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    Scranton, Pa. (Jan. 5, 2021) - The Wright Center for Community Health has received an $8,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to enable its Community Health Workers to assist patients who are coping with a variety of hardships that can impact their healthcare.

    Grant funding will be used to help individuals overcome economic barriers, such as lack of nutritious food or transportation to medical appointments, so patients can focus on addressing health issues. The Wright Center’s Community Health Workers will also connect patients with a variety of community resources, such as GED programs and job training.

    The Robert H. Spitz Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports initiatives and programs serving the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania, is administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Robert H. Spitz was born in Scranton and was a 1955 graduate of Scranton Central High School and the University of Miami. Before retirement, Mr. Spitz had been employed by the U.S. Department of Labor and owned several local restaurants. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation was established from his estate in 2015.

    The Wright Center was one of 42 nonprofit organizations in Northeast Pennsylvania selected to receive grants during the Spitz Foundation's 2020 funding cycle, which collectively distributed $771,000.

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    Pictured, from left, are care team members from The Wright Center for Community Health: Sydney Rentsch, Community Health Worker; Keri Macknosky, Certified Community Health Worker; Kari Machelli, R.N., Director of Case and Care Management Services; Kayla Kincel, Community Health Worker; and Whitney Cooper, Community Health Worker.
    (Editor: Please note, only Keri Macknosky’s title should be preceded by the word “Certified.”)

    The Wright Center’s mission is to improve the health and welfare of our community through inclusive and responsive health services and the sustainable renewal of an inspired, competent workforce that is privileged to serve. This mission is carried out in two complementary entities: The Wright Center for Community Health (TWCCH) and The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education (TWCGME).
    TWCCH is a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike with a growing network of nine existing community health centers throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties that provide safety net, comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare, including medical, dental, mental health/substance abuse and Ryan White HIV services, to medically underserved populations regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
    TWCGME is the largest, national Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Consortium that is dedicated to training compassionate, highly skilled physicians in community immersed clinical learning networks collectively striving to address our nation’s physician shortage and related healthcare access disparities.
    For more information, visit TheWrightCenter.org.
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    Administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the Spitz Foundation annually awards grants to nonprofits that conduct work in one of its four priority areas, which includes "programs that aim to break the cycle of poverty, remove economic barriers, and encourage independence in adults and children through access to safe, affordable housing, transportation, education, and other important issues." Other priority areas are Jewish culture/community, veterans' affairs and animal welfare.
    Scranton Area Community Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all people in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the development of organized philanthropy. With assets of more than $44 million and more than 200 charitable funds, the Scranton Area Community Foundation distributed over $2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019. Additionally, through its foundation management services offered to other private and public foundations, the Scranton Area Community Foundation manages assets of more than $31 million and distributed an additional $1.2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019 through assets under management. It proudly leads various initiatives including Women in Philanthropy, the Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, NEPA Moves, and the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at www.safdn.org.

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