SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf visited Scranton Primary Health Care Center on Thursday to discuss the ways that the federally qualified health provider has contributed to the helping Pennsylvanians access the COVID-19 vaccine.
Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti applauded the work of Scranton Primary, as it has been a community asset for four decades. Cognetti also thanked the staff for being an institution that has done so well getting vaccines into arms of NEPA resident’s during the last few months.
“Scranton Primary Health Care Center is one of many doing incredible work serving the most vulnerable populations in communities across Pennsylvania,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “As a federally qualified health center, the center has had a big role in ensuring that vulnerable populations in northeastern Pennsylvania are being vaccinated. The dedicated staff members who work here have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, and it is an honor to meet the team and highlight the important work they are doing.”
Joe Hollander, Scranton Primary CEO, said he was thrilled that Governor Tom Wolf chose to come to Scranton Primary to see the work the institution is doing to help citizens of the commonwealth. As a federally qualified health center, the staff understood they had a duty to help the community and remained open from the early days of the pandemic. The center pivoted and began to offer COVID testing, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars for rapid testing.
Governor Wolf says the Lackawanna County region is very well represented in Harrisburg, in a multitude of ways, including the work of Representative Bridget Kosierowski who was present at Scranton Primary on Thursday.
“A little over a month ago, I was appointed to serve on the COVID-19 Legislative Taskforce,” Rep. Kosierowski said. “I will admit this was a very scary task. At the end of the day, we were faced with the task of coming up with recommendations on how to allocate a vaccine supply that simply did not meet the demand.”
Together the state COVID task force has worked to break down barriers with getting vaccines into arms. Wolf said this is being made possible by those working hard at Scranton Primary, serving our most vulnerable populations.
As the only federally certified health care center in Lackawanna County, the dedicated staff have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, Wolf said. Scranton Primary has taken innovative and effective approaches for vaccination. The team is committed to helping vulnerable populations that may not have access to the vaccine.
The team at Scranton Primary is also in close contact with their patients, along with reaching out to those who are not patients, who need to be vaccinated.
Hollander explained that staff with the center visited a local senior high rise Wednesday to vaccinate seniors that wanted to receive one. Governor Wolf said this is an incredibly effective way to get vaccine into arms.
Those at the center say they were thrilled when the Department of Health called in December 2020 to announce that their COVID vaccination permit was approved. They say they continue to work diligently to find a balance in vaccinating their patients and other residents in the community that want to be vaccinated.
Wolf discussed vaccine rollout in the state, each week allocation keeps growing and each week they continue to vaccinate more Pennsylvanians.