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Bringing healthcare to rural NEPA

New facility opens in Greenfield Twp.

REENFIELD TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Physicians and hospitals are plentiful in urban areas but the same cannot be said in rural America. A new healthcare facility in northeastern Pennsylvania decided to address that problem. As Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller explains, Lackawanna County's newest medical facility located rural to help cure what ails the community.

"I have a cold, probably allergies." Some upper respiratory symptoms aren't the only struggle Dillon Burnside experienced in Greenfield Township. Getting convenient medical treatment has also been a problem. "I always had to go down to Carbondale or somewhere like that."

But not anymore now that Greenfield Township is home to the new Andrew C. Mazza Foundation NEPA Community Health Care Center. "This is grass roots health care," said NEPA Community Health Care CEO Mary Wetherall, R.N.  She explained that more than $90,000 in community fundraising and donations covered the bulk of the cost to convert this former dance hall and roller skating rink into a federally funded medical facility in the countryside. "So we have two functional exam rooms so that's primary care from pediatrics to the elderly and everyone in between and we also have a licensed clinical social worker here."

The plan is to expand through additional funding and include more exam rooms, psychiatry and behavioral health rooms and even a dental health room.

"People who work here have a lot more rewards than just paychecks," said NEPA Community Health Care Physician Lakshmi Mizin, MD. She believes the work of the center will significantly help the underinsured who will be treated regardless of their ability to pay. "Unless we help and make people in that category to be healthy as a nation, I don't think we'll be healthy."

Veteran Nurse Practitioner Ellen Linde, CRNP is proud to be part of the NEPA Community Health Care mission to fill a vital medical void near the Lackawanna/Susquehanna County line. "I know the need is there so being able to do that with people I know and meet new people that are local and have been going without healthcare... it's very exciting." Mr. Burnside added, "You can just come over. It's quick, simple. Come over here, you get the help you need."

The Andrew C. Mazza Foundation NEPA Health Care Center is open Monday through Friday. It will hold its grand opening this Saturday, May 19 at its facility along Route 106 behind Paradise Valley Plaza.


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