News and Events from CHATID


May 2019, Awarded Alliance for Disability in Healthcare Education Scholarship

The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education (ADHCE) provides a scholarship for a program/project that promotes the ADHCE Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education. CHATID was awarded this to carry out their project which is a one-hour session with a focused discussion on the health care experienced by patients with disabilities as an educational intervention for health care professionals. The goal of the project is to enhance health care providers’ knowledge on disability etiquette to provide inclusive and respectful care for this patient population.   The specific target population are primary care practices in the NEPA region. If you would like to learn more about this project, or are interested in the outcome, please email CHATID directly! Final outcomes will be reported following completion of the project!


5/10-5/12/19 AADMD Research Presentation

CHATID members Douglas Wells, Avisha Shah, and Emily Herman attended the annual American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry conference in Rochester, NY to present their research on Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students which lead to the data that supported the NCIDM grant. They were apart of a team that created a survey to assess the medical students’ attitudes towards caring for individuals with disabilities. This data determined medical students and the surrounding community would benefit from National Curriculum In Developmental Medicine (NCIDM) grant. For more information on the survey and more detailed results, please email CHATID directly!

January 2019, NCIDM Grant Awarded

During 2018, a team within CHATID work hard in conjunction with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine to apply for the Nation Curriculum Initiative in Developmental Medicine (NCIDM).  The NCIDM is a five-year partnership between the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and Special Olympics International (SOI), with resources from a cooperative agreement funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the NCIDM project is to provide training to medical students in the field of developmental medicine—the care of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) across the lifespan. We were selected to receive a $25,000 grant to implement curriculum enhancements aimed at addressing gaps in medical education regarding serving patients with IDD. We are very excited to get started and begin educating the future physicians so that we may one day no longer experience these barriers to care!

12/15/18 South Wilkes-Barre Residents' Association

 The South Wilkes-Barre Residents’ Association, along with Firwood United  Methodist Church, hosted a special needs Christmas brunch at the church  Saturday. This project was spearheaded by one of CHATID's members, George Brown! CHATID is excited to be a part of the community and looks to maintain activity in all parts as wellness is more than just someone's medical state, it one's entire life experience. 


10/24/18 Educating Healthcare Team for Local Health Center

As part of previous research done with CHATID, several local health care facilities requested further education on how to provide adequate care for their patients with disabilities. Thus, CHATID worked to present an educational training sessions on how to care for individuals with disabilities i using one of its wonderful members Diana Smaglik, and her son Billy so present this wonderful learning experience.

During this hour presentation, Diana and her son Billy shared their health care experiences and through their personal reflection, they shed light and the qualities that made their experience positive, as well as areas where they would like to see improvement. They also spent time with Doug Wells and Emily Herman talking about etiquette for different disabilities and the importance of person-first-language in the clinic. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers were enlightened on the ways they could improve their practice to make an impactful change for the care of this population! If you would like to learn more about this presentation and possibly find out how to receive such a presentation, please email us at!



Emily Herman, an enthusiastic and new CHATID member, presented her research at Geisinger's Summer Immersion Research Symposium. Her project was carried out as part of CHATID's mission to expand accessibility in healthcare for individuals with disabilities. Emily, with help from David Hinnenkamp, Doug Wells, Avisha Shah, and Jennifer Joyce MD, surveyed 7 local healthcare practices in NEPA on their accessibility for individuals with disabilities. She also collected a staff-reported survey of their knowledge, comfort, and resources for individuals with disabilities. 

From the results, she was able to conclude that communications skills and awareness of resources are areas that could be improved within these practices. Future steps will be to return to these practices develop a plan to improve the knowledge gaps and provide them with resources to better prepare them to survey this population. For direct access to study results and the poster, please email Emily at or e-mail CHATID directly.

3/28/18 Penn State Worthington/Scranton Health Fair

CHATID attended the annual Penn State Worthington/Scranton Health Fair to spread the word of CHATID and raise awareness about the resources available for individuals with disabilities, especially for young adults who attend colleges in the area. 


11/10/17 Moses Taylor Hospital Grand Rounds (Part 2)

CHATID hosted a panel of individuals with disabilities from NEPA to help educate healthcare providers about the challenges they have faced when receiving care. They shared positive stories as well to help provide instances where healthcare providers gave excellent care to them or a loved one with a disability. The feedback was well accepted by a room of about 50 Moses Taylor staff. Seven different individuals represented a spectrum of disabilities to provide a wide range of information on how healthcare can be improved for all disabilities. A special thanks to Moses Taylor for allowing us to host such an event!

Pictured above are some of representatives on the panel.

11/03/17 Moses Taylor Hospital Grand Rounds (Part 1)

CHATID hosted a panel of resource providers from the area such as The ARC of NEPA, The Lackawanna Blind Association, Christopher Arnone (Atwood Labine lawyer who advocates for individuals with disabilities), and others. Each person on the panel was able to speak on how their organization can work side by side with physicians and other medical care providers to ensure the patients they serve have the best possible medical care and treatment. It was well attended, as almost 70 members of Moses Taylor's staff sat in to listen about the important partnerships that can be made between the patients, healthcare team, and community resources and providers.

10/28/17 Lackawanna Disability Advocacy Fair

CHATID attended the inaugural Lackawanna County Disability Advocacy Fair hosted by the Lackawanna Disability Action Committee. This was one of CHATID's first events where they were able to spread the word of CHATID and raise awareness about the resources available for individuals with disabilities. They handed out pamphlets for individuals throughout the community, as well as Disability Etiquette Sheets for healthcare providers. Both of these can be found on our website!