Pro Bono COVID-19 Coaching Services with Theresa Jo Whitney

I am offering my support to Scranton business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

My name is Theresa Jo Whitney, and I am an ICF credential-holder, professional certified coach (PCC) . I am pledging to provide pro bono coaching sessions to those who need it most. Starting on May 6, up to 2,000 ICF-credentialed coaches made themselves available and are generously offering their professional services for at least three hours per week of pro bono coaching to impacted communities over the next three months, therefore I am offering my skills to our Scranton community.

As an ICF Coach for Good, I am serving entrepreneurs and organizations most affected by the recent pandemic. Through a platform hosted by Soar, I am able to offer coaching sessions to: small business owners, healthcare workers and/or HR professionals dealing with staff reductions, to mention just a few.

Session topics may include setting goals for: moving forward with staffing, steps for re-opening phases, and strategic planning.

Book coaching sessions now

Geisinger Study of Blood Test for Cancer Shows Promising Results

An innovative blood test that screens for cancer has shown promising results in a Geisinger study of more than 10,000 women.

In the study, “Detecting Cancers Earlier Through Elective Mutation-Based Blood Collection and Testing” (DETECT), Geisinger researchers found that the blood test, called CancerSEEK, can successfully screen for several types of cancer, including those for which there is no other screening test. The test, developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, screens for 16 genes and abnormally high levels of 9 protein markers that may indicate the presence of cancer. The test is an early version of CancerSEEK, developed in 2016.

The results of the DETECT study were published online in Science on Tuesday, April 28.

“This study hits the sweet spot of what we look for as clinical researchers at Geisinger: we get to work with world-renowned researchers on evaluating technology that has the potential to greatly improve patient care, and we do it in a way that supports our patients throughout the study,” said Adam Buchanan, MS, MPH, associate professor at Geisinger’s Genomic Medicine Institute and principal investigator of the DETECT study.

Detecting cancer early, before it has spread, allows for more effective treatment and better health outcomes. Cancer screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies can detect cancer early and decrease deaths from breast and colon cancer, but there are currently no effective screening tests for most other cancers.

Several participants in the DETECT study were found to have cancers, including ovarian cancer, for which there is no standard screening test. The test’s false-positive rate was low, meaning that very few people were referred for unnecessary follow-up testing or procedures. The test is designed to complement standard of care cancer screening.

“This test has the ability to detect cancers at an early stage when they are most amenable to treatment,” said David Rolston, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine Specialties at Geisinger and study co-investigator. “If the test performs well in further studies, this will be a particularly important advance as, at the moment, the only cancers that can be detected early are breast and cervical cancers in women and colon cancers in men and women.”

“Because of our tremendous experience in large-scale genomics and precision health research over the last decade through the MyCode Community Health Initiative, Geisinger was uniquely positioned to be the sole healthcare partner with Johns Hopkins in conducting such a large clinical study to evaluate the potential of identifying cancer early, before clinical symptoms, when the chance of better outcomes and even cure are possible,” said David Ledbetter, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief scientific officer for Geisinger and study co-investigator.

More research is needed before the test can be used in routine patient care, and Geisinger researchers will continue to evaluate how this promising technology can support patient care.

“We at Geisinger are very fortunate to have been positioned to conduct the clinical portion of the DETECT study, and we are grateful to the more than 10,000 women who generously participated in it,” said Christian Adonizio, M.D., Geisinger oncologist and study co-investigator. “We hope that the findings from DETECT will ultimately improve the care of not only the community we are privileged to serve, but communities everywhere.”

Marywood Professor’s Book Release

Marywood University professor, Christine Medley, MFA, art department interim chair and associate professor of graphic design, recently had her book titled, “Printmaking, How to Print Anything on Everything,” released. The book explains how prior to the digital age, printing was a handcraft—and still is.

Her guide presents twelve easy-to-follow projects that demonstrate time-honored techniques for decorating gift bags and coasters, transferring images to mugs and t-shirts, and embellishing other items. Suitable for crafters at all levels of ability and of all ages, the projects employ common household items such as cardboard tubes, cork, and rubber erasers.

Ms. Medley earned her master of fine arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md.; and her bachelor of journalism and advertising degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, N.E. Prior to coming to Marywood, Ms. Medley served as an assistant art director for Happening’s Magazine; she was an assistant professor of visual communications at Montgomery College, Maryland; an assistant professor of visual communications at Maryland College of Art and Design; and was a graphic designer and web administrator for the City of Rockville, Maryland. She is also a principal and designer at Crow Designs.

Ms. Medley has exhibited her work at numerous galleries and museums, has won many awards, and has had works published. She is the recipient of the American Advertising Federation NEPA American Advertising 2016 Silver Medal Award. She has also consistently won multiple ADDY awards, including Gold and Silver awards, as well as the Judge’s Choice Award.

For additional information about the art department at Marywood University, please visit marywood.edu/art/index.html, or call the Office of Admissions, at (570) 348-6234. For additional information about Christine Medley’s book, please visit crowdesigns.com/gallery/store/.

Phased Reopening for Pennsylvania

More information regarding the phased reopening of Pennsylvania is now available. Below are some highlights, as outlined by PA.gov.

Pennsylvania plans to proceed with returning to work cautiously. Broad reopenings or reopenings that are not structured around ongoing social distancing, universal masking, or other public health guidance would likely result in a spike of cases and new stay-at-home and closure orders.

Throughout this process, we will have guidance in place to support best public health practices. This guidance will reinforce and build on existing worker and building safety orders. It will also be able to adapt to the changing nature of the pandemic, as well as lessons learned from communities that return to work strategically.

Pennsylvania will utilize a three-phase matrix to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. See the full plan for reopening Pennsylvania.

Red Phase

The red phase, which currently applies to the whole state, has the sole purpose of minimizing the spread of COVID-19 through strict social distancing, non-life sustaining business, school closures, and building safety protocols.

  • Reiterate and reinforce safety guidance for businesses, workers, individuals, facilities, update if necessary
  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary

Yellow Phase

The following counties will be in the yellow phase effective 12:01 a.m., May 8, 2020: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.

As regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, hair and nail salons, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place.

This purpose of this phase is to begin to power back up the economy while keeping a close eye on the public health data to ensure the spread of disease remains contained to the greatest extent possible.

  • All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning
  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary

Green Phase

The green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay at home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.

While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.

  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary

For more information, visit PA.gov.

Penn Foster: Pandemic Support Platform

Concept

With record numbers of job eliminations and displacements in light of COVID-19, Penn Foster is partnering with employers, advisory firms, outplacement agencies, and workforce boards to provide upskilling programs for millions of middle-skilled workers in addition to providing important person and professional development services to support financial planning and stress and time management. Connecting individuals to current or former employers, these programs offer a soft landing, and in some cases, a path to future employment.

Offering

The Penn Foster Digital Upskilling and Pandemic Support platform displaced workers with online skills development  in the areas of health care, retail and hospitality, manufacturing, building trades, and general career readiness plus access to personal and professional health in the form of financial wellness tools and applications and targeted courses to help manage stress, time and personal finance. We are also offering access to state by state unemployment resources to help individuals understand what is available to them in their specific locations.

The Penn Foster Upskilling Academy is a digital catalog platform featuring more than 100 courses grouped into core topics and career pathways. Courses range from 5 to 200 hours of learning that can be access on-demand at anytime. Employers and employer partners can select the subset of programs that best fit the profile and upskilling needs of their workforces, then co-brand the online catalog. Penn Foster will host the platform and provide an enrollment engine for learners.

Enrolled learners will access their program directly through the Penn Foster Learning Portal. They will be receive academic and motivational support throughout their learning, as well as receive communications directly from Penn Foster designed to promote progression.

A representative list of programs includes:

  • Personal finance
  • Stress and time management
  • Communication skills
  • Basic Machinist
  • Bookkeeping Basics
  • Caregiver Skills
  • Career Readiness Bootcamp (English & Spanish)
  • CNC Machining
  • Digital Literacy
  • Industrial Math
  • Industrial Safety
  • Microsoft ® Office
  • Professional Communication Skills
  • Retail Associate Certificate
  • Supervising the Front Line
  • Terminology for Allied Health Careers

Clients may also have access to a library of unemployment resources, defined for each state and the District of Columbia.