Celebrate National Health Center Week at The Wright Center Members News August 3, 2023 In observance of National Health Center Week, The Wright Center for Community Health will hold a series of special activities across the region including school backpack giveaways, a vaccine clinic, and a special flag-raising ceremony at its primary health care practice in Jermyn. The weeklong celebration, from Aug. 6 to 12, helps to draw attention to the critical role that community health centers play in strengthening our nation’s health and well-being by delivering high-quality, affordable primary health care to underserved populations. This year’s theme is “The Roadmap to a Stronger America.” The Wright Center is one of about 1,400 community health centers in the United States, which collectively serve about 30 million people annually. Community health centers represent the largest primary health care network in the nation. They deliver care to one in 11 people in the U.S., including one in three people who live in poverty, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers, organizer of National Health Center Week. During its observance, The Wright Center will celebrate its health care providers, board members, stakeholders, staff and, most importantly, the more than 41,200 patients across Northeast Pennsylvania who turn to it for their primary health and preventive care needs. The Wright Center operates 10 primary health and preventive care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties, including a mobile medical and dental unit called Driving Better Health. Together, these clinical locations offer a safety net for the region’s residents, ensuring that everyone in The Wright Center’s five-county service area has access to integrated medical, dental, and behavioral health services, regardless of their insurance status, ZIP code, or ability to pay. The Wright Center, like other community health centers across the nation, is a nonprofit, patient-governed organization that provides high-quality, comprehensive health care to rural and other medically underserved areas, treating all patients regardless of income or insurance status. More than 61% of The Wright Center’s patients fall at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines, nearly 32% are insured through Medicaid or CHIP, and just over 18% are insured through Medicare. As part of the weeklong celebration, The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, will raise the newly designed Jermyn Borough flag at a ceremony beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 11. The flag, designed in 2019 by borough resident Amy Ryczak, features a green cross that honors Jermyn as the birthplace of first aid. Speakers at the event will include Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, and state Rep. Kyle Mullins, who represents Jermyn as part of the 112th Legislative District. Other events planned at The Wright Center’s clinics and in the community for National Health Center Week include: Tuesday, Aug. 8: Backpack giveaway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Wright Center for Community Health Hawley Practice, 103 Spruce St., Hawley.Wednesday, Aug. 9: Back-to-school vaccine clinic with Driving Better Health mobile medical and dental unit, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hazleton Area High School, 1601 W. 23rd St., Hazle Township. Walk-ups are welcome upon vaccine availability, but appointments are preferred. Call 570-230-0019 to schedule an appointment.Saturday, Aug. 12: Backpack giveaway and children’s art activity, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., South Side Farmers Market, 526 Cedar Ave., Scranton. For more information about The Wright Center for Community Health, visit TheWrightCenter.org or call 570.230.0019.