Leadership Central Penn Goes For a Check-Up

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by USG, Bloomsburg University, Kawneer and SEKISUI SPI.

Leadership Central Penn reached its last class of the year, and it found itself visiting Geisinger and the Ronald McDonald House of Danville.  The topics for the day included current healthcare issues facing Geisinger and patients in the region, the history of Geisinger and what the healthcare market looks like with the changes in government regulation. 

The day kicked off with an introduction and welcome by Deb Templeton and Bob Davies at the Foss Home.  The class learned a little about the history of Geisinger, and how this renowned healthcare organization ended up in Danville. There is a lot of folklore about this story, but the facts are as advertised: Abigail Geisinger wanted the best for the area in healthcare. Being one of the only people in the area with a car at the time, she got to see the needs and suffering of people around the region, as the car was used as an ambulance. This ignited the passion that propelled her to “make it the best” hospital possible. 

Of course, many know that Geisinger is an integrated system with 13 hospitals, a drug and alcohol treatment center, 200 clinics and 33,000 employees. All of these facilities increase demand for electricity, which is being met by coal, natural gas and nuclear power. However, Mike Gerrity told the group about another way to meet this demand — innovation.  Geisinger has substantially lowered its energy demand over the years through green and LEED certified buildings, solar power, lighting retrofits, a cogeneration plant, and the steam turbine chiller project. Geisinger’s energy costs through these efforts have resulted in a drop from $4-$6 per square foot, for the average hospital, to $1.19 per square foot. It has saved 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually due to cogeneration, two million kilowatts of energy are saved with the chiller project and more energy is saved everyday with the previous stated efforts. All of this makes the air we breathe healthier, our water cleaner and our health better. 

The next presenters, Rachel Manotti and Sam Balukoff, provided data and the opportunity to discuss the healthcare market and the current issues in our area. The data helped frame the needs in our area related to healthcare, so that we had a local understanding of why decisions on the provider and insurer side are made. The class also got to question some of the care decisions as community members. The hot topic was the opiod epidemic and how Geisinger is dealing with this. What was shared is that the patient’s needs and the standard of care are always the focus for the system. However, there is also government regulation that can cause slowdowns in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. One error or change can easily require pages and pages of process implementation, which even the electronic health record can’t correct from an efficiency point of view.

After a lunch break, the class boarded the tour bus with Bob Davies for some more history and a Danville driving tour of Geisinger’s facilities. The tour showcased the growth over time of the fields that are now pediatric clinics and outpatient facilities at Woodbine Lane, the vast fleet of helicopters that transfer critical patients in and out of Geisinger, and even the old limestone pillars, long thought lost, from the original hospital entrance. Many take for granted the opportunities offered by Geisinger as an employer, health care innovator and leader, and local provider of care. After experiencing the intimate experience, this class won’t soon forget the value that Geisinger offers to our region.

Once the class wrapped up at Geisinger, it was off to the Ronald McDonald House for a discussion on pediatric advocacy with Dr. Amanda Beach, pediatric resident. Dr. Beach made an impassioned presentation on the needs of children. The most impactful on the group was the need for better mental health screening and access. The class learned of the changes from the American Academy of Pediatrics to assist pediatricians in doing mental health assessments and short term interventions to assist the children in their care. However, even in our area, sometime kids that need mental health services are delayed due to a lack of access from limited providers locally and nationally. 

The final opportunity for the day was a discussion about the families served by the Ronald McDonald House and the new Ronald McDonald Family room located within the Janet Weis Children’s hospital. These facilities allow families to be close to their children when they travel here for their care. The house has a slogan, “we keep families with sick children together.” The tour allowed the class to see the facilities of the house that allow families to have some “home” comforts while helping their children deal with their health concerns. The home has served 380,000 guests from 65 of 67 counties in PA, 34 states and 27 countries since 1981.

Health Savings Account Annual Contribution Limit Change

From ChamberChoice

On April 26, 2018, the IRS announced that, for 2018, taxpayers with family high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage may treat $6,900 as the annual contribution limit to their health savings accounts (HSAs).

Earlier this year, a tax law change for 2018 reduced the HSA contribution limit for individuals with family HDHP coverage from $6,900 to $6,850. After this change was announced, the IRS received complaints that the $50 reduction would be difficult and costly to implement.

The IRS has now decided to allow taxpayers with family HDHP coverage to use the original $6,900 limit for HSA contributions for 2018, without facing excess contribution penalties.   

House Passes Key Regulatory and Permitting Reforms

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

A package of bills that would offer commonsense, long overdue reforms to Pennsylvania’s regulatory and permitting processes cleared the state House last week. 

The bills are part of a broad effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and clarify what are often described by the state’s regulated community as confusing, unpredictable and lengthy permit approval processes. 

“Fundamental and thoughtful change to the state’s regulatory development and permitting process is necessary to ensure that Pennsylvania’s government is operating with respect to the constitutional separation of powers, and that further clarity and predictability is provided to the regulated community as they work to complete projects in communities across the Commonwealth and grow our economy,” PA Chamber President Gene Barr said a statement applauding House lawmakers for passing the legislation.

A brief description of each bill is as follows. All three now await consideration in the Senate.

House Bill 209 — establishes an Independent Office of the Repealer to conduct periodic reviews of the state’s regulations and recommend efficiencies and repeals.

House Bill 1792 — amends the Regulatory Review Act to ensure that the legislative branch, through its respective standing committees, has proper oversight of the various executive agencies developing and finalizing regulatory rulemakings.  This includes appropriately considering public comment, adequately demonstrating statutory authority, accurately balancing costs and benefits and faithfully exercising the delegation of powers by the legislative branch by conforming to legislative intent and statutory language.

House Bill 1959 — provides transparency throughout the permitting process and affords state agencies the ability to contract with third parties to assist in clearing permit backlogs.

Promote Your Business to New Bloomsburg University Students

Local businesses are being invited to sponsor prizes for the Husky Prize Patrol during the summer orientation experiences for new Bloomsburg University freshmen, new transfer students, and their families. The Husky Prize Patrol is a spirit-based set of contests designed to generate enthusiasm around the new students’ life as a Husky.  The University is interested in partnering with local businesses as a means of introducing the new students and families to not only the campus community, but also the local Bloomsburg community.

For every prize donated, the business name, services, and location will be introduced to 600-800 new students and families daily. With six orientation dates, the University is asking for a minimum donation of six prizes, or multiples of six, to have consistency with the spirit competitions day-to-day. Anyone with questions can contact Kayla May, assistant director of New Student Orientation, at 570-389-4659 or email. If you do wish to participate, prizes are needed in hand by Friday, June 8, and can be picked up or mailed to Bloomsburg University, 400 East Second Street, 112 Elwell Hall, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301.

2017-18 Leadership Central Penn Class to Hold Graduation May 17 at Pine Barn Inn

Chamber members and the public are invited to attend the Leadership Central Penn graduation luncheon as the LCP class of 2018 completes the Chamber’s annual community leadership program for working professionals, which is run by the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber

Date: May 17, 2018
Location: Pine Barn Inn, Danville
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The year’s keynote speaker is Ed Edwards, former president of the Columbia Montour Chamber, who retired in 2010. A full buffet lunch will be served and the cost is $25 per person. See the menu, register and pay online, or by calling 570-784-2522. 

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by Kawneer, SEKISUI SPI, Bloomsburg University and USG. Members of the Leadership Central Penn Class of 2018 include:

The 2017-18 class at its first meeting/retreat back in September.

Matt Beltz
Columbia Montour Chamber

Tamara Collae
PPL Electric Utilities

Stephanie Gryboski

Vanessa Hales

Sharon Haverlak

Brandi Hoffman
Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Jordan Ikeler
First Keystone Community Bank

Amanda Jarski
First Keystone Community Bank

Michael Maylath
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Eric McCabe
Bloomsburg University

Scott Near

Jalon Orzolek

Brandon Stauffer
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Teresa Peters
For the Cause

Brian Rakauskas
Girton Manufacturing

Adam Robinson

Candy Ryan
Bloomsburg University

Carol Walters
Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Rhonda Wieners
The Hope Center

McKayla Zimmerman
First Columbia Bank & Trust