Recognizing the changing nature of medical services, WellSpan and Ephrata Community Hospital have just "aligned" their resources to meet the challenge of future medical care.

Among other things, WellSpan notes ...

"By aligning the talents and competencies of both organizations, Ephrata Community Hospital and WellSpan seek to ...

"Improve health care across Central Pennsylvania while enhancing local systems of care in northern and eastern Lancaster County, Adams County and York County ...

"WellSpan will support the implementation of Ephrata Community Hospital's long-range strategic plan, which will enhance access to high-quality health care in the communities of Lancaster County."

Bruce Bartels, recently retired after 25 years of service as WellSpan's president, explained ...

"The American health care system has begun to transform from one that primarily treats individuals when they are sick or injured to one that also manages the health of populations. In response, health care organizations across the country have begun to develop affiliations as a way to offer their communities the highest quality of care at an affordable cost."

Ephrata Community Hospital as well as Well-Span Gettysburg Hospital, WellSpan York Hospital and the WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital will operate under separate licenses and medical staffs.

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Our salute to "Volunteers of the Month" at the Area Agency on Aging ...

---Bob Gohn ... for assisting Medicare beneficiaries with their insurance options ... more volunteers needed for this endeavor.

---Sandra Ricci, who visits the homebound and says ... "The friendly visitor program is so rewarding and makes a real difference in someone's life. It also makes me feel good."

---Belle Eyster, a "big believer of giving of her time and has made volunteering a big part of her life."

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As Halloween nears, Barb Reese of Hallam wonders ...

Why don't ghosts have money problems? Easy answer. They don't have to worry about the cost of living.

Then she asks. ... Where do ghosts go to become pilots? Fright school!

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New Eagle Scouts ...

---Samuel Fickel, Troop 284, Lewisberry citizens group ... son of Keith Fickel. Project: Worked on improvements to the educational wing at Camp Hill United Methodist Church.

---Brandon Hackman, Troop 48, American Legion Post 403, Shrewsbury ... son of Amy Hackman. Project: Replaced the bridge along a walking trail at Codorus State Park.

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Lutheran Social Services provided more than $6.9 million in aid last year to people in need, according to Robert L. Rundel, president and CEO, who declared ... "The community's continued support of the Cornerstone Dinner enables LSS to positively impact the lives of York County residents every day."

This year's dinner honoring the Wagman Family Corporate Leadership attracted 440 supporters and raised more than $220,000.

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Enjoy the 39th annual Oyster Festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum, 217 W. Princess St.

This family-focused and fun event is for all ages, says the York County Heritage Trust. The popular event will include interactive exhibits, live music, crafts and Native American dancing.

By the way, winners of the Oyster Cookoff earlier this month were Colleen Dwyer and Michael Beshore, who prepared a "hybrid oyster stew" featuring cream, bacon and oysters.

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HOPE, the cancer support service based in New Freedom, presents a Holiday Craft & Vendor Show 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in the New Freedom Community Building ... 50 vendors-crafters booked.

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"Beat the Chicken 5-K Run" is scheduled at to start at 9 a.m. Sunday at Rudy Park, a benefit for Rapha Christian Ministries ... details, Barbara Miller, www.yorkroadrunners.com.

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Hank at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.