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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 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 (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) 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 in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation. The school also has over 440 graduate medical students in 24 residency programs and 19 accredited fellowships. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. For more information, visit, or connect with us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.


About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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