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A New Year for Health

Airs Thursday, January 28th at 8pm on WVIA TV

The new year has arrived. While 2020 presented an array of challenges to our health, 2021 can be a chance to rebuild and set goals to live healthier.

While many of us likely set resolutions to exercise, eat healthy or lose weight, we can’t get healthier on our own. Our communities can set goals to improve public health through their own initiatives to make healthier living possible.

How can our cities improve the health of their residents? An initiative known as Blue Zones believes we can apply the methods that have worked in areas across the globe where people live their longest and healthiest, and communities in Pennsylvania are working to apply the Blue Zone model to give their residents access to a healthy lifestyle.

Locally, Geisinger’s Springboard Health project believes that targeting preventive care, behavioral health and economic growth can improve community health.

Stay tuned for more on these programs and how they can improve our area in this new year of 2021.


Gus Fahey

President, Valley in Motion

Brian Ebersole

Senior Director, Springboard Health

Melissa Lyons

Director of Public Health, Erie PA

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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