Scranton Primary Health Care Center (SPHCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Care Center (FQHC), located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Center opened its doors on December 12, 1978 because of founders’ Frances Hazucha and Martha McAndrew, attempts to find medical attention for four poor people with serious health conditions. The initial efforts of these members of a local religious community have resulted in over 916,000,000 patient visits to Center providers since it opened.

SPHCC has grown over the past 44+ years to provide services in internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, a prenatal clinic and social services including an outreach to the area’s homeless population along with a dental clinic. In September 2005, they opened a medical expansion to increase pediatric and prenatal access. Included in the 70 plus Center employees, the provider staff includes internists, pediatricians, family medicine providers, infectious disease specialist, nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social worker, dentists, hygienists, expanded function dental assistants, health insurance marketplace assisters and outreach worker.


The Challenge

As an FQHC, it is critical for SPHCC to operate as efficiently as possible in order to direct its funds to deliver the maximum benefit to its patients. A healthcare company dealing with patient records, it is critical that SPHCC maintain high data security standards that are more often applied to organizations who are much larger with greater resources. It was imperative to the Center that its applications have high availability and that appropriate security controls are put in place and continually measured.


The Solution

With a small staff of Information Technology professionals, SPHCC looked to PTP to run critical applications efficiently and securely. PTP deployed SPHCC’s servers in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to avoid capital expenses associated with running a private datacenter.

AWS Security Best Practices Monitoring & Compliance Monitoring
Leveraging PTP’s chosen cloud management platform, CloudCheckr, PTP deployed the tools for SPHCC’s AWS environment to provide consistent reporting against the services and configurations in their environment versus industry best practices. The compliance reporting also maps controls to numerous compliance guidelines so at any time SPHCC has the visibility to where issues or non-compliance may exist.

AWS Infrastructure Vulnerability Scanning
In addition to continually evaluating the security best practices in the AWS environment, PTP deployed Amazon Inspector to deliver vulnerability scanning for the SPHCC resources running in AWS. Aligning with the Shared Security Model, this layer ensures not only the architecture of SPHCC’s cloud follows best practices, but the Operating Systems (OS) and applications are running versions that do not contain high-risk vulnerabilities.

AWS services implemented as part of the solution:
CloudFormation, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, AWS Config, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), VPN Gateway, AWS Key Management Service (KMS), Amazon Inspector and AWS Certificate Manager.



PTP delivered a solution to host SPHCC’s critical applications in AWS, eliminating the issues associated with managing local server and storage infrastructure as well as Operating Systems and software versions. PTP leveraged AWS’s Well Architected Framework focusing on an architecture that addressed the core pillars of Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency and Operational Excellence. The services applied to Security included alignment with AWS’ security best practices and continual AWS Security Best Practices Monitoring. Additionally, PTP deployed AWS Infrastructure Vulnerability Scanning as well as AWS Compliance Monitoring providing a highly-available and secure solution to run SPHCC’s operations.

“The transition from actual hosted servers to cloud based was seamless and problem free. PTP scheduled the migration at a time that was convenient for us and did thorough testing before asking us to confirm functionality. PTP made certain resources were available to resolve any issues that arose as a result of the migration. PTP scheduled testing and orientation with us when it was convenient, making certain patient care was not affected.

Scranton Primary has experienced a 91% increase in patient encounters over the last five years, and PTP has made sure we have all the tools we need not only to provide patient care but also to grow and prosper.”


Read more about PTP’s Cloud Security and Governance Services

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