COVID vaccines for young kids, new WMH auxiliary members and more

What's going on in health, July 7-13

Posted 12/31/69

COVID vaccine for young children at WMCHC

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) is now offering both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as …

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COVID vaccines for young kids, new WMH auxiliary members and more

What's going on in health, July 7-13


COVID vaccine for young children at WMCHC

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) is now offering both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as six months of age. This is in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation.
Vaccines are offered through WMCHC’s pediatric health centers.
The schedule is as follows: Pfizer only, for all ages, at Honesdale Pediatric Center, 1837 Fair Ave., Honesdale. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Make an appointment at 570/253-5838.
Moderna, for ages six months to five years only, at Waymart Pediatric Center, 27B Woodlands Dr., Waymart. Thursdays. Make an appointment at 570/488-9550.
Moderna for ages six months to five years only, at Sterling Pediatric Center, 62 Industrial Park Rd., Lake Ariel. Wednesdays. Make an appointment at 570/689-7565.
The Pike Pediatric Center in Lords Valley is not offering pediatric COVID vaccines at this time. However, it is expected to do so in the near future.
Pediatric vaccine administration is by office appointment only. Children do not have to be patients of WMCHC. Parents are asked to bring the child’s insurance card with them.
For information regarding COVID vaccine availability for adult patients, visit and click on “Schedule a COVID Vaccine” button at the top of the home page.
For more information on all WMCHC services, visit

Changing of the guard at Wayne Memorial Hospital

HAWLEY, PA — The Wayne Memorial Hospital auxiliary ushered in new officers and celebrated its volunteers during its annual dinner on June 6.
New auxiliary president Diane Popovich took over from outgoing president Melissa Rickard.
Popovich will now help lead the group out of the pandemic.
One of the auxiliary’s first new public events since 2020, a garden tour, takes place Saturday, July 9. See “Touring gardens with the Wayne Memorial auxiliary,” page 22.
The auxiliary also installed president-elect Joyce Malicky, vice president Michelle Corrigan, secretary Tami Baker, treasurer Diane Fox and assistant treasurer Danielle Hedgelon. All officers hold their positions for two years.
It’s been a rough couple of years for nonprofit fundraising organizations like the auxiliary, a statement noted. But members say their thrift shops—the Other Shop One in Honesdale and the Other Shop Two in Hawley—brought in enough income to continue to meet the auxiliary’s commitment to the hospital’s Second Century fund. The group pledged $600,000 over six years and kicked off the campaign in early 2019.
For more information, visit

New Hope Community honors staff

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — New Hope Community, recognized its staff for “their passion for enhancing the lives of those whom they support, their dedication to providing enriching experiences and their years of service with the organization,” a spokesperson said.
Rebeca Horner, day program direct support professional, has put in 23 years with New Hope. She received the Maxine Belson award for her contributions to the organization.
“Rebecca… provide[s] endless encouragement to the people she supports. She consistently boosts self-confidence in others and helps turn their dreams and goals into reality,” the spokesperson said.
Dina D’Angelo, direct support professional, has worked at New Hope for nearly a decade. She received the Fred Birnbaum award for being unconditionally accepting,tolerating thankless days with patience, and “going the extra mile” to help patients. A spokesperson added that D’Angelo works overnight shifts and is positive and optimistic, respectful and considerate for the people she cares for.
New Hope is a nonprofit group that provides person-centered services and supports for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
For more information, visit

COVID vaccines for the youngest

NORTHEAST PA — Infants and preschoolers are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and appointments can be scheduled for these children at several of the Wright Center for Community Health’s primary care practices.
The cohort encompasses ages six months to five years.
Federal regulators granted approval to using mini-doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna products to protect young children.
The approval means that about 18 million additional American children can become vaccinated against the very contagious and potentially deadly virus. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Parents and caregivers with concerns about the safety or effectiveness of the vaccines in young children should contact their health care provider to have a fact-based, non-judgmental conversation,” said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer of the Wright Center for Community Health. “At the Wright Center, we want our patients to make informed decisions about the care that they and their children receive.”
Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved for youngsters aged six months through four years. The shots for this age group are only one-10th its adult dosage and will be given in a three-shot series.
Moderna’s vaccine is intended for youngsters aged six months through five years. The shots for this age group contain one-quarter the dose of the company’s adult vaccine. It will be administered in a two-dose series, and the company expects to later offer a booster.
Vaccines for young children are available at two Wright Center primary care clinics. The Mid-Valley practice is located at 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn. Make an appointment at 570/230.0019. The Scranton practice is located at 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton. Make an appointment at 570/941.0630.
Pharmacists in PA are allowed to provide COVID-19 vaccines only to children aged three and up, according to the state Department of Health.
Parents and guardians seeking appointments for children under three years of age should contact a pediatrician, family doctor or other qualified physician.
For more information about the Wright Center’s services, including its COVID-19 vaccination, testing and treatment services, call 570/230.0019 or visit

Two nurses honored for 40 years of service

HONESDALE, PA — “I’m grateful for what I have here at Wayne Memorial,” said Beth Korb, manager of perioperative services. Korb and fellow nurse Lisa Kinzinger were recognized for 40 years of service at Wayne Memorial Hospital’s annual employee service awards dinner on June 15. They were among 90 staffers honored.
“So much has changed over the years,” said Korb,“but the people make it worth coming in every day. They’re like family.”
Kinzinger was unable to attend the ceremony, but Korb received a standing ovation—and she was touched.
This was the first service awards dinner held in person since the pandemic began.
“It’s like my family here,” agreed Patty Carcione, from radiology, who marked 10 years at the hospital. She was one of several employees who came to Wayne Memorial after the closure of Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale in 2012. “Wayne Memorial is small enough that you know the patients and the people who work in other departments. I like that.”
“We rely on each other,” said Stacie Sutton, RN, a 15-year awardee.
While acknowledging the hospital’s many expansions over the years, CEO Jim Pettinato said that center stage belongs to the staff. “It’s nothing about the buildings, equipment and supplies. It’s the skills and talent in the buildings and the people working together,” he said.

Wayne Memorial’s Lisa Champeau promoted

HONESDALE, PA — After more than 15 years as Wayne Memorial Health System’s public relations manager, Lisa Champeau has been promoted to director of communications and development.
The new post includes public relations and marketing, in addition to oversight responsibilities for community health, grants and development. She will also serve as director of the Wayne Memorial Health Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the health system.
Champeau joined Wayne Memorial after a long career in broadcast journalism, which included on-air anchor/reporter and writer/producer positions at CBS-WCBS, WPIX and HBO in New York City, National Geographic Television in the U.K. and, locally, at WNEP/Scranton-Wilkes Barre and WBNG in the Binghamton, New York area. She worked for AmeriCares and has written for various publications.
Champeau has one adult daughter and continues to live in Wayne County.

Healthy MOMS case manager presents paper at U.S. breastfeeding conference

NORTHEAST PA — Marcella Garvin, case manager of the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program (MOMS) at the Wright Center for Community Health, recently presented “It Takes a Village: Utilizing a Collaborative Approach to Promote Breastfeeding Among Women with Substance Use Disorder,” at the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee conference.
Garvin’s presentation focused on how the program educates mothers in recovery early in their pregnancies about the importance of breastfeeding their newborns. “Breastfeeding is strongly recommended for any new baby. However, women with substance use disorders have lower rates of breastfeeding. When a mother in recovery is utilizing medication as part of their treatment, babies can sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms,” she said.
The Healthy MOMS program aims to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms through intensive case management. Part of the collaborative approach includes providing mothers with education about the importance of breastfeeding early in pregnancy.
The breastfeeding rate increased almost 40 percent. “We have also seen that educating and providing mothers with support early in their pregnancy has resulted in better outcomes for their babies,” said Garvin.
Data from the program shows a lower incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in mothers who join the program more than 30 days prior to delivery, and lower incidences or severity in mothers who are breastfeeding. NAS is a withdrawal syndrome that can occur in newborns exposed to certain substances, including opioids, during pregnancy.
For more information about the Healthy MOMS program, call 570/955-7821 or visit

Garnet Health named top performer for LGBTQ+ healthcare equality

MIDDLETOWN, NY — Garnet Health Medical Center has been designated an LGBTQ+ healthcare equality top performer by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s healthcare equality index (HEI).
The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities and their policies and practices dedicated to the equal treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria in four categories: foundational policies and training in LGBTQ+ patient-centered care, LGBTQ+ patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and patient and community engagement.
To learn more about Garnet Health, visit

Oral meds for some COVID patients

NORTHEAST PA — The Wright Center for Community Health is following federal and state “test-to-treat” guidelines by providing certain patients with therapeutic treatments like Pfizer’s Paxlovid for COVID-19.
Paxlovid—which is available only by prescription—can substantially decrease the chances of severe symptoms in high-risk patients if it is started early in the course of infection, typically within five days of symptoms appearing.
Individuals 12 and older who test positive for coronavirus are eligible for the treatment if they meet certain criteria, such as having an underlying medical condition that puts them at increased risk for complications.
“Early treatment can make the difference between a relatively quick recovery and a much more difficult, potentially life-threatening, situation,” said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer of the Wright Center for Community Health. He noted that the health center has supplies of both Paxlovid and another antiviral medication, molnupiravir.
Possible side effects of the oral antiviral include an impaired sense of taste, high blood pressure, diarrhea and muscle aches. If you are taking other medications, talk with a health care provider about potentially significant drug interactions. Paxlovid is not recommended in patients with severe kidney or liver impairment.
For eligible patients, the Wright Center also continues to offer monoclonal antibody infusions. The therapy is FDA-authorized and has been shown to lessen the severity of COVID-19 symptoms for those deemed at increased risk of hospitalization.
Although several monoclonal antibody medicines have received the FDA’s authorization during the pandemic, only one, bebtelovimab, is currently continuing to be used because of its proven effectiveness against the omicron variant. Delivered via an intravenous “push,” the medication is administered to the patient in about two to six minutes, followed by one hour of observation in the clinic. The therapy is a one-time treatment.
For more information about the Wright Center’s health services, including its COVID-19 testing and treatment options, call 570/230-0019 or visit

The Wright Center, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Garnet Health, New Hope Community, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, Lisa Champeau, Healthy MOMS, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, paxlovid,


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