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Older Adult Isolation

Aired Monday, December 27th at 7pm on WVIA TV

Nearly 40% of seniors living in Northeast PA are living alone, and the lack of social connections often leads to loneliness. They are more likely to face issues such as loss of family or friends, chronic illness, vision or hearing loss. Pandemic shutdowns in 2020 have only exacerbated such isolation, but local organizations in Lackawanna County have come together to address this issue

Christine Marcos from the Moses Taylor Foundation explains a major initiative in the works

A Collaborative Approach to Solving Older Adult Isolation

United Way of Lackawanna & Wayne Counties is leading a collaborative of organizations working together to design a community system to reduce older adult isolation in Lackawanna County, thanks to a planning grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation.


Teri Ooms
 Executive Director, The Institute for Public Policy and Development

Jason Kavulich
Director, Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging

Gary Drapek
President and CEO, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties

Previous Episodes

About the Show

Healthcare is constantly changing as technology finds new and better ways to help people live longer, healthier lives. Host Tonyehn Verkitus will address the issues that are important to the people in our community, including the ongoing pandemic, concerns about vaccines, food deserts, childhood trauma and child abuse, mental health, environmental issues, and the rising cost of staying healthy with leaders and experts who are positively moving the needle in our region. Tonyehn's work as the Executive Director of the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies, a wholistic life coach, and founding member of the Africa Community Exchange will help her educate the community on health and food, community activism, and healing through self-care.

About the Host

Tonyehn Verkitus

Tonyehn Verkitus is the Executive Director of the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies. Her work in the nonprofit world has mostly centered on health and food though she also spent many years training organizations and communities on fundraising and telling their mission-based stories.

In 2007, Tonyehn along with other family members and friends started Africa Community Exchange, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support an effective model of education for youth and educators. Currently their work centers in Liberia with plans to expand to neighboring countries. Tonyehn also sits on the boards of the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education Department; WVIA Community Advisory Board; and leads professional education programs for the Luzerne County Opioid Task Force through the District Attorney’s Office.

As a Wholistic Life Coach and writer, Tonyehn is interested in the intersection between personal stories and community activism. As a person with many personal stories that shatter and empower she has developed and facilitated workshops on healing and reducing personal trauma through self-care and shared stories.

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