HARRISBURG – Recognizing the need to ensure quality health care remains available to citizens across rural Pennsylvania, House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) and House Health Committee Chair Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) will host a public hearing in Bradford next week to discuss rural health care challenges and proposed solutions.
The hearing will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 9:30 a.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in the University Room at the Frame-Westerberg Commons Building, 300 Campus Drive. The public is invited to attend.
“Our rural health care system is truly in critical condition, and we must take action to ensure it survives to meet the immediate and long-term needs of citizens in communities like the ones I represent,” Causer said. “We are all aware of the changes that have taken place in Bradford recently and that has understandably raised concerns among local residents and community leaders, but rural hospitals across Pennsylvania are struggling. Beyond hospitals, staffing shortages and financial difficulties are also impacting other types of health care facilities, including nursing homes, long-term care facilities and home care providers. For the sake of our citizens and the health of our communities, we must find a new path.”
The lawmakers said the goal of the hearing is two-fold: to gain greater insights into the challenges facing rural health care facilities and discuss potential policy solutions to ensure rural residents have affordable and accessible care when they need it.
“We are blessed by many hard-working and devoted doctors, nurses and other health care providers, but there are simply not enough of them,” Rapp said. “I am hopeful the hearing will generate some ideas to address this ongoing problem and other issues impacting our ability to ensure quality health care remains available in our communities.”
The hearing will feature testimony from hospital administrators, including those from UPMC Kane, UPMC Cole, Warren General Hospital and Kaleida Health; area health care providers; and rural health care advocacy organizations. Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter is also scheduled to testify.
The lawmakers noted others are invited to submit written testimony about their concerns or suggestions. Testimony may be dropped off at any of Causer’s district offices in Bradford (78 Main St.), Coudersport (107 S. Main St.) or Kane (55 Fraley St.), or it may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the second in a series of hearings hosted by the Policy Committee to address health care challenges. The first was held late last year at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Video of the prior hearing, as well as a live stream of the upcoming hearing, will be available at pagoppolicy.com
Representative Martin T. Causer
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
67th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler