White Haven State Center
White Haven Center is located less than 2 miles off Route 80 at Exit 272 and sits on approximately 192 acres of land in Luzerne County. This picturesque campus (adjacent to the Poconos) with its rolling hills and nearby forest land offers a peaceful, private setting with the convenience of a downtown business area a short distance away. Our Center has been serving people with intellectual disabilities since 1956. As an Intermediate Care Facility for people with intellectual disabilties, the Center provides 24-hour supported living, medical care and developmental activities. An interdisciplinary team of staff provides a wide array of quality services to the adults who make White Haven Center their home.
White Haven Center focuses on providing an everyday life for the people we support based on the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs "Everyday Lives" principles. We strive to make each person's living arrangements home-like, cozy and individually decorated. Some people work at jobs of their choosing, while others participate in the Senior Center.
Each year everyone who lives at the Center participates in a person centered planning meeting that focuses on his/her dreams, aspirations, abilities, needs and desires. Participants at this meeting include anyone who is involved in the person's life, such as family members, special friends, residential support staff, physicians, nurses, clergy, etc. From this an "Individualized Support Plan" is developed to provide tailored medical, spiritual, social, vocational, educational and rehabilitative services, as well as, considerations for community inclusion.
Mark J. Georgetti
The mission of White Haven Center is to support each person in achieving the quality of life he/she desires.
Promoting compassion, respect, and valuing one another. Working together as a team and as part of the community to provide a home and a family way of living, respecting and exercising rights and choices, and acknowledging each person's needs, dreams, and desires.
As citizens of the United States and residents of White Haven Center, protecting the rights of those who live here is paramount. We are committed to empowering them to exercise their rights to the fullest extent. These rights are shared with the individuals on a routine basis. They include:
- Freedom from abuse, neglect and unnecessary use of restraints
- Respect and fairness
- Freedom of expression
- Personal possessions
- Send and receive correspondence
- Compensation for work and managing own money
- Choose and have access to personal belongings
- Attend meetings
- Choice in where he/she prefers to live
- Keeping health information protected
On March 23, 1956, more than half a century ago, White Haven Center opened its doors to provide care and services to people with intellectual disabilities for 25 permanent patients. By the end of the year, this number would grow to a capacity of 463.
The site was taken over by the State of Pennsylvania on March 5, 1956, as Pennhurst State School Annex #2, a school for the intellectually disabled. It was made ready for occupancy with the assistance of 30 'working patients' who arrived on March 7th from Pennhurst where they spent the weekends.
In 1960, the name would be changed to White Haven State School. In 1961 it became an independent operation under State supervision. Then in 1962, the name was further amended to become known as White Haven State School and Hospital.
The Center's current site was formerly a farm that went halfway up the mountain. The purchase of the land by the Society for the Hospital Poor Consumptives was made possible by donations from Franklin S. Horn and the Coxe family of Drifton. In 1901, it was originally used as a Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The 265 acres of land consisted of a farmhouse, with sleeping quarters for employees, and a large barn that was converted to a pavilion to accommodate 40 patients. New buildings were added over time and by 1902 there were 71 patients receiving care and services. The facility also included a training school for nurses, graduating 257 students from 1909 to 1942. Between 1901 and 1941 the number of people treated would grow to a staggering 25,335 patients with an average annual census of 617 patients.
Jefferson Medical College operated the sanatorium for 10 years after it was donated to them in 1946. Advances in medical treatment led to a diminishing number of patients needing treatment for tuberculosis. The facility was forced to close its doors in 1956. It was at this time that the State made the purchase for a facility that was earmarked for the provision of care for 'intellectual disabilities'.
By 1964, there were 528 patients that prompted the addition of four wards, each set up to house 160 patients. Further construction (completed by 1965) allowed the facility to house 1800 patients, ages 12 and up, and employ approximately 800 employees.
The construction also included a boiler plant for heating the facility and providing hot water, and a maintenance building equipped to perform a variety of jobs and repair work such as; electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, heating, carpentry, sheet metal, and painting. In time, the Center had its own swimming pool, gymnasium which included a basketball court, weight room, auditorium, canteen, laundry, dietary department, and water/sewage treatment system.
Currently, there are 122 men and women who call White Haven Center home, a home that serves as a multi-faceted residential facility for people with intellectual disabilities. It is a Center that has always been linked with leaders who were dedicated and energetic pioneers; people who set out to accomplish their dreams.
Under the Center's present leadership, many new milestones have been reached. The finest example was the establishment and continuance of a restraint-free environment. The Center's "People on the Go Program", the "Pasta Program" for people with Autism, and "Workplace Harmony" are just a few more examples of the new vision, the energetic leadership, and the teamwork that continues to thrive at White Haven Center.
From Scranton and North:
Take the Northeast Extension of PA Turnpike (Route 476) South to exit #95 Pocono Mountain; from Turnpike get on Route 80 West and go 2 exits to exit #273 (Old Exit 40) White Haven; turn right off the exit onto Church St; go straight on Church St. past UniMart and St. Patrick's Catholic Church and proceed to the stop sign; continue to go straight and turn left on Buffalo St. (watch for the green sign "White Haven Center"); stay on this road for 1.3 miles.
From Philadelphia and South:
Take Northeast Extension of the turnpike (Route 476) North to exit #95 Pocono Mountain; from Turnpike get on Route 80 West and go 2 exits to exit #273 (Old Exit 40) White Haven; turn right off the exit onto Church St; go straight on Church St. past UniMart and St. Patrick's Catholic Church and proceed to the stop sign. Continue to go straight and turn left on Buffalo St. (watch for the green sign "White Haven Center"); stay on this road for 1.3 miles.
From Harrisburg and West:
Take interstate 81 North to Interstate 80 East; go to exit #273 (Old Exit 40) White Haven; get off White Haven exit and turn left onto Church St; go straight on Church St. past UniMart and St. Patrick's Catholic Church and proceed to the stop sign; continue to go straight and turn left on Buffalo St. (watch for the green sign "White Haven Center"); stay on this road for 1.3 miles.
From New Jersey and East:
Take Interstate 80 West to exit 273 (Old Exit 40) White Haven; turn right off the exit onto Church St; go straight on Church St. past UniMart and St. Patrick's Catholic Church and proceed to the stop sign; continue to go straight and turn left on Buffalo St. (watch for the green sign "White Haven Center"); stay on this road for 1.3 miles.