Rural Healthcare Today

My husband and I spent six hours in the hallway in the Emergency Department at Robert Packer Hospital last week. He is alright now; he had been sent there by his primary care doctor due to concerning symptoms. There were no rooms available in the Emergency Department. In fact, we were told that there were no rooms to be had anywhere in the hospital. ICU patients were using Emergency rooms and every other available room. So, they situated my husband, along with six other patients we could see, on a bed in the hallway. They gave me a chair so I could sit with him, between him and the next patient.

All of my husband’s health assessments took place in the hallway in full view and easy earshot of the other patients and hospital staff. We saw and heard everyone else’s health assessments as well. We heard the story of a motor vehicle accident told and retold. We heard full names, birth dates and test results of other patients clearly. We witnessed everyone’s depression and domestic abuse screenings. We heard and saw an elderly woman crying in pain for over an hour with no privacy for her suffering.

What’s the point of this story? Let’s set aside the immediate cause of this situation, an influx of COVID cases. Let’s set aside the flagrant (HIPPA) privacy violations. Staff were making the best of a bad situation, a situation largely outside their control.

Let’s look for the root cause of the problem. The root of the healthcare crisis in rural Pennsylvania is the market. There is no competition in healthcare in rural Pennsylvania, even when there are alternative providers within a reasonable distance.

Bradford is a border county. New York is less than ten minutes from the hospital in Sayre. From our house, in Warren Center, there are four other hospitals with Emergency Departments just as close as the one in Sayre. They, however, are all in New York and they are all out of network for our insurance.

Regional medical groups, like Guthrie, have swallowed up all of the competition within the county. They absorbed the Troy Community Hospital and Memorial Hospital in Towanda making them the only hospital provider in the county. Insurance barriers restrain us from seeking care across state lines, where Lourdes, UHS and Arnot Health all have hospitals with Emergency Departments.

What encourages these medical monopolies to flourish? Our healthcare and health insurance regulations. Begun in 1945 and continued despite efforts at reform, the current healthcare and health insurance system encourages regional monopolies. It limits patient choice and drives up cost.

We need change.

SMASH for Charity

Beginning at 5:30pm, join us for a Social Mixer in The Break Room lounge and adjoining restaurant for light refreshments and good conversation with many of our guest speakers for Perspectives on Freedom. No pre-registration required. A $10 donation is requested at the door to cover help cover expenses. Any proceeds from the Mixer will be split between the two charities.

SMASH: Beginning at 7pm (Space is Limited)
Register for a 15-minute SMASH session in either Spike’s Room or Tasha’s Room in The Break Room!

SMASH Premium Registration: $35 An individual 15 minute SMASH session, just you plus either Spike or Tasha in the room.

SMASH Regular Registration: $20 A 15 minute SMASH session, you plus 2 other regular registrants in the room with either Spike or Tasha.

Who will raise the most $ for their charity? Spike’s Charity is Transitional Living Centers, Inc. Tasha’s is A Community Clinic, Inc.

Tasha’s Room
Spike’s Room

For both registration options you will get with a plate you can write on and other items to smash with a baseball bat! You must sign the liability waiver to participate. The Break Room provides all safety equipment.

All proceeds from the SMASH for Charity & Mixer benefit Transitional Living Centers, Inc of Williamsport, PA and A Community Clinic, Inc of Sunbury, PA. Click on their names to visit their websites.

Picture Rocks, PA

This was a slow week for miles, but I made it 7 miles down the road to Picture Rocks, PA!

67 miles down and 216 to go in my virtual walk to DC!

You can join me! (CLICK HERE) Sponsor my miles or collect donations yourself! We are on a path to bring real representation back to the House of Representatives!

My miles do double duty! #LT4CWalkstoDC #CartersHope4Mito

Click here to learn more about Carter Lackey Memorial Miles.

The corn is coming along beautifully along Rt 220 just north of Picture Rocks, PA!

Loyalsock Trail

6 miles more in my virtual Walk to DC, I have just 238 miles to go! I’m heading south on Rt 220 in beautiful Sullivan County, PA! Follow my virtual journey here and sponsor my miles.


The journey continues! I made it to Wyalusing, PA this week!

3 weeks into the walk, 24 miles down, 259 to go in my virtual walk to Capitol Hill in DC. Watch for posts to follow my avatar as I log my miles!

Here I am on the corner of Church and Main Streets in Wyalusing! #LT4CWalkstoDC

You can sponsor my miles or join me and collect sponsors yourself. We have until Election day, Nov 2, 2021 to get there!Here’s the link to join the fun!…/lt4c-walk-to-dc#lt4c

Made it to LeRaysville

I was hoping to get to LeRaysville by this past Tuesday, but was slowed down by a sprained ankle…ugh. Made it today though!

9 miles down, 274 to go in my virtual walk to Capitol Hill in DC.

Watch for posts to follow my avatar as I log my miles! Here I am in beautiful LeRaysville, PA in beautiful Bradford County, just 9 miles from my home in Warren Center!


You can sponsor my miles or join me and collect sponsors yourself. We have until Election day, Nov 2, 2021 to get there!Here’s the link to join the fun!…/lt4c-walk-to-dc/