Release Date: 08-06-2008 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, August 5, 2008)… “You are light years ahead,” Marty Raniowski told more than 100 people gathered for the local State Health Improvement Plan’s annual breakfast on July 25th at Ehrhardt’s in Tafton. Raniowski, the Director of the state’s Bureau of Health Planning, was praising those in the room for their commitment to the health and welfare of their communities in Wayne and Pike Counties. The audience was composed of healthcare providers, social service workers, business people, media representatives, schoolteachers, high school students, representatives of political officeholders and concerned citizens—a diverse group.
The local State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) partnership is called The Prevention Initiative and its lead fiscal agent is Wayne Memorial Hospital, which sponsored the event. Donna Decker, RN, Wayne Memorial’s Community Health Manager, welcomed guests and introduced speakers Julie Seiler, Chair of the Hospital’s Community Advisory Board, Raniowski and Gregory Bonk from HMS Associates. Bonk, who gave the keynote address, talked about the first-ever, two-county health and human services’ needs assessment study currently underway by his company.
“We are gathering both statistics and personal views from across six communities in Wayne and Pike Counties,” explained Bonk. “This study will be very much like an annual physical of the region. It will help us come up with the best solutions to meet the area’s critical needs in terms of capacity, community and feasibility…for example, if one part of the region has a lot of young people the need for reproductive services may be higher…if there’s a large immigrant