Ask The Expert: Socialocca


Ask the Expert
Ryan Hertel

Any business that’s truly succeeding today is using Instagram. With constantly changing algorithms depleting the amount of attention your posts organically receive, brands are looking for dependable tips and tricks to get their posts seen by more and more people. Ryan Hertel of Socialocca provides us with some tips to increase Instagram visibility in this month’s Ask The Expert.

Post Frequently
It might seem obvious, but posting more content on Instagram is one of the most important practices to increase engagement. Studies are showing that posting once per day (be sure not to overdo it) is optimum, and the top social media agencies are recommending this as well. You can even look into your Instagram insights (you need to be a “business profile” to do this) and monitor what time of day is best to post by observing when your followers are most active! Content is truly king.

Like for a Like
No, we don’t mean to use the #likeforalike hashtag that you did when you first started Instagramming and wanted to increase your photo likes. We mean to, quite literally, like photos in your feed and they’ll be more likely to like yours in return! Instagram rewards users who engage with others in the app by putting that user’s photos in front of others.

Comment. Follow. Engage.
After you’ve “liked” a fair amount of your friends’ photos, add “commenting” and “following” to your immediate “to-do” list. Be sure to take the time to comment on photos you find cool, interesting or that complement your brand, and follow other engaging users who would be interested in your brand.

Quality > Quantity
Yes, we did say to post on Instagram once per day, but you don’t want the quality of your posts to slide as a result of digging for more content. With how quickly phone camera technology is advancing, there’s no reason to post blurry or pixilated pictures on your professional Instagram account. Take the time to properly light and stage your photos, find the best editing apps, and put the time in on the post-production end of things.

Use Varying Hashtags
There’s a new obstacle diminishing post interaction for tons of users more and more every day. Yes, unfortunately, the rumors of “shadow-ban” are true. Using the same hashtags on your photos over and over can cause your photos to eventually not show up under those select hashtags. You can easily avoid shadow-ban by using varying hashtags per post. For example, when posting food pics, use food-related hashtags.

December 2018 President’s Message

Spread the Holiday Cheer!

A recent tour of the newly-redeveloped Samters Building brought to mind warm memories of holiday shopping experiences as a child in downtown Scranton, where we would end the trip at an ice cream counter; as a young adult with my buddy in stores throughout the Valley, where we would eventually manage to stop for some holiday cheer; and with my children in the festive, bustling malls, where we would share soft pretzels and other treats.

While we live in an age where several “clicks” will secure almost any product or service, I doubt there will be many Rockwellian memories of “the time I ordered online.”

Your fellow Chamber members offer an amazing array of retail stores, restaurants and specialty shops that can allow you to check off every possible item on your gift list, while adding the benefits of the uniquely warm personal touch and hospitality that is a key component of who we are in northeastern Pennsylvania.

This holiday season, shop local, make memories, and support your fellow Chamber members. For your convenience, be sure to check our member directory on or refer to your Business and Buyers’ Guide, which is also available online.

Aveanna Healthcare Re-branding/Holiday Party


We are excited to announce our name has officially changed from PSA Healthcare to Aveanna Healthcare as we are now part of the largest home health company in the country!

We are hosting a re-branding/holiday party on Thursday, December 6th 11am – 6pm and all are welcome.

We hope you can join us!

For reference other local Aveanna offices are located in:

  • Wilkes-Barre (formerly Pediatria)
  • Bartonsville (formerly EPIC)
  • Williamsport (formerly PSA)

Feel free to reach out for more information on our company and the services we provide or simply visit

Geisinger Providers Honored as ‘Most Caring’

DANVILLE, Pa. – More than 140 Geisinger caregivers were honored for being named “the best” by the patients they serve.

Geisinger recognized providers –  including physicians, physician assistants and certified registered nurse practitioners –  for ranking in the top 10 percent in patient experience nationally at the health system’s annual Top Patient Experience Clinicians Awards Dinner.

“The providers that were honored truly embody our Geisinger values,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger interim president and CEO. “These individuals come to work every day and deliver the highest quality and most compassionate care. We’re proud to have these individuals caring for the patients in our communities.”

Among the 146 clinicians honored, three were spotlighted for exemplary work – receiving Geisinger awards for going above and beyond when it comes to compassionate patient care.

Mary F. Callahan, M.D., family medicine physician, Geisinger Port Matlida, and W. Fred Hess, D.O., orthopedic surgeon, Geisinger Medical Center, received the Victor J. Marks Award for best Primary Care and Outpatient Specialty physician, respectively. The award was established in 2002 to honor Dr. Victor Marks, who served as Geisinger’s interim CEO from 2000 to 2001, and his commitment to making patients the primary focus of the health system. Recipients of the award are identified by patients as “the best of our best.”

Jennifer M. Aebli, certified physician assistant, Geisinger Scranton, received the Christina Appleman Award, given to Geisinger’s advanced practitioner achieving the highest overall care provider score on the patient satisfaction survey. The award is named in honor of Christina Appleman, certified registered nurse practitioner, and is given to the advanced practitioner for achieving the highest overall care provider section score for the system.

Providers were identified for the honor by results of patient satisfaction surveys. Clinicians were compared to more than 89,000 providers throughout the country that use Press Ganey surveys.

Locally, the 90th percentile Geisinger winners are as follows:


Central region

Christina Appleman, CRNP, Obstetrics/Gynecology

Michael Ashton, M.D., Family medicine

Thomas Balz, M.D., Internal medicine

Maria Bermudez, M.D., Nephrology

Christopher Berry, PA-C, Neurological surgery

Thomas Bitterly, M.D., Plastic surgery

Rochelle Blue, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery

Judith Bianchi Bowser, O.D., Ophthalmology

Ion Dan Bucaloiu, M.D., Nephrology

Greg Burke, M.D., Internal medicine

John Burns, M.D., Gastroenterology

Luann Byerly, PA-C, Plastic surgery

Ronald Byerly, PA-C, Internal medicine

Michelle Cornacchia, M.D., Internal medicine

Benjamin Darhun, M.D., Family medicine

Anju (Sonia) Dayal, M.D., Internal medicine

Lindsay Eisler, M.D., Otolaryngology

Jill Elliott, PA-C, Family medicine

Halle Ellison, M.D., General surgery

Lauren Fabian, PA-C, Gastroenterology

Christine Gallagher, O.D., Ophthalmology

Jennifer Gallo, PA-C, Plastic surgery

William Gianfagna, M.D., Pediatrics

Christopher Good, D.O., Cardiovascular disease

Sherry Gordner, CRNP, Family medicine

Michael Halupa, DDS, Dental medicine

Ashley Hashuga, CRNP, Gastroenterology

Fred Hess, M.D., Orthopedic surgery, Spine injury

Lynn Hunter, CRNP, Obstetrics/Gynecology

Patricia Kane, D.O., Pediatrics

Christian Kauffman, M.D., Plastic surgery

Susannah Kisvarday, M.D., Internal medicine

Benjamin Kuhn, D.O., Pediatric gastroenterology

Rosemary Leeming, M.D., General surgery

Jenna Lindenmuth, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery, Sports medicine

Kevin Long, M.D., Colon and rectal surgery

Kelly Longenberger Warunek, PA-C, Urgent care

Victor James Marks, M.D., Dermatology

Michele Maroon, M.D., Dermatology

John Matunis, PA-C, Medical oncology

Timothy Mccloskey, D.O. Allergy and immunology

Shannon McShea, PA-C, Gastroenterology

Robert Meloy, M.D., Internal medicine

Karen Mettler, CRNP, Orthopedic surgery, sports medicine

  1. Fred Miller, M.D., Dermatology

Donna Milligan, PA-C, Otolaryngology

William Mirenda, M.D., Pediatric orthopedic surgery

Christen Mowad, M.D., Dermatology

Thad Neidrick, CRNP, Vascular surgery

Elyssa Johnson, PA-C, Family medicine

Jess Oren, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Matthew Palmer, M.D., Dermatology

Rajiv Panikkar, M.D., Medical oncology

Ann Patterson, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery, hand surgery

Amy Patynski, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery, spine surgery

John Arthur Pellegrino, M.D., Family medicine

Lauren Peters, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery

Mary Petrick, M.D., Dermatology

John Quick, M.D., Anesthesiology

Marylou Rainone, D.O., General surgery

Katherine Raker, CNM, Obstetrics/Gyneology

David Rolston, M.D., Internal medicine

Dana Rubin, PA-C, Plastic surgery

Elizabeth Scott, CRNP, Cardiovascular disease

Nicholas Sebes, M.D, Dermatology

Mark Seeley, M.D., Orthopedic surgery

Keith Shalongo, O.D., Ophthalmology

Ashlee Smith, D.O., Gynecological oncology

Dennis Smith, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Christopher Still, D. O., Gastroenterology

Randle Storm, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Kristina Thornburg, D.O., General surgery

Dennis Torretti, M.D., Rheumatology

David Troutman, DPM, Podiatry

Monisa Wagner, PA-C, Pediatric neurology

Diana Whitebread, PA-C, Family medicine


Northeast region

Christian Adonizio, M.D., Medical oncology

Jennifer Aebli, PA-C, Orthopedic surgery

Joseph Bannon, M.D., General surgery

Barry Bernstein, DPM, Podiatry

Stephanie Cabello, M.D., Internal medicine

Brooke Casey, PA-C, Plastic surgery

Jose Castillo, M.D., Medical oncology

Stacy Conway, O.D., Ophthalmology

Karla Dalious, PA-C, Urgent care

Kelly Dalton, O.D., Ophthalmology

Jean Torello Denion, PA-C, Urgent care

Kathleen Ercolani, CRNP, Urgent care

Seth Fisher, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Harsh Gandhi, M.D., Medical oncology

Sean George, D.O., Cardiovascular disease

Christopher Holtz, D.O., Pediatrics

Ryan Horsley, D.O., General surgery

Megan Kelly, PA-C, Urgent care

James Klena, M.D., Thoracic surgery

Kimberly Kovalick, D.O., Family medicine

Michael Kovalick, D.O., Family medicine

Gerald Lacey, PA-C, Cardiovascular disease

Anja Landis, M.D., Family medicine

Melissa Laporte, CRNP, Endocrinology

Kara Levandoski, PA-C, Cardiovascular disease

Jessica Manzolillo, PA-C, Urgent care

Richard Martin, M.D., Family medicine

Vernon Mascarenhas, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

William Mclaughlin, D.O., Ophthalmology

Erin Miller, D.O., General surgery

Kathleen Noss, D.O., Pediatrics

Hans Olsen, M.D., Orthopedic surgery, sports medicine

Lauren Polanin, PA-C, Urgent care

Kerri Portanova, PA-C, Urgent care

John Prater, M.D., Family medicine

Kimberly Reed, PA-C, Gastroenterology

Jamian Ryan, D.O., Pediatrics

Maria Alexies Samonte, M.D, Pediatrics

Justin Tunis, M.D., Orthopedic surgery, sports medicine

Daniel Upton, M.D., Ophthalmology

Sarah Vidumsky, PA-C, Urgent care

Gehred Wetzel, D.O., Obstetrics/Gynecology

Diane Whitcomb, CRNP, Urgent care

Mary Wolf, PA-C, Medical oncology

Christopher Yusko, D.O., Internal medicine

Lisa Zimmerman, PA-C, Gastroenterology


Southcentral region

Anthony Arlotti, M.D., Pediatrics

Christina Basonic, CRNP, Cardiovascular

David Kann, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Christine Myers, CRNP, Endocrinology

Kelli Scurfield, PA-C, General surgery

John Snoke, D.O., Family medicine

Angela Soto Hamlin, M.D., General surgery

Jennifer Still, M.D., Pediatrics

Melissa Wolfe, PA-C, Neurology


West region

Gregory Anderson, M.D., General surgery

Jacquelyn Borst, PA-C, Urgent care

Paul Brahmakulam, M.D., Pediatrics

Mary Callahan, M.D., Family medicine

Mona Duncan, M.D., General surgery

Joanna Gunnett, CRNP, Pulmonary disease

Sheldon Henry, M.D., Cardiovascular disease

Stacy Klepeiss, M.D., Dermatology

Jennifer Koberna, CRNP, Pediatrics

Kimberly Manganaro, M.D., Family medicine

Deanna Martin, PA-C, Pediatrics

Brett Oesterling, M.D., Family medicine

Heather Rimmey, PA-C, Otolaryngology

Lorraine Rosamilia, M.D., Dermatology

Abbey Solt, PA-C, Family medicine


About Geisinger

One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mohegan Sun Arena to Hold 15th Annual Toys for Tots Open Skate


WILKES-BARRE – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza will open its doors for public ice skating on Thursday, December 13th for the 15th Annual Toys for Tots Open Skate presented by Utz in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy or making a $5.00 contribution to Toys for Tots is permitted to participate in the Open Skate.

The Open Skate will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Complimentary snacks will be available for guests’ courtesy of Utz Snack Foods and light refreshments will be available for purchase with partial proceeds donated to Toys for Tots.

All guests in attendance will have the opportunity to win some great prizes while at the event including tickets to select Mohegan Sun Arena events including Club Seats for a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins game.

This is the only day throughout the year that the public is allowed to skate on the ice at Mohegan Sun Arena, home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Patrons must bring their own skates to participate in the Open Skate. Mohegan Sun Arena will not have skates on site for rent and all guests that will be going on to the ice will need to be wearing skates.

Skate rentals are available at the Toyota SportsPlex (Community Ice Rink) at Coal St. in Wilkes-Barre for $3 per pair starting at 4PM on Wednesday, December 12th. There are a limited number of skate rentals available. Proper photo ID and a credit card must be presented to rent skates. All skates must be returned to the Toyota SportsPlex at Coal St. before 1pm on Friday, December 14th. For more information on the Toyota SportsPlex, please visit their website at

For more information on the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, please visit Mohegan Sun Arena is owned by the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority and Managed by SMG.

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 243 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 19 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit

Ballet Theatre of Scranton and Marywood U to Present Free performances of The Nutcracker


Ballet Theatre of Scranton and Marywood University present the 43rd annual free performances of The Nutcracker Dec. 26, 27 and 28th at the Marywood Sette LaVerghetta Theater at 2:00pm and 7:30 pm each day. Sponsored by Fidelity Bank, free tickets are available to the general public  2 hours prior to the specific performance at the Marywood box office.

Become a Nutcracker sponsor for seating benefits! Visit or call 570-347-2867

Wells Fargo Provides Scholarship Support to Misericordia Students

DALLAS TWP., Pa. – The Wells Fargo Foundation recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Misericordia University for the 2018-19 academic year. The donation will support the Wells Fargo Foundation Scholarship Fund that benefits financially deserving and academically eligible undergraduate students at Misericordia.

The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Misericordia University for the 2018-19 academic year in support of the Wells Fargo Foundation Scholarship Fund. Participating in a ceremonial check presentation at Misericordia University, from left, are Sara E. Hogan, Back Mountain store manager, assistant vice president, Wells Fargo; Michael D. Kashnicki, senior business relationship manager, Wells Fargo; President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., Misericordia University; Doug Iracki, senior business relationship manager, vice president, Wells Fargo, and Kevin Engelman, district manager, vice president, Wells Fargo.

The grant allows Misericordia University to grow the number of low- and moderate-income students who receive financial aid at a time when more families are finding it increasingly difficult to cover the cost of tuition. Overall, about 99 percent of full-time students at Misericordia University receive some form of financial aid to finance their college education.

To address the growing need for financial aid, Misericordia University seeks the support of new and traditional sources of scholarship funding such as the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Wells Fargo Foundation Scholarship Fund is a financial lifeline for many students as it helps them pursue their academic dreams and professional aspirations.

“Misericordia has a tradition of serving students of lesser economic means, many of whom are first-generation college students whose families want to provide them with a college education, but are dependent upon significant financial assistance,’’ said Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D. “We are grateful for the continued support Wells Fargo provides for our students.”

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

For more information about Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or visit Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 56 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes MU as a 2019 Best Northeastern College and Money Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2018-19 “Best Colleges” list.

Marywood University to Host GADABOUT Film Festival


SCRANTON, PA (November 21, 2018)—Marywood University will host the GADABOUT Film Festival on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., in the Swartz Center for Spiritual Life, Room B, on the University’s campus. This event is free and open to the public.

The GADABOUT Film Festival is an internationally-touring short film program with a unique style and energy. The traveling collection of short films screening is an experience that is accessible to everyone, from film aficionados to film novices, with a selection of high-quality, well-paced films diverse in genre, medium, and content.

The program will include documentaries, animations, narratives, and just plain fun films. You’ll leave inspired and curious, having laughed, pondered, and possibly teared up.

For additional information about the GADABOUT Film Festival at Marywood University, please contact Susan Jenkins, assistant professor of art at Marywood University, at For additional information about the GADABOUT Film Festival, please visit