Now open at 30 Baldwin Blvd. in Shamokin Dam, the Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center is a $3.4 million investment of a redesigned space bringing together under one roof all the health care components those 65 and over frequently need. Available to Geisinger Gold (Medicare Advantage) members, 65 Forward offers members appointment times of up to 60 minutes and access to wellness, fitness and social activities virtually or in a relaxing environment.
Members have access to a team of health care professionals, including nurses, nutritionists and a personal health care advocate who can assist with coordinating care between specialists, hospitals and insurance.
“This Shamokin Dam 65 Forward Health Center is the first of its kind in our area, bringing together concierge-type primary care with a focus specifically catering to the needs of seniors,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger president and chief executive officer. “Our experience with 65 Forward has shown us that its participants are healthier and require hospitalization and emergency department services less frequently. It’s yet another way we’re making better health easier. We can’t wait for the communities in and around Shamokin Dam to share in the experience other 65 Forward participants in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton areas have enjoyed over the past year.”
Geisinger data shows the 65 Forward program has a satisfaction rating in the 98th percentile. The program and its first central Pennsylvania location has received wide-spread community support, including from state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver and state Sen. John Gordner.
By bringing a comprehensive set of the most-used health services by Geisinger Gold members into one location, 65 Forward enrollees have access to lab services, X-ray services, behavioral health services, community support services, outpatient services and pharmacy home delivery all at one time. This can mean fewer trips to the emergency room or the hospital by managing health within the doctor’s office.
Since opening the first 65 Forward locations in 2019, Geisinger data shows members are 2.5 times less likely to need care in an emergency room. Additionally, 65 Forward members are meeting or exceeding national benchmarks for diabetes care and blood pressure control when compared to those in traditional primary care settings. Members are living healthier lives by lowering Hemoglobin A1C levels and with better blood pressure control are reducing the risk of stroke, heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.
Primary care physicians with 65 Forward will see a maximum of 450 patients, compared to the national average of 2,000-3,000 patients per primary care physician. The more intimate patient experience means doctors can focus on early detection and discussion of possible health concerns and better care management of complex, chronic and other medical conditions.
“We’re meeting our members where they are by offering so much all under one roof,” said Kurt Wrobel, Geisinger Health Plan president and executive vice president of insurance operations. “By investing in programs that align medical care and insurance coverage, we’re doing what’s best for our patients and members to make care easier. We are able to lower costs and provide a unique experience for our members to support them and keep them healthy.”
Gary Kemberling, D.O., and Blake Garmon, M.D., are the 65 Forward providers at the Shamokin Dam location. Dr. Kemberling joined the program following his decades providing care at Geisinger Selinsgrove, and Dr. Garmon joined the program following years as a primary care provider in central Virginia.
The 65 Forward program in Shamokin Dam is enrolling new patients. Those interested in touring the new location or enrolling in the program can call 866-237-0152 or visit geisinger.org/ForwardNewsShamokinDam to learn more.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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