The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions Publishes Article by Wright Center’s Meaghan Ruddy, Ph.D., and Brown University/Harvard Medical School’s Hedy S. Wald, Ph.D.

Meaghan Ruddy, Ph.D., Chief Research and Development Officer for The Wright Center for Community Health and Senior Vice President of Assessment and Advancement for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, co-authored an article with Hedy S. Wald, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a faculty member of Harvard Medical School’s Global Pediatrics Leadership Program, that was recently published by The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

Their article, “Surreal Becomes Real: Ethical Dilemmas Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Professional Identity Formation of Health Professionals,” examines fundamental quandaries of clinical and biomedical ethics for healthcare professionals, committees and systems have been raised into stark relief by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the article’s abstract: “The nature and extent of critical issues raised by this ongoing crisis, including challenging ethical dilemmas for the healthcare profession, is likely to have an indelible impact on the professional identity formation (PIF) of learners and practitioners across the trajectory of the professional lifecycle. The lifelong process of PIF for health care practitioners, from learner through independent practice, is supported in medical education by intentional reflection, relationships within the community of practice include guidance from mentoring, as well as resilience, both emotional and moral. We consider how grappling with ethical dilemmas related to the COVID-19 pandemic can challenge, inform, and even potentially transform the PIF process, thereby supporting development of a morally resilient, humanistic professional identity in health care trainees and health care professionals.”

Click here for the link to the article.

About The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (JCEHP): JCEHP is the official journal of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, and the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education. Its mission is to publish articles relevant to theory, research, practice and policy that contribute to the continuing professional development of individuals and teams of healthcare professionals and the health professions.

An Open Letter in Passionate Support of the Nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine

When President Joseph R. Biden nominated Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary for Health, he took a courageous and visionary leap towards a healthier, more equitable nation. As a Pennsylvania primary care physician, medical educator and executive of a graduate medical education safety net services consortium and mother, I commend and fully support the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine. In my humble opinion, Dr. Rachel Levine is amongst our greatest contemporary public health minds, so this appointment offers a great blessing to our country.

Dr. Levine has proven to be a bold, compassionate, competent public health leader throughout every step of her career — from building academic care delivery systems to improve comprehensive adolescent health services and most recently, through her role as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, fearlessly leading nationally significant statewide responses to the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic.

Through our organizational engagement as a Pennsylvania Opiate Misuse Center of Excellence and Coordinating Center for Medication Assisted Therapy, I have personally witnessed her demonstrated, unwavering commitment to being the change needed in the medical profession’s and governmental leadership by reliably doing what is right; making disciplined, evidence-based, and often painful sometimes unpopular decisions; and leading through or without consensus after generating crucial, inclusive, and transparent communication. My shared public health experience with and mentorship by Dr. Levine has inspired both my personal primary care career progression to board certify in and practice addiction medicine and also the focused efforts of The Wright Center for Community Health to become a recovery, whole person care oriented system.  Our collective work in Pennsylvania under the leadership of Dr. Levine notably and proudly reversed the direction of opioid overdose death rates. Countless lives have been saved, thousands of provider care teams have received robust training in addiction medicine, and stigma has begun to be dismantled as a result of her meaningful contributions and leadership. 

Compassion, optimism, and active listening are cornerstones of Dr. Levine’s leadership style. She began her tenure with the Pennsylvania Department of Health by traveling the Commonwealth to listen to clinicians, community health workers, patients and families about their experiences with substance use disorders and opioid overdoses. These proximal-to-the-problem experiences brilliantly informed her three-pronged, comprehensive prevention, rescue, and treatment strategy to address the opioid epidemic. This competent approach of a compassionate public health leader has poised Dr. Levine to scale her successful work in Pennsylvania to the complex health outcomes and access disparities challenging our nation.

Pennsylvania has been deeply fortunate to have Dr. Levine as a calm, qualified clinician, leader and advocate throughout the past several years. Dr. Levine will be a powerful voice for all people in America. Although Pennsylvania will miss her direct leadership and guidance immensely, our nation will be in excellent hands as we craft the path out of the pandemic and through this new chapter of addressing our ongoing complex health challenges and the long view impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD
President & Chief Executive Officer

The Wright Center for Community Health Receives Grant from Robert H. Spitz Foundation

Scranton, Pa. (Oct. 9, 2020) – The Wright Center for Community Health has received an $8,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to enable its Community Health Workers to assist patients who are coping with a variety of hardships that can impact their healthcare.

Grant funding will be used to help individuals overcome economic barriers, such as lack of nutritious food or transportation to medical appointments, so patients can focus on addressing health issues. The Wright Center’s Community Health Workers will also connect patients with a variety of community resources, such as GED programs and job training.

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports initiatives and programs serving the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania, is administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Robert H. Spitz was born in Scranton and was a 1955 graduate of Scranton Central High School and the University of Miami. Before retirement, Mr. Spitz had been employed by the U.S. Department of Labor and owned several local restaurants. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation was established from his estate in 2015.

The Wright Center was one of 42 nonprofit organizations in Northeast Pennsylvania selected to receive grants during the Spitz Foundation’s 2020 funding cycle, which collectively distributed $771,000.

Pictured, from left, are staff members from The Wright Center for Community Health: Sydney Rentsch, Community Health Worker; Keri Macknosky, Certified Community Health Worker; Kari Machelli, R.N., Director of Case and Care Management Services; Kayla Kincel, Community Health Worker; and Whitney Cooper, Community Health Worker.

(Editor: Please note only Keri Macknosky’s title should be preceded by the word “certified.”)

Driving Better Health

This latest innovation in healthcare delivery will increase COVID-19 testing availability for hard-to-reach neighborhoods and those areas most affected by virus outbreaks. With support from over $112,000 in grant funding from the CDC Foundation, we’ll be deploying the mobile unit to the Greater Hazleton area, one of Northeast Pennsylvania’s hardest hit regions during the pandemic, to assist with COVID-19 testing, outreach and education.