Lackawanna College Signs Transfer Agreement with Harrisburg University

Lackawanna College and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology signed a transfer agreement that will make it easier for students in Lackawanna College’s RN-to-BSN program to continue their education through Harrisburg’s Master’s in Nursing program.

The agreement was signed during a virtual signing ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Attending the ceremony from Lackawanna College was President Mark Volk, President-Elect Jill A. Murray, Ph.D. and VP for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer Dr. Erica Barone-Pricci, Ph.D. Attending from Harrisburg University was President Dr. Eric Darr and Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Bilita Mattes.

“We are excited to partner with Harrisburg University to create a pathway for our RN-to-BSN students to continue their education,” said Mark Volk, Lackawanna College President. “The success of our students is a top priority for Lackawanna College, and this agreement will ensure that they receive the best training possible to enter the healthcare field.”

Under the agreement, Spring 2020 graduates of the Lackawanna College RN-to-BSN program will be eligible to receive the Lackawanna College Nursing Students Scholarship along with a 25% reduced tuition rate through Harrisburg University.

“We are thrilled about the partnership and opportunity for Harrisburg University and Lackawanna College to better serve nurses in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Darr. “Our teams are dedicated to making this partnership successful, and I think there are a lot of other significant opportunities for us to work together to meet workforce needs. I look forward to expanding our partnership with Lackawanna College.”

The Online Master of Science degree in Nursing consists of advanced training in evidence-based practices, quality improvement, process improvement and best practices in nursing education. The program is designed to support improvements and innovations in nursing for the current American healthcare system, including population health, health equity and Social Determinants of Health. These also include the promotion of evidence-based practice, the strengthening of interprofessional communication, and an overall mindset of professional development. This online program will prepare nurses for careers in clinical and non-clinical healthcare settings.


Marywood University Volunteers Help to Ease Food Insecurity at Friends of the Poor Food Giveaways

Marywood University volunteers help to ease food insecurity at Friends of the Poor Food Giveaways. Some of Marywood volunteers include (pictured left to right): Christopher Speicher, Ph.D., associate professor in the school of Business and Global Innovation; Kate O’Connor, associate professor in the School of Architecture; and James Sullivan, AIA, dean of the College of Professional Studies.

Marywood University volunteers have been assisting the food giveaways that Friends of the Poor (FOTP) have been holding throughout the area. When the pandemic crisis first presented itself in Northeastern Pennsylvania, volunteers stepped up to make sure that families didn’t need to worry about how they would put a meal on the table.

Christopher Speicher, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Business and Global Innovation at Marywood University, has been involved with Friends of the Poor for its Thanksgiving and other events for the past ten years. Since the first COVID-19 Emergency Food Giveaway in Dunmore, Pa., Dr. Speicher put an email out to faculty and staff at Marywood University to see if more volunteers would help out at additional food giveaways.

Dr. Speicher said,” As the number of our regular volunteers dropped off due to people’s fears, the number of Marywood volunteers seemed to increase.”

Many of the volunteers also brought their family members with them, making it a family volunteer initiative and furthering the volunteer efforts. Sister Ann Walsh, IHM, former president and CEO of Friends for the Poor, and FOTP’s current assistant director, hasn’t given up running the day-to-day operations of the ministry and its food giveaways.

Dr. Speicher said, “Sister Ann Walsh is the most incredible woman I think I’ve ever met in my entire life. She has unbelievable energy and just never stops. All of us [volunteers] will be exhausted after doing a day’s worth of work, but she gets in her car, loads it with food and goes door-to-door to various places for people that have called in and said they need food but are unable to get to the food giveaway location.”

What began as a once-a-week event, soon turned into two days, and then three days a week. In addition to food giveaways at announced locations, volunteers take any remaining food and donations and deliver them door-to-door, which serves an additional five hundred or more families.

The mission of Friends of the Poor is to ease the burden of those living in poverty and enhance the quality of life for all who live in low-to moderate income communities. Founded by Sister Adrian Barrett, IHM in 1984, and sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, Pa., the ministry brings together in friendship those who have the desire to give with those in need of assistance.

The next COVID-19 Emergency Drive-Through Food Giveaway is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2020, from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., at the Career Technology Center, 3201 Rockwell Avenue, Scranton, Pa., 18508. This event is open to the public. A zip code and the number of children/adults/elderly in each household are required. For information about volunteering, please email Friends of the Poor, at

Chamber Moves Annual Dinner to Virtual Platform


As we work together to control the impact of COVID-19, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has decided to move its Annual Dinner, scheduled on June 17, to a virtual platform to ensure the safety of the guests and staff.

Although the decision was not an easy one to make, the Chamber staff is planning a one-of-a-kind event via Zoom with exciting entertainment, prizes, networking opportunities, and a few surprises that guests won’t be expecting!

The event will also feature more than 40 member restaurants, as well as a year-in-review with perspective on moving forward to revive NEPA.

“A virtual Annual Dinner will provide us the opportunity to come together in a new and unique way. Although it’s not our typical annual celebration, we promise our members a show for all ages that everyone can enjoy,” said Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

“We are excited to celebrate our member businesses in a new way. It will be an innovative experience for everyone. There may even be new opportunities for guests to make connections they may not have encountered from an in-person event,” Pat Fricchione, board chair of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, added.

The agenda for the virtual Annual Dinner on June 17 begins at 5:30 p.m. for virtual networking, with the virtual “Celebration of Business” show running from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, we hope you will join us! Get your tickets for the Annual Dinner here.

For continued COVID-19 updates, as well as news regarding Chamber events, visit


Geisinger Volunteers Honor EMS Providers by Washing Ambulances

From left, Geisinger Director of Division of EMS David Schoenwetter, D.O., Geisinger Community Medical Center trauma program manager Deb Clark, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center EMS coordinator Jack Lasky, and Geisinger Community Medical Center EMS coordinator Lenny Wesolowski wash ambulances to honor EMS providers at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton in recognition of National EMS Week.Volunteers from Geisinger’s Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medicine teams recognized the hard work and dedication of EMS providers on May 20 at Geisinger Community Medical Center by offering free ambulance washes as crews transported patients to the hospital.

During National EMS Week, which runs from May 18 to 23, Geisinger typically honors EMS workers with peer-nominated awards, cookouts and a night at PNC Field to see the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, but the spread of COVID-19 has postposed such gatherings. In lieu of those celebrations, Geisinger decided to honor EMS crews by cleaning their vehicles and offering a few small giveaways.

As the first line of care in emergency situations, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics and pre-hospital providers selflessly serve their communities, often putting themselves at risk for the well-being of their patients. The unpredictable element of answering emergency calls poses dangers, and those risks have increased during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we operate as EMS crews,” said Pennsylvania Ambulance paramedic Michael Chmielewski. “We deal with the unknown regularly, and that’s just part of the job, but with this new unknown due to COVID-19, there’s even more precaution and preparation in what we do.”

Chmielewski’s partner, EMT Amber Lane, said one of the biggest challenges is the way providers deal with a patient’s support system.

“We typically get called on the worst day of someone’s life,” Lane said. “It’s important to work with the family to offer guidance and reassurance. It’s hard to do that when you have to tell them they can’t go with their loved one to the hospital, so we have to go out of our way to comfort them in some small way.”

David Schoenwetter, D.O., director of the Division of EMS at Geisinger, said honoring EMS professionals is even more important during COVID-19 when the normal opportunity to celebrate them has been delayed.

“The pandemic has impacted all aspects of healthcare,” Schoenwetter said. “The hospitals are considered the front line in the fight against COVID-19, but EMS is in front of that. They are the true expeditionary force, and their job has been made far more complicated. There’s no way to know if a patient is infected, and that increases their exposure risk. They are always deserving of this honor, but it’s especially important to recognize them now.”

In addition to Geisinger Community Medical Center, the ambulance washes were offered at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, and Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill.

The Honesdale National Bank Donates $2,500 of Milk to Support Local Families

The Honesdale National Bank Foundation extended its support to the community with a $2,500 donation to the Wayne County Emergency Food Relief Fund operated by the Wayne County Community Foundation. The funds, donated by HNB, will specifically support the purchase of $2,500 worth of milk from Creamworks Creamery to be distributed at the emergency food banks.

HNB President & CEO David Raven stated, “Founded on the grounds of an agricultural community, The Honesdale National Bank has been a friend to the dairy community for many years.” He continued, “We are glad to be able to not only help feed those in need in our area, but to also support a local dairy while doing so.”

The Honesdale National Bank Foundation is a 501(c)3 entity established by The Honesdale National Bank to engage in community giving initiatives that foster the area’s growth and resources as it has remain committed to since its founding in 1836. The Foundation’s aims to fulfill that mission through initiatives that support the sustainability and strengthening of resources and programming that make local communities thrive and remain desirable places to live, work, and play. The mission will be upheld through the provision of funding for public charities, institutions, schools and other not-for-profit organizations throughout our local area.

Emergency Food Giveaway at PNC Field Next Week

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will serve as the hosts for the Family to Family Emergency Drive-Thru Food Giveaway on May 27. The event is run by the Friends of the Poor in response to the global health pandemic and will take place in the parking lot at PNC Field from 2:30 to 5:30 PM Wednesday.

The Family to Family Food Basket Program and the Friends of the Poor have partnered with the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank for COVID-19 emergency food drive-thrus since late March. These drive-thrus have taken place each Wednesday in different locations around the Scranton area. The emergency drive-thru on May 27 at PNC Field, however, will be the first one located between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and expectations are for over 1,000 vehicles to attend.

All attendees must remain in their vehicles for the safety and well-being of all guests and volunteers. Food bags will be placed directly into each vehicle.

This event is open to the public. Attendees will be asked what their zip code is as well as how many adults, children and elderly live in each household.

For more information, visit or find the Friends of the Poor on Facebook at