Health care center near completion
Greenfield Twp. facility caters to patients in rural parts of two counties.
Three years after a Greenfield Twp. man lost his life in a car accident, a health center in his honor is nearing completion.
When staff at the Andrew C. Mazza Memorial Health Center began seeing patients in April, the building was only about half finished. Since then, staff have handled more than 1,300 patient visits in the two exam rooms and a behavioral health room.
Construction on the second half of the center at 127 Route 106 in Greenfield Twp. is slated to be completed within two months, said NEPA Community Health Care CEO Mary Wetherall. The work will add a triage room, two additional exam rooms for primary care, three additional offices for mental health and a dental exam room with four spaces, she added.
Although construction will be finished on the dental room, the equipment is still being fabricated, and the center expects to install it in the fall, Wetherall said.
“Everything just takes so much time,” she said.
The center, which caters to rural patients in northern Lackawanna and southern Susquehanna counties, came to fruition after the community rallied together, raising nearly $90,000 to help fund the project in honor of Andrew Mazza. The 23-yearold died in a car crash in February 2016 when a vehicle he was riding in went over an embankment and overturned in a stream in Gibson Twp. Trapped in the car, Mazza held another passenger above water in a pocket of air.
For Phillip Mazza, seeing the health center bearing his son’s name being so close to completion is “fantastic.”
“We planted the seed a couple years ago. It’s good to see it grow,” he said. “We always knew that there was a need in the general area, and I think it’s a very good thing that you don’t have to travel far for health care.”
The health center offers primary care for newborns through the elderly, psychiatric care and behavioral health services, Wetherall said, adding that they are also beginning a medicationassisted treatment program for those struggling with addiction.
Right now, the center employs nine people, including two full-time registered nurses, a full-time licensed clinical social worker, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a physician, she said. By this time next year, Wetherall hopes to have added another full-time nurse practitioner and about eight dental workers, including at least one dentist and various dental hygienists and assistants.
From start to finish, construction of the center will total about $450,000, Wetherall estimated. The Moses Taylor Foundation committed $300,000 in grant funding to pay for the expansion.
NEPA Community Health Care is also working with Temple University to bring dental students and residents to the center to provide experience working in a rural area with the eventual hope of bringing more health care professionals to the region, she said.
Although Dawn Ziegler resigned from her seat as vice president of NEPA Community Health Care’s board of directors, she “couldn’t be more proud” of how the center has grown. Ziegler, who knew Andrew Mazza, originally proposed the idea to build a health center in his honor.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” she said, adding that she hopes people will think of Mazza when they go to the center. “It’s a place of wellness and healing.”
Contact the writer: flesnef[email protected]rock.com; 570-348-9100 x5181; @flesnefskytt on Twitter
Mary Wetherall, the CEO of NEPA Community Health Care, stands in what will house a doctor’s office, two psychiatry and behavioral health rooms, a dental room and three more exam rooms at the Andrew C. Mazza Memorial Health Center in Greenfield Twp.