– The legislative hearing about rural health care challenges and solutions scheduled to be held Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will now be held virtually, said House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) and House Health Committee Chair Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest).
Members of the public who may have been planning to attend the hearing in person should instead watch it live at PAGOPPolicy.com
. It will begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19.
The change to a virtual format is due to concerns about the increased spread of COVID-19 and winter weather that will impact in-person attendance by members from other areas of the state. In the last two weeks, McKean County has seen as many as 70-80 new cases of COVID-19 per day. Causer, who is fully vaccinated, was among those testing positive for the virus late last week and has been quarantining at home during his recovery.
“No matter whether our members and testifiers are here in person or virtually, it will not take away from the value of this much-needed discussion,” Causer and Rapp said. “We are confident the hearing will help lawmakers from across the state better understand the unique challenges faced by the health care providers in our rural communities and more importantly to generate solutions to meet those challenges.”
The virtual hearing will feature testimony from hospital administrators, including those from UPMC Kane, UPMC Cole, Warren General Hospital and Kaleida Health; area health care providers; and rural health care advocacy organizations. Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter is also scheduled to testify.
Others are invited to submit written testimony about their concerns or suggestions. Testimony may be dropped off at any of Causer’s district offices in Bradford (78 Main St.), Coudersport (107 S. Main St.) or Kane (55 Fraley St.), or it may be emailed to email@example.com.