It’s not a new issue, nor has it never been discussed before: Expanded health care services in northern Dauphin County. Local residents have pondered solutions for years. More recently, however, they’ve been joined on that journey by students from Hershey-based Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Those students have made SCOPE, a community health care initiative, available to advocates working through the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center and The Valley Lighthouse.
The intent is a win-win situation for the region and the medical students, according to Ben Watt, who spoke on behalf of the entire SCOPE team. Watt is a second-year medical student at the College of Medicine and a SCOPE board member. SCOPE wants ‘‘to empower both (local residents) and (students) by connecting them in the pursuit of greater access to preventive health services and clinical care.’’ ‘‘In the short term, some of our goals are to: meet people in their own neighborhood and listen to their needs and ideas; provide free flu shots; offer free health screenings for colorectal cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes; and educate people about healthy lifestyle habits,’’ Watt added. ‘‘In the long term, we hope to: establish a free student-run clinic to serve patients with financial barrier to care and connect them to physician volunteers with a tele-medicine model; inspire student doctors who will work in rural areas; and
SEE HEALTH CARE • PAGE A8