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The student leaders of the Primary Care Progress chapter at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) invite the community to gather at the school on Saturday, May 11 to discuss prescription drug affordability with healthcare providers and other community members.

The purpose of the event is to provide the community with a way to communicate with providers and policymakers about their challenges in accessing prescription drugs and adhering to recommended medication regimens with the hope that the ensuing dialogue will spark constructive change.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 525 Pine Street, Scranton.

According to organizers, Katarina Smigoc and Terrence Habiyaremye, “Let’s Talk About Change: Prescription Affordability” is the result of preliminary research the medical students undertook to identify a health problem of particular concern in the Scranton area and then to assess the public’s experiences and attitudes surrounding it. The research revealed that the cost of prescription drugs is a significant challenge to many members of the community.

GCSOM students are partnering with the Hope Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the United Neighborhood Centers and The Wright Center to plan “Let’s Talk About Change: Prescription Affordability,” which will consist of patient stories, group discussions and a question-and-answer panel discussion. Sarah Bodnar, director of community health at the United Neighborhood Center, will deliver a keynote address.

Primary Care Progress is a national action network dedicated to supporting the next generation of health professionals in transforming the nation’s primary care system. The Catalyst Project is a Primary Care Progress initiative through which students investigate community health needs and facilitate discussion between community members and healthcare professionals.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is requested. Please RSVP by leaving a name and contact number via email to pcpatgcsom@gmail.com or by calling or texting 570-291-8474.

Agenda for the event:

  • 8 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and registration
  • 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. Introduction – What is Catalyst?
  • 8:45 – 9 a.m. Prescription affordability in Lackawanna County
  • 9 – 9:30 a.m. Keynote address: Sarah Bodnar, director of community health,UNC NEPA
  • 9:30 – 10 a.m. Patient stories
  • 10 – 10:30 a.m. Q&A with Sarah Bodnar and patients
  • 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Small group facilitated discussion
  • 11:30 – Noon Reconvening and call to action
  • Noon – 1 p.m. Lunch

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit www.geisinger.edu/gcsom.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country. Learn more at geisinger.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

GCSOM Let’s Talk About Change: Prescription Affordability event, May 2019
The student leaders of the Primary Care Progress chapter at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) invite the community to gather at the school on Saturday, May 11 to discuss prescription drug affordability with healthcare providers and other community members. Seen from left are Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students, first row, from left: Lauren Schumacher, and Danielle LaPointe. Middle row, from left: Laina Gagliardi, Elizabeth Stackhouse, Sneha Vaddadi and Molly Kropp. Top row, from left: Mike Belko, Alice Thompson, Katarina Smigoc and Terrence Habiyaremye.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
ezygmunt@som.geisinger.edu
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