ISSUE 228 | October 20, 2023

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Program Houses Disabled and Elderly Veterans with Host Families

Instead of placing veterans – either elderly or disabled – into nursing homes, the Wilkes-Barre Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) is rolling out a program to house veterans with families.

Margaret Maurer, Wilkes-Barre VAMC’s Medical Foster Home Program coordinator, is piloting the project for NEPA and Central PA, which already has 490 homes and 750 veterans housed nationwide.

She said the program gives veterans the small things they’d miss, such as home-cooked meals, if they were housed in traditional long-term care facilities, like home-cooked meals.

Click here to read the full article

Philadelphia Poised to Become the First City to End Unlawful Medical Deportations


A bill that aims to end the unlawful practice of medical deportations was introduced to the Philadelphia City Council on September 28.

If approved, the ordinance will be the first legal framework in the U.S. to prevent hospitals from deporting non-citizen patients who are ill or critically injured in order to avoid paying for their long-term medical care.

The bill would create a mandatory protocol for any hospital in Philadelphia trying to repatriate patients to their home countries, a legitimate practice when done with the informed consent of the patient but often turned into unlawful medical deportation when a non-citizen is removed through coerced consent.

Click here to read the full article

PA Funds Projects and Studies to Develop More Recreation Opportunities


Funding awarded to local organizations and municipalities will support feasibility studies for walking and biking paths.

These efforts will help rehabilitate and develop parks, increase access, and allow for the installation of playground equipment.

As part of a $52 million investment in recreation and conservation projects, $8 million is allocated for projects in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, including conservation activities in Scranton and the development of a new park in Hazleton.

Click here to read the full article

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Kaiser Permanente Workers Achieve Wage and Staffing Concessions

Kaiser Permanente and a coalition of unions reached a tentative deal to end the largest healthcare labor dispute in U.S. history.

The new contract aims to address staffing shortages with raises that will increase 21 percent over the next four years.

These salary increases are intended to bolster retention of current workers.

Click here to read the full article

Black Residents in Rural Alabama Demand Sanitation Equity

Lowndes County, Alabama is at the forefront of a landmark federal environmental justice case that could establish sanitation access as a civil right.

The U.S. Justice Department intervened after several groups filed a complaint under the Civil Rights Act alleging racial discrimination in the way Alabama wastewater infrastructure favors centralized sewer systems over on-site sanitation.

The Environmental Protection Agency has also opened a civil rights probe.

Click here to read the full article

A Unique Program in Bogota Supports Unpaid Family Caregivers

Manzanas del Cuidado (Care Blocks), a groundbreaking city-led social program launched in Bogota in 2020, offers an array of free services to any unpaid caregiver .

Each city block is home to a menu of services, including wellness and professional training, and situated within a short walk for residents in neighboring areas.

The objective of the program is to alleviate the often-invisible burdens on family caregivers – the vast majority of whom are women – and help them pursue their own interests, including education and paid employment.


Click here to read the full article

Research Spotlight: Last year, The Institute's Jobs, Economy, and Economic Development (JEED) Task Force released a study of caregiver barriers to workforce participation in Northeastern Pennsylvania. These barriers disproportionately affect women. Use the link below to learn more.

Read the full study here

Research Institutions
Relaying Relevant News & Research to Local Stakeholders