American Red Cross to Host Community Blood Drive at Scranton Cultural Center

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on May 27 and 28 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM in its Grand Ballroom.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or sign up online at with sponsor code Scranton.

“The Scranton Cultural Center is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Deborah Moran Peterson, SCC Executive Director.  “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, colleagues and neighbors an opportunity to help save lives.”

Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer blood donors. With someone in the U.S. needing blood every two seconds, blood products must be constantly replenished, according to the Red Cross.  According to a Red Cross representative, numbers in the Lackawanna County area are down by approximately 400 pints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Red Cross, donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative.

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Geisinger Launches Innovative Program to Screen Postpartum Depression

Crying spells, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and irritability are all signs of postpartum depression, which affects one in nine women and often goes undiagnosed. Recognizing this, Geisinger has created a program to screen for postpartum depression when mothers visit their providers for routine checkups or bring their children to the pediatrician’s office.

The program is compassionately designed to provide standardized postpartum depression screenings across a woman’s pregnancy journey — from Women’s Health to Pediatrics — empowering mothers to thrive physically, psychologically and socially.

“Every time a woman is seen by a provider, be it in Women’s Health or even when taking her children to the pediatrician, it is an opportunity to screen for depression, to educate her about it and to really engage her in treatment,” said Dr. Manuel Arreguin, director of Women’s Health, Geisinger Northeast.

A mother’s mental well-being plays a key role in her child’s mental health, physical growth, and development. Moreover, COVID-19 has brought added stress and anxiety into everyone’s lives. Women are now at an increased risk of developing postpartum depression.

“Our goal is a healthy family and that often starts at the heart of the family, the mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all mothers to be screened for postpartum depression. This gives us an opportunity to identify and support women with depression and has proven to increase the success of breastfeeding, bonding and the development of her baby,” said Dr. Neff-Bulger, Geisinger pediatrics.

The program uses the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), a validated 10-item questionnaire most commonly used to screen for postpartum mood disorders. During prenatal appointments, moms will be screened during their initial obstetrician visit, at the 28-week and 34-week checkups, during the six-week postpartum visit and during the one-year postpartum checkup visit. The screening program expands to pediatric appointments, where mothers will be screened by a nurse in the exam room during the encounter as part of their child’s well-child visits from two weeks to 12 months.

Training sessions and toolkits are designed for physicians, midwives and nurse practitioners across the health system since March 2020 to help them identify symptoms of depression in pregnant and new moms. The program includes clinical decision support to ensure mothers get the care they need.

“Geisinger created this program to make care easier for women during one of the most thrilling, life-changing, and sometimes challenging times in their lives. This is an innovative approach to care delivery across the woman’s pregnancy journey: leveraging education, outreach and advanced informatics technology from Women’s Health to Pediatrics,” said Karen Murphy, Ph.D., Geisinger’s chief innovation officer and founding director of the Geisinger Steele Institute for Health Innovation.

A video featuring two women sharing their personal stories is available for embedding or for download here.

Geisinger created an online pregnancy hub called MyPregnancy Center, which hosts tools and resources for women’s health, pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and newborn care. Couples planning to start a family, first-time mothers or even experienced mothers can benefit from the wealth of information available on the site.

University of Scranton Professor’s Book Wins International Award

“Addiction, Attachment, Trauma, and Recovery: The Power of Connection,” a book by Oliver Morgan, professor of counseling and human services at The University of Scranton, won a 2020 Independent Press Award in the category of Addiction and Recovery.

“Addiction, Attachment, Trauma, and Recovery: The Power of Connection,” a book by University of Scranton Professor Oliver Morgan, Ph.D., won a 2020 Independent Press Award in the category of Addiction and Recovery.

The prestigious international competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

“We are thrilled to announce the winners and distinguished favorites in our annual 2020 Independent Press Award. This year included a myriad of excellent independently published books. It is clear that independents are prospering in every corner of the earth. We are so proud to be highlighting key titles representing global independent publishing,” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.

In “Addiction, Attachment, Trauma, and Recovery: The Power of Connection,” the latest installment in the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, Dr. Morgan provides a fresh take on addiction and recovery by presenting a more inclusive framework than traditional understandings. Cutting-edge work in attachment, interpersonal neurobiology and trauma is integrated with ecological-systems thinking to provide a consilient and comprehensive picture of addiction.

According to Dr. Morgan, professor of counseling and human services at Scranton, humans require connected and nourishing relationships for healthy living. Early and lifetime adversities, however, bring fragmentation and disconnection, and create the conditions for ill health. They create vulnerabilities. In order to cope, individuals can turn to alternatives, or “substitute relationships,” that ease the pain of disconnection. These can become addictions.

Dr. Morton’s book, “Addiction, Attachment, Trauma, and Recovery,” calls for change in the established ways we think and behave about addiction and recovery. It reorients understanding and clinical practice for mental health and addiction counselors, psychologists, and social workers, as well as for addicts and those who love them.

Dr. Morgan joined the faculty at Scranton in 1990. He has authored or co-authored ten book chapters and proceedings, covering topics that include addiction, pastoral care, spirituality and clinical practice. He has also co-edited five books and published more than twenty peer-reviewed articles in his field. He has received numerous awards during his tenure at Scranton, including the Magis Award for Excellence in Adapting Classic Principles of Jesuit Pedagogy into the Curriculum; being named a Leahy Faculty Fellow in the Panuska College of Professional Studies in 2002 and being named the University’s CASE Professor Nominee in 2008.

Dr. Morgan is a National Certified Counselor, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Pennsylvania and a Master Addiction Counselor.

Dr. Morgan earned his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, his master’s degree from Hahnemann Medical University and his Master of Divinity degree from Weston School of Theology, and his Ph.D. from Boston University.

In 2020, the Independent Press Award had entries worldwide. Participating authors and publishers reside in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, India, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and others.

For more information about the Independent Press Award, visit; and to see this year’s list of winners visit, or to see the list of 2020 Distinguished Favorites visit:

PennDOT Driver License Centers in Yellow Phase Offer Limited Services

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced  Driver License and Photo License Centers in yellow phase counties will reopen, adhering to restrictions on work and social interaction set by Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These re-openings are in addition to those previously announced on May 7, 2020.

The following Driver License Centers are reopen with limited services:

  • Bradford Driver and Photo License Center, 68 Chestnut St, Bradford
  • Clearfield Driver and Photo License Center, Clearfield Mall, 1800 Daisy Street. Unit 380, Clearfield
  • Meadville Driver and Photo License Center, 16942 Patricia Drive, Meadville
  • Mercer Driver and Photo License Center, 519B Greenville Road, Mercer
  • Monroeton Driver and Photo License Center, 60 Chiola Lane, Suite 101, Towanda
  • New Castle Driver and Photo License Center, 973 Old Youngstown Road, New Castle
  • Punxsutawney Driver and Photo License Center, 547 West Mahoning Street, Punxsutawney
  • Rockview Driver and Photo License Center, 812 West College Avenue, Pleasant Gap
  • Erie Driver and Photo License Center, 7200 Peach Street, Suite 480, Erie
  • Selinsgrove Driver and Photo License Center, 1015 Route 522, Selinsgrove
  • Williamsport Driver and Photo License Center, 1782 East Third Street, Williamsport

Hours of operation at the above locations will be Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM and Wednesday and Thursday between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM will be designated times for customers 60 years or older.

As the Driver License Centers open, they will offer limited services. Customers will be able to obtain the following services as they plan their visit to one of these centers:

  • Commercial Driver License (CDL) transactions, including renewals, replacements, Medical Examiner’s Certificates (MECs), date of proof transactions, Hazardous Material Recertifications, and related transactions;
  • Initial issuance transactions, including out-of-state transfers, ID card issuance, and related transactions;
  • Photo license services;
  • Driver license restoration services that cannot be completed online or via mail;
  • Medical-related testing; and
  • Non-U.S. citizen transaction processing.

The following Photo License Centers are open:

  • Danville, 308 Railroad Street, Danville, PA  17821, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM;
  • Laporte, Main Street, Laporte, PA 18626; Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM;
  • Lewisburg, 130 Buffalo Road, Lewisburg, PA 17837; Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM;
  • McElhattan, 1 Outlet Lane, Suite 312, Lock Haven, PA 17745; Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM; and
  • Tionesta, 668 Elm Street, Tionesta, PA 16353; Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.
  • DuBois, 1203 East Dubois Avenue, Suite 2, Dubois, PA 15801; Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Photo License Centers process photos only, and individuals must have a camera card for this service.

For a list of driver license and photo license centers that will be open during the yellow phase, as well as their hours of operation, please visit

Customers seeking renewal of their non-commercial license or ID should renew online or by mail to avoid an unnecessary visit to the Driver License Center.

In an effort to support social distancing and reduce initial volume and demand at driver license centers, the following customer services will not be initially available:

  • Non-commercial road testing;
  • REAL ID applications and transactions, however, pre-verified customers can apply for REAL ID online; and
  • Transactions or services that can be completed online at

In all reopened driver license centers, the following COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place:

  • Customers will be prescreened and asked brief questions regarding any potential symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Customers will be required to wear masks while in the facility, but must remove them for any photo services;
  • Seating will be reduced at all Driver License Centers to make social distancing easier to maintain six feet distances between each seat;
  • The number of customers will be limited to correspond with available counter stations and available seating in the customer waiting area only;
  • Admittance to the facility will be limited to only the customer requiring service, unless assistance is needed by an accompanying person;
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at each counter to protect customers and employees;
  • Cleaning protocols have been enhanced to sanitize facilities on an ongoing basis; and
  • Markings on floors have been added to assist with social distancing along with signage to communicate special instructions to customers.

As PennDOT reopens Driver License and Photo License Centers, services will be in high demand, and customers should expect longer than normal waits. PennDOT staff will work with each customer when they arrive to plan their visit, with additional staff serving as greeters to screen documents and provide information for a smooth and safe transaction as possible. PennDOT apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates customers’ understanding during this transition.

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; and driver license and photo ID duplicates. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will continue to reopen other locations as soon as safely possible. We will continue to communicate any reopening and changes with the public.

More COVID-19 information is available at For more information, visit or

The Dime Bank Donates to the Wayne County Emergency Relief Fund

The Dime Bank donated $3,500 to the Wayne County Emergency Relief Fund, through the Wayne County Community Foundation (WCCF).

This donation was made up of two amounts: $2,500.00 from The Dime Bank and $1,000.00 passed on by the bank from employees who chose to donate to the Emergency Food Relief Fund rather than have a celebratory anniversary dinner. The food program was pleased to hear that the employees chose to have the dollars donated to those who really need to put food on their tables. The Emergency Relief Fund coordinators want to emphasize the importance of not only corporate giving, but individual giving, and how every amount, no matter how small, can make a difference.

The goal of the Wayne County Emergency Relief Fund is to ensure our community does not go hungry during these difficult times. To date, the Wayne County Emergency Relief Fund has raised over $160,000.00, made up of over 500 donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. As of April 24, 2020, the distribution in collaboration with the Wayne County Pantry Program, assisted 777 families. Families received grocery bags which served about 3,000 people. This program is helping our overall communities because although the distribution sites are in Wayne County, the recipients do not need to be Wayne County residents.

WCCF Executive Director Ryanne Jennings said, “Thank you to The Dime Bank and the employees for their generosity and helping to do your part to ensure that our community members have food on their tables!”

To donate, make checks payable to: Wayne County Community Foundation at: 214 9th St., Honesdale and indicate in memo line: Emergency Food Relief Program.

Pictured: Volunteer David Dulay packs his truck with food for the Newfoundland Distribution along with food delivery and bags packed and ready for distribution.

Scranton Cultural Center Plans Virtual 90th Anniversary Celebration, Announces Call for Submissions

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of Scranton’s historic Masonic Temple, which has served as the home of the Scranton Cultural Center over three decades.  And although the facility is currently closed due to government guidelines, it won’t stop the organization from celebrating this monumental milestone.

“Before the pandemic outbreak, we were brainstorming ideas for an on-site celebration, because we believe our building doesn’t just belong to us, but the entire community,” says Deborah Moran Peterson, SCC Executive Director.  “Now, we’ve opted to shift our celebration to the digital sphere as a way to look back on 90 years of history and bring the community together during a time when we all need it the most.”

The Cultural Center also recently took to social media to celebrate its 20th Annual Evening of Fine Food and Wine during the week of April 19, as the milestone event was postponed due to current restrictions.  It is in the process of being rescheduled for later this year.

The virtual 90th anniversary celebration will kick-off on May 18, which marks the official anniversary of the building’s opening in 1930. Until then, the Scranton Cultural Center invites patrons to share and submit their memories of the facility from over the years.  Suggested submissions include:

  • Short video clip (no more than 1 minute, please!) sharing why they love and/or support the Scranton Cultural Center, a special memory, or what the Scranton Cultural Center means to them!
  • Photos (digital or scans) from their wedding or other special occasion, dance recital, night at the theatre, evening at a fundraiser or anything else they’d like to share!
  • Share a story – the limits are endless! Describe a special memory, favorite show or concert they attended, favorite part of the building, etc.

Approved submissions will be featured on the SCC’s social media channels, within the organization’s eblasts, and on its website.  The amount of submissions received will dictate the timeframe of the virtual celebration.  Deadline for submissions is May 17 at noon.  Submissions can be sent via email to, via Facebook (@SCCMT) or Instagram (@ScrantonCulturalCenter) message platforms, or via mail to Scranton Cultural Center – Attn: Rachael Fronduti, 420 N. Washington Avenue, Scranton PA 18503.  Any questions can also be directed to

For more information about the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple and its history, please visit

Michael J. Cummings Earns Certified Self-Funding Specialist Designation

Michael J. Cummings, employee benefits consultant, at Cummings Insurance, has earned the Certified Self-Funding Specialist (CSFS) professional designation from the Health Care Administrators Association. Cummings completed an extensive curriculum of seven comprehensive courses tailored for insurance professionals wishing to pursue advanced healthcare knowledge of third party administration and self-funding. The certification provides an unmatched understanding of the self-funded insurance market.

Since 2006, Cummings has focused his insurance efforts on brokerage and compliance support for his employee benefits clients. He specializes in helping clients transition to self-funded platforms.

Cummings is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.