We deserve better. We can do better.
Pike County is only 1 of 2 counties in all of Pennsylvania without a local hospital. As of now, the closest Pennsylvania hospitals are in Scranton, Lehigh Valley, Wilkes Barre, and Wayne. Unfortunately, all locations are at least an hour's drive away for most of us, which makes scheduling and attending appointments to see specialists or to receive life-sustaining treatments extremely challenging.
Have you wondered why our district lacks healthcare facilities that accept Pennsylvania insurance? Historically, NJ-based Atlantic Healthcare tried to expand services to our area, but they didn't take PA insurance, and most residents could not afford to pay for services out of pocket.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have access to high-quality healthcare within a reasonable driving distance from home? Unfortunately, our representatives in the 139th have wholly neglected this issue in the past. I plan to join the conversation directly with county commissioners and local hospitals to help speed up negotiations for branch expansions to our area. Bringing local hospital access to the 139th will be a top priority.
Pike lacks advanced life support (ALS) services, which puts our neighbors at risk when a serious injury or medical emergency occurs. Additionally, our local EMS services are underfunded and cannot be fully staffed around the clock. Reliance on neighboring townships for assistance to supplement coverage can mean unacceptably long wait times in situations where every minute counts.
I plan to join the conversation with our county commissioners to explore opportunities to bring ALS to our district and ensure our ability to fully fund round-the-clock ambulatory coverage in all townships in the 139th.
As a former volunteer emergency responder, I know how stressful and demanding their jobs are. However, communities depend on their availability and responsiveness to save lives. Therefore, we must seek a budget for paid full-time Paramedics and EMS response teams.