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Health Department Targets Opioid Crisis and Medical Debt in PA

The Department of Health is focusing on identifying effective programs to guide future opioid-related spending, aiming to address the extensive impact of the opioid crisis on families and communities. Acting Secretary Debra Bogen emphasized the importance of considering the opioid issue as one that affects not just individuals but entire families and communities. In Allegheny County, over 1,000 children, including those under 5, have lost a parent to overdose, reflecting a widespread problem that likely extends to other counties as well. Annually, over 5,000 Pennsylvanians die from drug overdoses.

The Department is working to enhance early intervention services and is exploring successful strategies by examining families who have overcome opioid-related challenges. Additionally, the Department is launching a pilot medical debt relief program aimed at assisting Pennsylvania residents burdened by medical debt, with plans to purchase and forgive the debt in collaboration with nonprofits. This initiative is in response to the state’s 1 million residents facing a cumulative medical debt of $1.8 billion.


Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

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