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Star Community Health Celebrates 5 Years of Providing Care to Underserved Patients

Star Community Health - KC Easton

This winter, Star Community Health is celebrating its fifth anniversary of meeting the health care needs of underserved individuals and groups in our community, including the uninsured.

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This winter, Star Community Health is celebrating its fifth anniversary of meeting the health care needs of underserved individuals and groups in our community, including the uninsured. A Federally Qualified Health Center Look Alike (FQHC-LA), Star Community Health provides family medicine, pediatric, women’s health, dental and case management services at 12 locations in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and with four dental vans serving 32 schools in Bucks, Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Star Community Health has a diverse staff of doctors and residents from 27 countries on staff. Its providers and staff members speak more than 13 languages. And while Star Community Health serves more than 45,000 patients annually, each patient is recognized as being unique, with the Star Community Health Team developing specific care plans to meet each individual’s needs.

Star - Jose Rivera and Cindy Knecht

Jose Rivera of Allentown and Star Community Health care manager Cindy Knecht, RN, MSW, reunite at Star Community Health Sigal Center in Allentown. During a routine check-in call, Knecht realized that Rivera was very ill and called the ambulance; an action Rivera’s doctor said saved his life. (Contributed photo)

Jose Rivera, who has diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been coming to Star Community Health at the Sigal Center in Allentown for years. When his girlfriend–who managed his care–passed away about a year ago, Star Community Health social worker Cindy Knecht knew Jose could use help. She began calling him every two weeks to make sure he was doing well. During a call earlier this month, Jose told her he was very cold. He sounded off, so she called an ambulance which took him to St. Luke’s Allentown Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a staph infection. According to the physician, if Jose hadn’t come in, he would have died.

“She saved my life,” Jose said. “I don’t think I would be alive today without her. She’s on top of my appointments and always gets me what I need.”

Robin Geiger, a 63-year-old widow raising her twin grandchildren, has brought the children to Star since they were babies. Her granddaughter, Sunny, has several health and developmental conditions, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and gastroenterological (GI) disorders and epilepsy. The Star Community Health staff helped to diagnose her conditions and align her with medical specialists.

Star Community Health - KC Easton

Grandmother Robin Geiger watches as case manager Terry Gregg, RN, talks with her twin grandchildren, Sunny and Tizlam Gordon, at Star Community Health Pediatrics in Easton. (Contributed photo)

Sunny had her first epileptic seizure when she was less than a year old, and her most recent one a couple of years ago.

“She was fine, sitting at the table, and all sudden she fell off her chair,” said Robin, who had epileptic seizures starting when she was 17. “I held her until the ambulance squad came and talked to her because I know you can hear during a seizure. I wanted to let her know I was there.” The ambulance crew took Sunny to St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, where after a thorough evaluation she was released.

“After that, Star took care of us and sent us in the right direction,” Robin said. The Star team helped Robin schedule appointments with specialists at St. Luke’s Pediatric Specialty Center in Center Valley.

Star Community Health social worker Rose Schenk also helped Robin connect with community organizations and helped her apply for services for which she is eligible. When her oven was broken, she even reached out to a local appliance store that gave Robin a new one.

“It gets a little hectic for me,” Robin said. “Thank goodness for Star Community Health, because I don’t know where I would be without them. I think my head would be spinning.”

Star Community Health sees patients through every stage of life; while in the womb, during childbirth and delivery, as newborns and new moms, and through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and the senior years. It even provides home visits when needed. It has nine specialty practices: Podiatry, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Colorectal, Vascular Services, ENT, Rheumatology, Urogynecology and Endocrinology, which includes diabetes management. Star Community Health also has some of the best diabetes control statistics in Pennsylvania, and is ranked in the second decile nationally for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

About Star Community Health

Star Community Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) affiliated with St. Luke’s University Health Network. Services include primary/family medicine, women’s health, pediatrics and dental services. It also assists patients in assessing community health services. As an FQHC, Star Community Health focuses on meeting the needs of underserved individuals and groups within the community, including uninsured and underinsured people, those experiencing homelessness, agricultural workers, public housing residents and veterans.

This community health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.


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