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Primary Care: The First Line of Defense

Monday, February 27th at 7pm on WVIA TV

When was the last time you saw your primary care doctor? Reliable access to a primary care physician is a key component of overall health. The role of a family or primary doctor has evolved and in some cases, become even more integral in leading a healthy life, even as some barriers to access persist.

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Wasique Mirza, MD, FACP
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Wasique Mirza, MD, FACP, was born in Pakistan, where he completed his medical education. He immigrated to the United States for post graduate training and was trained at Mount Vernon Hospital, N.Y., for residency training and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine for a hypertension fellowship.

Since 1999, he has been working as an internist in northeast PA, and since 2005, as medical director at Scranton Primary Healthcare Center, which is the only federally qualified health center in Lackawanna County. He has been involved in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine from its inception in the role of clinical faculty and regional clerkship director for medicine for the North Campus.

He currently holds the title of associate professor of medicine and is the program director for the Geisinger Northeast Internal Medicine Residency Program at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

His extracurricular interests include writing, including op-eds in the local newspaper about current affairs, especially in the healthcare field. He is also interested in fiction and non-fiction writing, with a novel and a historic review of a physician organization to his credit.

Teresa Lacey, RN, BSN, CPHQ
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers

In her more than 30-year healthcare career in northeast Pennsylvania, Lacey held various leadership positions encompassing behavioral health, emergency services, inpatient care, home health and quality improvement.

She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Behavioral Health Initiative at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton for six years. She was the Senior Vice President of Operations / Quality & Safety and Human Effectiveness at The Wright Center Medical Group & Center for Graduate Medical Education, Scranton, for three years. Lacey also spent three years as the Chief Operating Officer for Emergency Services and Smart Operational Solutions in Dunmore. Earlier in her career she was employed by Scranton’s Community Medical Center where she spent seven years as the Director of Nursing after being promoted from Director of Clinical Outcomes & Quality Management. Prior to that, Lacey held management positions in the areas of Quality Improvement and Home Health for Mercy Hospital also located in Scranton.

Kristen N Follert, M.S.
NEPA Community Health Care

Kristen Follert is a graduate of Goucher College (B.A.) and Loyola College (M.S.) She began her healthcare career with Johns Hopkins Hospital as a mental health counselor. After relocating to Pennsylvania, Kristen’s career path shifted, and she began her journey into healthcare administration. During her 6 years with NEPA Community Health Care, Kristen has contributed to many health center projects including the organization’s oral health in primary care initiative, medication-assisted treatment service for OUD patients, launching NEPA CHC’s Care Management service line and Dental service line. Her commitment to the community health center program has been the most rewarding and fulfilling endeavor of her career.

In her time away from the office, Kristen enjoys shuttling her 3 children to and from their many extracurricular activities, volunteering in her community, and relaxing at home.

Support for Keystone Edition Health comes from the Moses Taylor Foundation