The Wright Center Launches Lifestyle Smartwatch Program with AllOne Charities’ Giving Tuesday

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement is launching a new high-tech program with the support of AllOne Charities’ annual Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, Nov. 30 that will provide long-term benefits for patients with chronic health conditions.

Held annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, AllOne Charities is sponsoring Giving Tuesday to incentivize supporters of regional nonprofit organizations and agencies to support their favorite charities through this special fundraising effort. AllOne Charities boosts fundraising efforts by matching the first $1,000 raised by each participating charitable organization and also offering an additional incentive of $1,000 each for the organization that raises the most money and secures the most unique donors.

Donations can be made in support of Giving Tuesday beginning Thanksgiving Day. All donations made from Nov. 30 until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1 will be eligible for the bonuses from AllOne Charities.

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement is purchasing the Fitpolo H709 smartwatch for patients who could not otherwise afford them. The smartwatch uses built-in features to track and monitor key aspects of the user’s life for a personalized health care data experience. The mobile technology features full touch screen capabilities that can also be accessed via a smart mobile app. The smartwatch’s life assistant monitors in real-time the user’s heart rate, steps, blood pressure and more. The watch collects data and transfers it to the patient’s electronic health records with the assistance of Humhealth technology that features 4G, Bluetooth integration.

The overall goal of the smartwatch program is to improve patient education, understanding, engagement and implementation of a healthy lifestyle. With remote patient monitoring, primary care providers are able to see how their suggestions have had a positive impact on their patients’ overall health, according to Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth, The Wright Center for Community Health’s chief medical officer and senior vice president.

“Gathering data in real time and compiling it is beneficial for our providers and residents as the entire empanelment team will have access to their medical data in between visits instead of just monitoring them at their office visits,” Sheth explained. “With the help of technology, we, as care providers, will be able to remotely monitor patients’ activity level, calorie intake and other vital data necessary for effective lifestyle change.”

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement serves patients in a five-county region through The Wright Center for Community Health’s eight primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties. The fundraising effort for Giving Tuesday will benefit the new Lifestyle Medicine program’s initiative to provide select patients who have chronic illnesses with healthy lifestyle smartwatches.

To support the new initiative on Giving Tuesday, go to, scroll down and click on the Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement logo.

“By donating to The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement, and contributing to our smartwatch campaign, you’ll be helping some of our patients to manage chronic diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Laurie LaMaster, associate vice president of The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement, “and provide our care teams with the data they need to serve our patients more effectively.”

The smartwatches program is part of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Lifestyle Medicine program that was introduced in 2020. The initiative works to prevent and reverse chronic debilitating diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension, by focusing on healthy lifestyles based on the six pillars of health: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, relationships and the avoidance of risky substances.

For more information about The Wright Center for Community Health’s Lifestyle Medicine Program, call the Scranton Practice at 570-941-0630 or go to

Geisinger Announces Plans for New $180 Million Orthopaedic Care Facility

Geisinger today announced plans for The Orthopaedic Center Pennsylvania, a new multi-floor, free-standing orthopaedic care facility. Geisinger is investing $180 million to bring world-class orthopaedic care to central and northeastern Pennsylvania – and beyond – in one location through the new specialty care center. The new facility in Buckhorn will be located off Mall Boulevard near the Columbia Mall, so community members don’t need to leave the area for advanced bone, joint and muscle care.

“As it’s aptly named, The Orthopaedic Center Pennsylvania will extend its services to patients across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Matt Walsh, Geisinger’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “This is Geisinger’s largest facilities investment for 2021, and one we’re thrilled to make, furthering our commitment to not only make better health easier for the communities we currently serve but also to extend these services to our neighbors throughout the state.”

Surpassing large-scale orthopaedic hospitals in major metropolitan areas, The Orthopaedic Center Pennsylvania will serve patients in central and northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond by featuring specialized operating rooms and a dedicated inpatient unit focused on recovery and mobility after surgery. An on-site outpatient clinic will focus on wellness, injury prevention and bone, joint and muscle health. Also planned are an imaging center and pharmacy, as well as outpatient rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy services.

“This project is more than a building. This is a whole new patient experience,” said Michael Suk, M.D., J.D., professor and chair of Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute. “The Orthopaedic Center Pennsylvania will be a one-of-kind facility in the region providing the highest level of orthopaedic care. Pennsylvanians don’t need to travel out-of-state for orthopaedic care. We designed the building by listening to the needs and wants of our patients and learning from their experiences. By bringing together specialized surgery options, advanced imaging, overnight recovery and personalized rehabilitation and sports medicine programs, our team-based approach will be singularly focused to make better health easier for our patients while also driving down costs by offering them care that’s closer to home.”

By moving orthopaedic surgeries and services out of the hospital, this new facility will create space in Geisinger Medical Center, Geisinger Woodbine and Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital so new and existing programs can grow within the hospitals and outpatient specialty centers. This also makes space available within Geisinger Medical Center as part of a multi-year effort to convert all inpatient units to private rooms.

The project is Geisinger’s latest investment in the Buckhorn area. The health system is also establishing a comprehensive primary care facility at its former Buckhorn Office Building, across Mall Boulevard from the future site of the orthopaedic facility. The primary care project will bring primary care services, a Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center, a ConvenientCare walk-in clinic, laboratory testing, imaging and a Geisinger Pharmacy to the region in early 2022.

“These investments in Columbia County are not only meeting the health needs of our neighbors where they live, but doing so with a focused and holistic approach,” said Megan Brosious, chief administrative officer for Geisinger’s central region. “Our patients will no longer need to travel outside the area for this level of care. Along with our planned primary care facility, The Orthopaedic Center Pennsylvania will complement the services we already provide in the surrounding region.”

Construction on the multi-floor facility is scheduled to being in early 2022 with anticipated completion in 2024.

The Wright Center Moderates Remote Panel Discussion About Health Records

“Sharing Data, Saving Lives: The Healthcare Interoperability Agenda” will premiere Friday, March 19, at 7 p.m. on WVIA-TV. Additional air dates include Sunday, March 21, 2 p.m.; Thursday, March 25, 9 p.m.; and Sunday, March 28, 3 p.m. This is the second episode in a four-part special series that delves into the importance of partnerships and pathways needed for physicians, hospitals — and even patients themselves — to be able to access electronic health records containing crucial medical histories anywhere and any time.

Healthcare interoperability means patient health information can be safely exchanged between labs, hospitals, pharmacies, primary care offices, etc., in order to advance the effective delivery of care. Interoperability makes it easier for medical providers to share patient information with one another and in real time. For example, a patient who is on vacation and falls ill may not be able to provide all details of his medical history, which can make all the difference to the emergency room doctor charged with his care.

Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, CEO of The Wright Center for Community Health and President of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, moderates a remote panel discussion that also includes:

  • Martin Ciccocioppo, Director of the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Program in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Marty Lupinetti, President and CEO of HealthShare Exchange, a health data hub with more than 10 million patients throughout the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley regions, including southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey
  • Kim Chaundry,  Operations Director for the Keystone Health Information Exchange, which serves more than 5.8 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“The ability to safely exchange and access your health information between your doctor, pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers in real time is extremely important, especially during a pandemic,” explained Dr. Thomas-Hemak. “It allows your primary care doctor to know, for example, that you tested positive for COVID-19, enabling your physician’s office to proactively reach out and provide appropriate care. 

“Interoperability also offers you easy access to your own health information, which is critical now that we have COVID vaccinations available,” Dr. Thomas-Hemak added. “It has the power to track vaccine administration, the type of vaccine administered, side effects, and to generate second-dose scheduling efforts. Without interoperability, patient care and safety are at risk, costs are higher and the transition to value-based care is jeopardized.”