I am writing as the mother of a teenager with multiple disabilities and medical problems. We love our home and community, but the lack of access to specialty and emergency care is a huge problem for our family and families like ours. Pike County is one of only three counties in Pennsylvania without a hospital, and the only one without an urgent care.
Emergencies can of course happen to anyone, but this issue disproportionately affects people with disabilities and chronic illness. Our emergency services are wonderful, but they are simply spread too thin and don’t have access to the Advanced Life Support and care so many of us may need. When my daughter needs emergency care, I don’t call our EMS, I stabilize and transport her myself to our nearest hospital in Newton, NJ, a 45 minute ride from my home. I am fortunate to have the training to do so, but I think often about other families in the area and how it must feel for them when a child suddenly needs a hospital. Or a retiree who needs care, or anyone with a recurring chronic life-threatening condition.
I’ve had the opportunity to hear candidates Meg Rosenfeld (candidate for PA House 139) and Mayor Tarah Probst (candidate for PA House 189) speak on healthcare access in NEPA. Meg and Tarah understand that healthcare access is a top priority. Our region has been neglected for too long, by politicians who don’t seem to understand the real struggles families, including families with disabilities, have been faced with, every day. Please vote on or before November 8 (we often vote by mail - convenient for our family, given our challenges), for Meg Rosenfeld or Tarah Probst, representatives that will work hard to bring needed funding for health care and emergency services to our neglected districts.