personal care services and amenities, as well as 15 units for patients requiring specialized memory impairment services

■ St. Luke’s Villa, a 50-bed skilled nursing unit, a 48-unit personal care facility and 31 independent living apartments

Across the two campuses, services include 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitation for those recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, personal care assistance and independent living spaces. The Diocesan-owned and operated facilities are non-profit, faith-based and mission-driven, and are the providers of choice in their service areas. Approximately 400 employees and volunteers care for the facilities’ 322 residents.

For several years, Diocesan leadership has been evaluating its long-term care facilities. Given continued shifts in the health care industry, the Diocese of Scranton faced a number of challenges including decreased reimbursement rates and heightened regulations.

The Diocese has been highly selective and considered a number of buyers. Allied Services has committed to utilizing its best efforts to retain current staff, whose dedication has helped maintain strong quality ratings and occupancy rates in recent years. Allied Services has also committed to preserving religious articles and artifacts.

The sale of these facilities will allow the Diocese of Scranton to continue its commitment to serving the people of this region through core services such as food pantries, community outreach and emergency shelter programs. While the Diocese originally chose to explore selling these two facilities because of the evolving health care landscape, it has determined that proceeds from this sale may assist with funding the recently announced Independent Survivors Compensation Program.

The due diligence process requires 90 days during which Allied Services will review the assets from a financial, operational and compliance standpoint. If Allied Services chooses to move forward with the sale, both parties will enter into an approval process before the sale is final.