Mar. 07, 2019

Three Susquehanna and Wayne County Hospitals Selected for New PA Rural Health Model

Barnes Kasson and Endless Mountains hospitals, Susquehanna County, and Wayne Memorial Hospital, Wayne County, were among five rural hospitals chosen to participate in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model this week.

I am pleased to see that the administration has chosen to include three of our local hospitals to take part in this Rural Health Model. It is important that we do what we must to ensure our rural hospitals remain ready to serve, operate efficiently, and enhance quality of life in our communities.

The Rural Health Model is an alternative payment method, offering hospitals a comprehensive budget payment alternative. The multi-partner payer model will include private and public insurers. This model is the first in the nation that looks to ensure the financial viability of hospitals in rural areas across the Commonwealth.

Other participants selected for this model include:

   • Jersey Shore in Jersey Shore, Lycoming County.
   • UPMC Kane in Kane, McKean County.

Gateway, Geisinger, Highmark, Medicaid and UPMC will be the initial private insurance payers of this model.

This is the next step in transforming health care delivery in Pennsylvania.
House Appropriations Hearings Come to a Close


This week marks the end of the 2019 House Appropriations Budget Hearings. We have gained a lot of information in the past several weeks from the various agencies that testified before us. I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to help craft a responsible and beneficial budget in the weeks ahead. Please be on the lookout for my full budget hearing recap in next week’s email update.

Susquehanna County Ag Day at the Elk Lake School District

I had a fantastic time at the Susquehanna County Ag Day, which was held at the Elk Lake School District and hosted by Penn State Extension and the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau. It was a full day that began with a legislative question and answer. I was joined by Sen. Gene Yaw, Rep. Tina Pickett, and county commissioners Alan Hall and Betsy Arnold.

 Pictured from left is Brian Non, me and Joe Hunt.

Here I am pictured with Susquehanna County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Alan Hall.

 Lastly, I am pictured here with my dear friend and President of the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau, Jim Barbour.

Supporting PA National Guard Families

Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.

The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for the guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.

The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.

The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).

The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Resources to Help with Problem Gambling

With March being observed as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery highlighted the warning signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

Gambling can become a problem when a person develops strained relationships with loved ones; borrows money to gamble; gambles to get a “high”; or misses work, school or other activities and obligations in order to gamble.

In the Commonwealth, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania works to educate Pennsylvanians on compulsive and problem gambling to prevent development of dangerous gambling habits. It operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at

Click here for more information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem. Click here to find information about treatment options.
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend

Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years. Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 3.

Free Admission at Several State Museums Sunday

This Sunday, March 10, is Charter Day – a day to celebrate Pennsylvania’s 338th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History this Sunday.

Visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. In addition to the charter, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.