Health and Health Care


To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through examination of health status, health care delivery, healthcare costs and insurance.


The task force is comprised of diverse groups of professionals to convene and participate in creating policy solutions based on evidence and best practices that have the potential to impact legislation and beyond. With Institute support, the task force will examine a variety of issues related to provider reimbursement, access, and other issues included in the health care reform act.Key data and trends concerning reimbursement, competition, and uncompensated care will be examined and policy statements will be developed as appropriate.Research may include both primary and secondary work.

The task force will provide insight into the health and healthcare indicators as appropriate to ensure a comprehensive, high quality set of benchmarks of health and healthcare status. The task force will work with staff to generate funding for a market study of patients and their appraisal of health care and providers in northeastern Pennsylvania to assess why millions of dollars are spent o n accessing healthcare outside the region on an annual basis.

Health and Health Care Research

Visit The Institute’s You Tube Channel for short videos on our health & health care research.

2022: Social Isolation & COVID-19

2021: Public Health Infrastructure in Pennsylvania
2020: Child Abuse & Neglect
2019: Food Access
2018: Health Literacy – A Public Health Challenge
2018: Social Determinants of Health
2017: An Examination of Oral Health Challenges
2016: An Examination of Opioid Challenges and Resources in Northeastern Pennsylvania
2015: An Analysis of Autism and Resources in Northeastern PA
2014: An Analysis of Mental Health Issues and Resources in Northeastern Pennsylvania
2013: Patient Migration as a Result of Patient Perception
2012: New Healthcare Infrastructure and Improved Economic Development and Patient Care

Institute Research

Date Title Description
July 2016 The City of Scranton Health Needs Assessment The 2012 The City of Scranton Health Needs Assessment was prepared utilizing data from a regional household survey of residents, focus groups, interviews, and secondary data during the 2012 regional community health needs assessment. The findings evaluates health status, and patient perception.
April 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment 2013 – Female Cohort Responses As an update to the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Community Health Needs Assessment, The Institute analyzed the survey data for the total female cohort to produce a report on women’s health needs.
January 2013 Lackawanna and Luzerne County Community Health Needs Assessment The 2012 Lackawanna and Luzerne County Community Health Needs Assessment was prepared during 2012 utilizing data from a regional household survey of residents, focus groups, interviews, and secondary data. The study evaluates health status, patient perception, the new regional healthcare systems and the economic impact of outmigration of care. The study was released at a major community event coordinated by the study’s sponser: Healthy Northeast PA Initiative.

Task Force Members


  • Dr. Julie Byerley, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine – Chair
  • Karen Baker, Senior Advancement Director, Johnson College
  • William Conaboy, President & CEO, Allied Services
  • Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, Scranton Area Foundation
  • Maria Montoro Edwards, President & CEO, Maternal & Family Health Services
  • Brian Ebersole, Executive Director, Geisinger
  • Joe Grilli, President & CEO, Senior Day Services, A Telespond Company
  • Linda Thomas Hemak, MD, President & CEO, The Wright Centers
  • Joseph Hollander, Executive Director, Scranton Primary Health Care Center
  • Barbara Norton, Director, Corporate and Foundation Research, Allied Services
  • Ben Payavis, Chief Content Officer, WVIA
  • Raymond E. Petren, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Human Development & Family Studies, Penn State Scranton
  • Brian Rinker, Senior Vice President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Bette Saxton, Community Member
  • Jignesh Y. Sheth, MD,  Chief Medical Officer, The Wright Center for Community Health
  • Susan Sordoni, MD, Founder Volunteers in Medicine
  • Laura Toole, Executive Vice President, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute