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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

WILKES-BARRE - Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was honored as “Outstanding Academic Institution/University” at Volunteers in Medicine’s (VIM) annual appreciation luncheon on Feb. 27. Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, president and dean, accepted the award on behalf of the school.

“Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is honored by its partnership with Volunteers in Medicine and humbled to receive this award,” Dr. Byerley said. “In so many ways, the work VIM does is a real-world example of what we teach in our curriculum. Our school recruits medical students eager to serve the community, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Volunteers in Medicine is a shining example of those ideals.”

Volunteers in Medicine provides free quality healthcare and dental services to the working low-income uninsured populations in northeastern Pennsylvania. The patients who receive free services from the interprofessional staff and volunteers at VIM are working, not eligible for Medicaid and can't afford healthcare insurance. VIM’s mission is to deliver comprehensive quality care to this population “with the utmost respect and dignity.”

Geisinger Commonwealth partners with VIM to deliver an ambulatory clerkship — a hands-on clinical learning experience — for third-year students. In addition, student-led research projects designed to deliver measurable results for VIM are being planned for first-year students.

Community immersion is a central tenet of Geisinger Commonwealth’s medical school curriculum. Students are required to meaningfully advance the health and wellness goals of the school’s community partners. Immersion in these experiences builds an understanding of community needs and how medicine can partner make better health easier for individuals, families and entire neighborhoods. 

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

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