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Health assessment for Wayne, Pike; Mental health, drug abuse services needed

By Fritz Mayer
July 31, 2013

NORTHEAST PA — A community health needs assessment for Wayne and Pike counties and the Carbondale area has been completed with support from Wayne Memorial Hospital, PPL and other organizations and individuals to determine the health needs of residents.

The assessment determined that, “People most in need of primary care services were those with no or limited insurance and people with low incomes.”

Another finding of the assessment is, “Additional health service capacity is needed for mental and substance abuse care (especially children and youth), specialists for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and skeletal and dermatological problems.”

Access to healthcare was a need that repeatedly cropped up. “Additional support service capacity is needed for transportation, counseling and assessments, help understanding medical care and support groups.”

Much of the information gathered was based on extensive interviews with residents of the region. Among the comments, “Access to Care (55% of comments) was the dominant theme, with major concerns about mental health, primary care services and specialty care needs.”

The assessment took place during the first half of 2013 and was guided by a 17-member advisory committee representative of health, education and government capacities serving the Northeastern Pennsylvania area. Committee members included Senator Lisa Baker, Wayne County Commissioner Wendell Kaye and Pike County Commissioner Rich Caridi.

Areas with need for additional capacity

Comparative need among six service types that received approximately 7% or more of the highest need rank:
Mental health services 10.3%
Specialists for cancer 9.0%
Neurology 8.4%
Substance abuse services 8.0%
Specialists for heart disease 7.2%
Specialists for diabetes 6.9%