KINGSTON TWP. -- As part of an investigative project, six students from The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton are looking to see if a program proven effective in a hospital setting will work for a free clinic.
The students, along with The Hope Center, a free medical clinic at Back Mountain Harvest Assembly of God Church in Trucksville, are to determine whether medication therapy management can be used by volunteer health care providers in a clinic.
The program has, for the most part, been used only in hospitals for patients with insurance.
The students and Hope Center Medical Director Dr. Mary Roth will work with patients suffering from the chronic illnesses hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome to build treatment consistency.
Roth said that for chronic illness patients, especially those without insurance, the greatest threat to recovery is an erratic treatment schedule. She said that as the students work closely with volunteering physicians and Wilkes University pharmacy students dispensing medicines, patients will benefit from synchronized care.
Roth, also a physician at Geisinger Medical Center, said the hospital uses the management program and it has been highly effective partly because of regular visits and attention to routine medicine dosage.
‚??Because there‚??s consistency, people are more likely to take better care of themselves,‚?Ě she said.
The students will work at the clinic each Monday during regular clinic hours for six months before they must report on their findings.
TCMC student Zach Wolfe said the care-quality improvement project will keep patients from slipping through the cracks.
Jonathan Seward is an undergraduate pharmacy student at Wilkes and has been volunteering at the clinic since high school. He said that, as it works now, it is difficult aligning medication with other treatment for chronically ill patients.
He said the new program will improve treatment results as prescriptions will be methodically integrated with lifestyle adjustment education from physicians.
The Hope Center Director Ron Hillard said staff members are looking to improve the way they administer care.
He said, of the 60 to 70 patients they see weekly, many need regular care, and the therapy management program will help to make their efforts more efficient.
‚??Each patient has a different disease process,‚?Ě Hillard said.
The Hope Center
Address: 340 Carverton Road, Trucksville
Staff: 31 volunteers
Services: General medicine, vision, audiology, dental hygiene, chiropractic, legal counsel, spiritual care
Hours: Medical Clinic -- Monday 6 - 8 p.m.
Other services are by appointment. Contact The Hope Center for more information at (570) 696-5233.