Children Can Combine COVID Vaccine with Pictures with Santa

The Wright Center for Community Health is combining holiday tradition and spirit with an important public health initiative in December to ensure every family member in Northeast Pennsylvania can safely celebrate the joyous holiday season.

“Pictures with Santa,” will enable children of all ages to carefully recite their wish list to the jolly old elf, as parents snap pictures of the treasured moment and participate in one of the vaccine clinics.

The Wright Center will be offering the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children, ages 5-11, with their parent’s permission, and vaccines for adults.

The holiday-themed events will be available free to the public at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, on Friday Dec. 3 from 2-5:30 p.m., and Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The pediatric Pfizer vaccine will be available at both vaccination clinics. The Moderna vaccine will be administered at the Scranton Practice and the Mid Valley Practice will have the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people who are 12 and older.

To schedule a vaccine appointment at the Scranton or Mid Valley practices, please go to TheWrightCenter.org and click on the “make an appointment” link at the top, center of the page and follow the directions. 

The vaccine clinic will be available simultaneously at both locations during “Pictures with Santa.” Parents can choose to have their children vaccinated before visiting Santa or after the annual tradition. The special event enables children and their families to participate in the holiday festivities in a safe and socially-distanced manner and meet Santa for a picture. Guests are invited to capture the special moments with their personal cameras. 

COVID-19 masking will be required for everyone who participates in the event. 

“Vaccination is the best tool to keep ourselves and our children safe from COVID-19,” said Geraldine McAndrew, the director of Patient & Community Engagement “We carry our mission directly into the communities we serve, and hope to take the opportunity to encourage children and families to get vaccinated.”

To reserve a time for a photo with Santa, please call McAndrew at 570-267-4199 or email her at McAndrewG@TheWrightCenter.org.

Booster Shots Available Through Wright Center

The Wright Center for Community Health is now administering booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults. Anyone 18 and older who received their Pfizer or Moderna primary vaccine at least six months ago or received a Johnson & Johnson dose at least two months ago can make an appointment.

Adults seeking a Pfizer booster can make an appointment at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn. Moderna boosters are available at all other Wright Center locations, including, Clarks Summit Practice, 1145 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township; Hawley Practice, 103 Spruce St., Hawley; Kingston Practice, 2 Sharpe St., Kingston; Scranton Counseling Center, 329 Cherry St., Scranton; Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton; South Franklin Street Practice, Wilkes-Barre, and West Scranton Intermediate School-Based Health, 1401 Fellows St., Scranton.

To make an appointment, visit TheWrightCenter.org or call 570-230-0019. 

Wright Center Collaborates to Offer Paid Scholarship Program

The Wright Center for Community Health and the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement are collaborating on a paid scholarship program that will educate, train and employ up to 10 medical assistants for the regional health care provider.

The scholarship program prepares individuals for a rewarding career in health care without out-of-pocket expenses for tuition. The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement offers a one-of-a-kind training model that combines flexible online learning with a paid internship in a primary care clinical setting over 29 weeks. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older with a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. The scholarship is worth $6,000.

Students will also receive personalized training with experienced medical professionals at The Wright Center for Community Health during the clinical portion of their education while earning $10 per hour. After completing the educational component of the program, students will sit for the National Healthcareer Association Medical Assistant examination to receive their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant credential. Students who complete the national training program have an 85% pass rate.

The 10 students who accept the scholarship will be eligible for employment at The Wright Center for Community Health’s practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties, which serve patients in a five-county region. New medical assistants will receive $18 per hour upon successfully completing the program and passing the certification examination, and agreeing to a two-year commitment to work at the local health care provider.

 A medical assistant is responsible for assisting doctors and nurses in providing care to patients in hospitals, offices of physicians and other health care facilities. Duties could include recording and updating medical histories and contact information in patient files, scheduling patient appointments and performing standard care procedures, such as taking blood samples, measuring and recording vital signs, and more.

The employment outlook for medical assistants is projected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 104,400 openings are projected annually, on average, over the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship program is Sunday, Nov. 14. Interested applicants can apply at nimaa.edu/admissions. Call 570-230-0111 for more information.