The Wright Center for Community Health’s newest primary and preventive care practice – located in downtown Wilkes-Barre – will soon expand its services to the public, adding dental care.
Beginning Wednesday, July 12, weekly dental services for children and adults will be available between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. each Wednesday at The Wright Center for Community Health Wilkes-Barre Practice, 169 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Appointments can be made now by calling 570-491-0126.
The rollout of dental services will continue throughout the year as renovations are completed at the former office building. The clinic will have 10 dental exam rooms in addition to a large complement of exam rooms for medical and behavioral health services.
Dr. Ryan Rebar
Dr. Ryan Rebar, a Northeast Pennsylvania native and general practice dentist, will treat patients at the Wilkes-Barre Practice.
Rebar and other members of The Wright Center for Community Health’s team, including a dental hygienist, will provide affordable, high-quality oral care services, including routine exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, extractions, and other procedures.
“There’s a big need for dental care services in the Wilkes-Barre area, especially for users of Medicaid who don’t have many places in the vicinity to go for treatment,” said Kimberly McGoff, director of dental operations for The Wright Center for Community Health. “I think the response to our new oral care services there will be great.”
The community health center accepts most dental insurances, including Delta Dental, Guardian, United Concordia, and Medical Assistance (Medicaid). To ensure high-quality oral care is available to everyone, The Wright Center for Community Health offers a sliding-fee discount program to individuals who qualify based on Federal Poverty Guidelines that take into account family size and income. No patient is turned away due to an inability to pay.
The Wright Center for Community Health was designated in 2019 as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike by the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In January, The Wright Center opened its Wilkes-Barre Practice, expanding access to primary medical care in the heart of the Wyoming Valley. A multi-phase expansion plan calls for the practice to add dental and behavioral services, plus space for The Wright Center’s interprofessional health education activities.
The Scranton-based nonprofit enterprise currently operates nine primary care practices, including a mobile medical and dental vehicle, in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming counties. Its practices offer integrated care, meaning patients typically have the convenience of going to a single location to access medical, dental, and behavioral health care, as well as community-based addiction treatment and recovery services.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh, third from right, recently visited The Wright for Community Health Wilkes-Barre Practice as part of a statewide awareness-raising campaign about changes to Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements. State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, center, also offered remarks during the May 16 news conference. Attendees from The Wright Center included, from left, Laura Spadaro, vice president of primary care and public health policy; Scott Koerwer, executive vice president and chief administrative officer; Sheila Ford, associate vice president of clinical quality and patient safety; Nora Dillon, director of government relations; and Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer, and senior vice president.
Shapiro Administration Working with Community Health Centers to Help All Pennsylvanians Amid Major Federal Changes to Medicaid Renewals
Wilkes- Barre, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh joined representatives from The Wright Center for Community Health on May 16 to highlight how the Shapiro Administration, Pennie, and community organizations are collaborating to support Pennsylvanians through federal changes to Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements so they can protect their health and stay covered.
“Everyone deserves the dignity and peace of mind of having access to affordable, high-quality, local health care and knowing they can go to the doctor when they need it. DHS’ goal throughout the renewal process is to make sure that all Pennsylvanians stay covered,” said Acting Secretary Arkoosh. “I urge all Pennsylvanians who get their health coverage through the state to do a few things right now so that your renewal goes smoothly: make sure your contact information is up-to-date with DHS, check your renewal date so that you are ready to renew when the time comes, and complete your renewal by the deadline when it’s your turn to renew.”
The federal public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for individuals to remain enrolled in Medicaid even if they became ineligible, except in certain circumstances. This is also known as the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. A federal law ended the continuous coverage requirement on March 31, 2023. Now, all Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid or CHIP must once again complete their annual renewal when it is due to determine if they are still eligible. No one will lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage without first having an opportunity to renew their coverage or update their information.
Pennsylvanians can update their contact information, report changes in their personal circumstances, and check their renewal date: Online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS Via the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app By calling 1-877-395-8930 (215-560-7226 if they live in Philadelphia)
Renewals will be completed over 12 months at a person’s usual time of renewal; renewals due in April 2023 will be the first to be affected by the end of continuous coverage. If a person is found ineligible for coverage or does not complete their renewal on time, their Medicaid coverage will end. Pennsylvanians who are no longer eligible for Medicaid will be referred to other sources of affordable medical coverage, like CHIP and Pennie, so they have no lapse in quality, affordable health care.
A Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, The Wright Center for Community Health’s patient-centered medical home is an essential community provider of primary and preventive health services. It is also a state-designated Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence and a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinic. The Wright Center for Community Health’s nine locations in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties, include a mobile medical and dental unit called Driving Better Health, and serve more than 40,000 unique patients annually. The Wright Center’s network of practices ensures everyone in the service area has access to integrated, high-quality, compassionate, affordable health services regardless of their insurance status, ZIP code, or ability to pay.
The Wright Center for Community Health is affiliated with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education and serves as the cornerstone service provider in ambulatory whole-person care within The Wright Center’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Safety-Net Consortium. Together with their community partners, The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education train primary care residents and fellows in a community-based, needs-responsive, interprofessional workforce development model. This work advances their shared mission to improve the health and welfare of their communities through inclusive and responsive health services.
“The flexibilities provided through the public health emergency successfully increased enrollment in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid and CHIP programs during the public health emergency,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education. “These critically important government-sponsored relief initiatives undeniably saved the lives of many vulnerable and historically underserved patients by removing barriers to health care access.”
“The Wright Center for Community Health’s dedicated provider teams began educating our patients, families, and the communities we serve in July 2022 about the anticipated changes for Medicaid and CHIP program eligibility, enrollment, and renewal,” said Thomas-Hemak (nearly 40 people have received direct assistance from The Wright Center with Medicaid or CHIP applications since April 1, 2023). “Our enrollment staff and community health workers are an invaluable resource for anyone who needs assistance assessing their eligibility and applying for Medicaid or CHIP. They will also assist with enrollment in Medicare low-income subsidy programs or a marketplace insurance plan.”
The Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White Clinic is the presenting sponsor for the 2023 PrideFest Parade and Celebration in downtown Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, June 25 from noon to 4 p.m. Participating in the kickoff announcement, seated from left, are Sister Ruth Neeley, RSM, CRNP, Ryan White Clinic; Shea Hughes, Rainbow Alliance; Alyssa Duffy, Rainbow Alliance; and Aliah Roseman, Ryan White Clinic; standing, Keisha Holbeck, Ryan White Clinic; Marissa Duffy, Rainbow Alliance; Joseph Farley, Ryan White Clinic; Dr. Mary Louise Decker, Medical Director of the Ryan White Clinic; Miranda Pace, Rainbow Alliance; Holly Pilcavage, co-chairperson; Rainbow Alliance; Craig Lukatch, co-chairperson, Rainbow Alliance; Kara Seitzinger, The Wright Center for Community Health; Dylan Fredricey, Rainbow Alliance; Anthony Melf, Rainbow Alliance; Suzanne McGrath, LCSW, Ryan White Clinic; and Kimberly Simon, LCSW, Ryan White Clinic.
The Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White Clinic will be the presenting sponsor for the Rainbow Alliance’s annual PrideFest Parade and Celebration in downtown Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, June 25. The parade begins at noon, with the celebration to follow on Public Square until 4 p.m.
The Northeast Pennsylvania Rainbow Alliance provides education, support, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ individuals and families while working to advance fairness and equality. The Rainbow Alliance envisions a future where all people in the region can live openly and free from fear, and where individuals, organizations, and businesses work collaboratively to build an equal, inclusive community. The nonprofit organization works to educate and empower its volunteers to create strategic, peer-driven, sustainable programming that is overseen by volunteer leadership.
The formation for the parade begins at 11 a.m. More information is available at RainbowAlliance.org/ PrideFest. The program includes more than 75 vendors, drag performances, and more.
For nearly 25 years, The Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White Clinic has been providing medical and other health care related services to people living with HIV from a seven-county area in Northeast Pennsylvania.
The first in the region, the Ryan White Clinic has been a critical resource to thousands of people living with HIV and recognized as a community leader in efforts to prevent the spread of the infection. The Wright Center for Community Health is the only agency in the area to provide a full continuum of HIV care, including confidential testing services and linkage to coordinated medical care for patients diagnosed with HIV. Behavioral medicine and nutritional counseling are also available. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach to comprehensive medical care, the clinic also offers support groups and social engagement activities.
The Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White Clinic’s case managers supplement medical care for patients with HIV, providing services that include accessing insurance and assisting with paperwork, finding transportation to and from medical appointments, and connecting patients to community and government resources. Case managers also collaborate with agencies to aid patients in obtaining stable housing and work to ensure their basic needs are met.
For more information about the Ryan White Clinic, please go to TheWrightCenter.org or call 570-941-0630.
John Slater, of Covington Twp., has been named the environmental, social and governance (ESG) specialist at The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education.
A graduate of North Pocono High School and Colgate University, he has a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and astronomy, with minors in geography and economics.
ESG is a framework used to assess an organization’s business practices and performance on various sustainability and ethical issues. It also provides a way to measure business risks and opportunities in those areas.
In his role as ESG specialist, Slater will lead The Wright Center’s assessment of ESG compatibility as well as the successful development, execution, and evolution of the ESG vision, strategy, and implementation. He will help to integrate ESG policies and goals within The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education and play a key role in leading the impact through strategy development and implementation, assessing both risks and opportunities under several ESG topics.
In addition, Slater will partner with key internal teams to coordinate efforts that drive ESG principles across the nonprofit enterprise. He will analyze ESG activities at The Wright Center and provide recommendations to enhance the overall ESG strategy, methods, and related tools to achieve ESG objectives in the areas of energy and material consumption, responsible supply chain management, data privacy, and cybersecurity practices, human rights issues, and labor practices, and the welfare of patients, families, learners, staff, and communities.
The Wright Center is the nation’s largest Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Safety-Net Consortium funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education offers residencies in four disciplines – family medicine, internal medicine, physical medicine & rehabilitation, and psychiatry, as well as fellowships in cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, and geriatrics. All of its programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The Wright Center for Community Health serves as the cornerstone ambulatory care delivery service, providing training for primary care resident and fellow physicians in a community-based workforce development model that improves the health and welfare of regional communities by offering medical, dental, behavioral health, addiction and recovery services, and other supportive service lines, such as lifestyle and obesity medicine. By providing integrated care at convenient clinical locations in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties, The Wright Center for Community Health provides access to high-quality, affordable, inclusive health services to patients of all ages, income levels, and insurance statuses.
Dr. Ryan Rebar, a general practice dentist, has joined The Wright Center for Community Health and is accepting new patients of all ages.
Rebar will initially see patients at the Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave. Later in the year, he will staff a weekly pop-up dental clinic at the new Wilkes-Barre Practice, 169 N. Pennsylvania Ave., and provide care at the Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, and Scranton Practice.
Dr. Ryan Rebar
The Wright Center provides affordable, comprehensive dental services, including routine check-ups and cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, X-rays, oral cancer screenings, extractions, emergency services, and denture care.
The nonprofit health center accepts most dental insurances, including Delta Dental, Guardian, United Concordia, and Medical Assistance (aka Medicaid). To ensure high-quality oral care is available to everyone, The Wright Center offers a sliding-fee discount program to individuals who qualify based on Federal Poverty Guidelines that take into account family size and income. No patient is turned away due to an inability to pay.
A Lackawanna County native, Rebar is a graduate of Mid Valley High School and the University of Scranton. He received his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, the second-oldest dental school in the United States.
Since 2019, the South Abington Township resident has worked at private practices in the Scranton area.
The Wright Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, a designation granted by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
The Wright Center operates nine primary care practices in the region, including a mobile medical vehicle called Driving Better Health. Its practices offer integrated care, meaning patients typically have the convenience of going to a single location to access dental, medical, and behavioral health care, as well as community-based addiction treatment and recovery services.
Dr. Alberto Marante, a board-certified pediatrician, is accepting new patients at The Wright Center for Community Health’s recently opened primary and preventive care practice in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Dr. Marante, a highly experienced pediatric hospitalist, joined The Wright Center in 2019 and previously had been based in Scranton. He will treat infants, children, and adolescents.
The Wright Center for Community Health provides primary and specialty care for children of all ages, from newborn check-ups and wellness visits to vaccinations, school physicals, and overall anticipatory guidance through a child’s developmental stages.
Dr. Alberto Marante
Dr. Marante will continue to serve as pediatric physician faculty for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, assisting in the training of physicians who are completing its residency and fellowship programs. He also will be involved in the education and professional development of medical school students and interprofessional health learners based at The Wright Center’s clinical locations and its partner training sites.
Dr. Marante, a Cuban native who attended high school in Illinois, earned his medical degree in 1981 at Universidad CETEC in the Dominican Republic. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of South Florida School of Medicine in Tampa and his fellowship in pediatric critical care at the University of Florida’s program in Jacksonville.
The Wright Center for Community Health was designated a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike in 2019. It provides affordable, nondiscriminatory, high-quality health care to patients of all ages, income levels, and insurance statuses at its network of nine primary care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania. Its locations in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties offer integrated primary care, so patients typically have the convenience of going to one site to access medical, dental, and behavioral and mental health care, plus addiction and recovery treatment and other supportive services.