Twenty-Three Norris McLaughlin Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers®

The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has announced that nineteen of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the list of The Best Lawyers in America© for 2021, including three recognized as Best Lawyers® 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” in Woodbridge. An additional four attorneys were named in the inaugural edition of “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.”

“We are very happy for so many of our attorneys to be selected for this honor. It is an acknowledgment of the hard-earned respect of their peers and their dedicated work for our clients,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

The following attorneys were recognized in The Best Lawyers in America:

Three of those attorneys listed have been recognized as the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Woodbridge for 2021: Bauer for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Donovan for Environmental Law, and Drier for Mediation.

In addition, the following four attorneys have been recognized as “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch:”

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Confers Awards During First-Ever Virtual Graduation Ceremony

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education celebrated the accomplishments of the 2020 graduating class of residents and fellows on Friday, June 19. During its first-ever virtual commencement, select graduates, faculty members and community partners were recognized for their outstanding commitment to and success within the program. The ceremony, including award presentations, can be viewed at A full list of awardees appears below.

Wright Center for Community Health Board Member Jody Cordaro, CEO of SCE Environmental Group Inc., was honored with the prestigious Bost Award. Named in honor of the late Dr. Charles Bost, an original founder of The Wright Center’s residency programs, the award is given to a community leader who most demonstrates inspiration, guidance and support for The Wright Center’s mission.

“We can never thank Jody enough for lending us his incredible expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jody went above and beyond his board and personal responsibilities to ensure our staff, executives, residents, all employees, patients and families remained safe,” explained presenter Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, Wright Center President/CEO.

Other awards included:
Teacher of the Year (Cardiology Fellowship) – Samir B. Pancholy, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Bojana Milekic, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Family Medicine Residency/Lackawanna County) – William Dempsey, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Family Medicine Residency/Luzerne County) – Maureen M. Litchman, M.D.; Faculty of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Lori Landes, M.D.; Bost Award – Jody Cordaro.

The Robert E. Wright Award (for Internal Medicine) –  Zaid Tahir Iqbal, M.D.; the Moses Taylor Hospital Golden Stethoscope (for Internal Medicine) – Tapan Buch, M.D.; Outstanding Fellow (Cardiology) – Saurabh Patel, M.D.; Intern of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Jacob Miller, M.D.; Intern of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Larry Wong, D.O.; Intern of the Year (Regional Lackawanna Family Medicine) – Solomon Saul, D.O.; Intern of Year (Regional Luzerne Family Medicine) – Jasleen Waraich, M.D.

Chief Fellow (Cardiology) – Saurabh Patel, M.D.; Chief Resident (Regional Luzerne Family Medicine) – Mandeep Singh, M.D.; Chief Residents (Regional Lackawanna Family Medicine) – Allyson Matthys, D.O., and Vikaash Persad, D.O.; Chief Residents (Internal Medicine) – Kelly O’Leary, M.D., Tapan Buch, M.D., Muhammad Pir, M.D., and Najam Saqib, M.D.; Chief Residents (National Family Medicine) – Jacob Sup, D.O., Katherine Chen, D.O., Aline Sengchannavong, D.O., Vincent Carbone, D.O., and Natasha Khawaja, D.O.

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Award – Mandeep Singh, M.D. (Regional Lackawanna Family Medicine); Outstanding Resident Award (National Family Medicine) – Lokesh Goyal, D.O.; COPC Project Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – Vincent Carbone, D.O., and Chukwuka Ojiako, D.O.

The virtual commencement recognized the accomplishments of 60 graduating student learners. Eight of those will stay in Northeast Pennsylvania to continue practicing medicine. The doctors hail from 14 countries and studied in The Wright Center’s internal medicine, regional family medicine and national family medicine residencies as well as its cardiology fellowship program.

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program to Offer 285 Hour Computer Numerical Control Training

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program’s 285 hour non-credit certificate Computer Numerical Control training will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020 and will run Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on the Johnson College campus in Scranton. To learn more or enroll call 570-702-8979 or email

The training is designed for individuals looking to enter the high-demand machining field and will cover the theory and hands-on practice of both conventional and high-demand machining field. Students will learn blueprint reading, and math with an emphasis on the use of metals and the stresses placed upon them.

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program distinguishes itself from the College’s 2-year degree programs and certificate courses by providing its adult students the opportunity to improve their skills to stay ahead of the competition, learn new technologies, and advance in their current career. The Continuing Education courses, many taught by industry professionals, are utilized and recognized by industry partners because they’re developed in partnership with industry. Johnson College strategizes with and listens to its partners when creating the most effective hands-on continuing education curriculum and programs. Some courses are specifically customized toward industry partners’ workforce needs in reducing possible skills gaps and industry requirements. Johnson College also assists individual students and industry partners in obtaining funding or grants so their continuing education courses are cost effective. Learn more about Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program at

Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University Reopens with Drawn to Abstraction Exhibition

The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University reopens Aug. 25 with the exhibition Drawn to Abstraction: Prints from the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition, which was to have been on display during the spring 2020 semester, launches the gallery’s 2020-2021 year and continues through Nov. 1. This exhibition from the collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts features an extraordinary collection of works on paper by artists widely recognized as giants of 20th-century art, including Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and more. Admission is free.

The mid- to late-20th century in America was a time of boundary testing and social critique. Artists, too, challenged accepted techniques and subject matter while critically examining the role of art in society. The works in the exhibition capture the vibrancy of the emerging abstract movements during this time, including abstract expressionism, minimalism, op art, and pop art.

A special online event celebrating the exhibition will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. It will feature Rehema Barber, chief curator at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, who will discuss the exhibition and other treasures in the institute’s collection. Segments featuring local talent to complement the exhibition also will be part of the event. The event will take place on Zoom and pre-registration is required. To register, email Karley Stasko, outreach coordinator, at by Sept. 7 to secure your place. Register for the Sordoni Art Gallery’s email list to learn about other online events throughout the exhibition. Tours are available for groups under 25. Please contact Karley Stasko for information.

The gallery is at 141 S. Main Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Visitor parking is available. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.- p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Please note the gallery’s new Thursday hours. It is no longer open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. The gallery is closed Mondays and University holidays. The gallery can be reached at 570.408.4325

The Sordoni Art Gallery is following all COVID-19 procedures set by Wilkes University. Masks, covering nose and mouth, need to be worn at all times when on campus and in the gallery. Masks cannot be provided by gallery staff and visitors should plan to arrive with their own masks. Social distancing of at least 6 feet between other gallery visitors should be followed. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed. Wilkes University is conducting extensive daily cleaning that complies with CDC guidelines. Please note, Wilkes University follows all parameters set by the State Health Department and is monitoring the situation closely. Be sure to note if the university’s status has changed in compliance with current state health regulations.

WVIA to air Remember. Honor. Ride. 9/11 Memorial Ride Documentary

WVIA will air the 9/11 Memorial Coalition’s documentary Remember. Honor. Ride. on Friday, September 11th at 7 p.m. on WVIA TV.

“As more and more events are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WVIA hopes this broadcast helps the participants celebrate the annual tradition safely in their homes as they anticipate the events return in 2021” said Ben Payavis, WVIA Chief Content Officer.

Remember. Honor. Ride. is a 30-minute documentary film about the founding and the organic growth of the 9-11 Memorial Ride, a 42-mile motorcycle parade in Lycoming County that draws 10,000 bikers and over 20,000 community spectators. The documentary produced by Alivia Tagliaferri highlights the stories of the organizers, riders and its supporting communities. 

“When I moved back home to Williamsport and learned about the 9-11 Memorial Ride, I just thought it was a tremendous tribute to all those who died that day and all those who served — and continue to serve. Thinking about the millions of firemen, policemen, military service members, and caregivers who stand ready to answer the call to serve at a moment’s notice — they’re the inspiration for this ride and the inspiration for this film” said Alivia. WVIA will rebroadcast the documentary on Saturday, September 12 at 9 p.m., Sunday, September 13 at 11:30am and Monday, September 14th at 7:30 p.m.

Housing Coalition Releases COVID-19 Housing Survey

The Lackawanna County Housing Coalition has released a housing needs survey to collect critical, up-to-date information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the residents of Lackawanna County. The survey is intended for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and community organization staff and is available online in both English and Spanish:

• Survey in English:
• Survey in Spanish:

Those who cannot complete the survey online may pick up a paper survey at United Neighborhood Centers Community Services, 410 Olive Street, Scranton, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

The information collected through this survey will be used by local housing and social service providers to assist residents who have been impacted by the pandemic, particularly those who may face eviction or foreclosure when state-wide moratoriums expire at the end of August.

For more information, visit

PennDOT Earns Regional America’s Transportation Awards for Operations Excellence and Best Use of Technology

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently received regional America’s Transportation Awards for operational excellence and best use of technology.

The department’s operational excellence award was for the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Program and the best use of technology award was for the Shaler Street Bridge Replacement.

“Innovation is at the heart of PennDOT initiatives across the state,” said PennDOT Secretary of Transportation Yassmin Gramian.  “It is gratifying to have our efforts recognized by our transportation partners.”

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Program works by deploying a mobile unit to an active work zone to detect any vehicles going at least 11 miles over the speed limit. When a vehicle goes over the limit, its license plate is captured, and a violation is mailed to the address on file. More info on the program can be found at

The Shaler Street Bridge Replacement project marks the first use of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) in Pennsylvania. This technology allowed the department to replace the Shaler Street Bridge over busy Route 19 in Allegheny County over the course of two weekends. For more information about this project, visit PennDOT’s website.

The America’s Transportation Awards competition is sponsored by American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Automobile Association (AAA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. State DOTs compete in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology and Innovation; and Operations Excellence. Each category is also designated by budget size. Projects are judged within their region. In the Northeastern region, seven states nominated 15 projects.

The Automated Work Zone Enforcement Program is a five-year pilot study to address work zone safety in the state. For the Shaler Street Bridge Replacement project, the department used SPMTs do the work of removing and replacing old bridge panels, helping speed up the construction process.

Learn more about America’s Transportation Awards at

Jeffrey Marquardt Joins The Wright Center to Lead Emerging Geriatric Program

Jeffrey Marquardt, former president and CEO of Telespond Senior Day Services, has been named director of The Wright Center’s new geriatric program.

The program has been recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly Health System Partner for providing a full spectrum of comprehensive, safety-net primary health and support services for seniors. Through individualized care plans developed by a team of providers, including an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinic that will provide comprehensive evaluation and testing, The Wright Center serves as a trusted primary health advisor for seniors and their families to support independent living.

“Our new geriatrics program will provide medical care and support services for a broad range of issues seniors currently face. We intend to design individual care plans for seniors who are living independently, often with multiple chronic health conditions and disabilities,” Marquardt explained. “Basically, we are going to make sure vulnerable seniors have a support system in place to assure they’re not just living a long life, but also living a high-quality life.”

Marquardt, an executive with 30 years of experience in business, logistics, sales and facility and systems management, earned his bachelor’s in international business from George Washington University. He resides in Clarks Summit with his family.

The unprecedented growth rate of Pennsylvania’s aging population, compounded by an undeniable, primary care physician shortage — including the number of doctors who specialize in the physical, mental and behavioral health challenges specific to seniors — presents a significant challenge to countless families in Northeastern Pennsylvania, leading to the creation of this new program.

Appointments are now being scheduled for The Wright Center’s geriatric service line by calling 570-941-0630.

Geisinger Researchers Find Genomic Screening Effective in Detecting Risk for Previously Undiagnosed Conditions

A team of Geisinger researchers has found that genomic screening programs, like Geisinger’s MyCode Community Health Initiative, can identify previously undiagnosed individuals with an increased risk of cancer and heart disease, facilitating risk management and early cancer detection.

The research team conducted an observational study of participants enrolled in MyCode, which returns medically actionable results, including an individual’s increased genetic risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, Lynch syndrome and familial hypercholesterolemia. These conditions are among those recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having “tier 1” evidence for interventions that reduce morbidity and mortality in people with increased genetic risk.

The team found that 87 percent of study participants with a tier 1 gene variant did not have a prior diagnosis of the related condition. More than 70 percent of individuals who were notified of their genetic result then had a recommended procedure, such as a colonoscopy or lipid panel, following the notification. This evidence suggests that genomic screening programs are an effective way to identify individuals who could benefit from early intervention and risk management but have not yet been diagnosed, and encourage these individuals to take measures to reduce their risk, researchers said.

Results of the study were published in Genetics in Medicine.

“This study shows that genomic screening can identify at-risk individuals more comprehensively than previous methods and start people on the path to managing that risk,” said Adam Buchanan, director of Geisinger’s Genomic Medicine Institute. “The next step is figuring out the impact genomic screening has on improving population health.”

Geisinger’s MyCode precision medicine project has enrolled more than 265,000 participants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. With DNA sequence and health data currently available on nearly 145,000 of these participants, MyCode is the largest study of its kind in the world.

MyCode analyzes DNA samples to look for genes known to increase the risk of developing 35 specific health conditions, including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes known to increase risk for breast and ovarian cancer; genes for familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause early heart attacks and strokes; Lynch syndrome, which can cause early colon, uterine and other cancers; and several heart conditions, including cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia. In all, MyCode has returned medically actionable results to more than 1,500 patients.

For more information on MyCode or to enroll, visit

Billy Strings Announces “Meet Me at the Drive-In” Tour

Fresh off the massively successful ‘“Streaming Strings Tour,” Billy Strings has announced today that he and his band will embark on a seven-night tour dubbed the “Meet Me At The Drive-In Tour” which will kick off on September 11th for three nights at the ASM Global managed Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  The tour will then take the band to the Chicago area for two already sold-out shows on September 16th and 17th at McHenry Outdoor Theater and then the band will head to Peoria, IL for two nights at the Expo Gardens on September 18th and 19th.

Show presale tickets are available beginning on Thursday, August 20th at 12 pm ET for Billy Strings newsletter subscribers. Public on-sale begins Friday, August 21st at 12 pm ET. 

Tickets for the Wilkes-Barre performances are available via, or (if available) in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena on during Summer hours of operations on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 10am-2pm.

Tickets for each performance are sold separately. For tickets purchased through Ticketmaster, only touchless, mobile tickets administered through the Ticketmaster app (iOS | Android) will be valid for this event.

A limited number of Platinum ($300), Gold Circle ($250), Silver Circle ($225) and Bronze Circle ($200) parking spaces will be available for each performance providing a premium view of the stage. General Admission ($175) parking spaces are also available.

Up to four (4) occupants will be permitted per vehicle with your ticket purchase. Guests that have purchased their tickets will have the option to purchase one (1) additional patron ticket per vehicle.

All CDC and local guidelines will be followed. The Billy Strings band and crew are working closely with local promoters and government to ensure this event meets or exceeds all recommended standards.

  • Vehicles will be spaced to accommodate social distancing.
  • Patrons may only leave their vehicles to use their tailgating space adjacent to their vehicle, restrooms or to obtain concessions.
  • Masks/Face coverings must be worn by any patrons traveling to and from restrooms, concessions areas.
  • Safe social distancing will be strictly enforced.

September 11th @ Mohegan Sun Arena | 7:30pm | Wilkes-Barre, PA
September 12th @ Mohegan Sun Arena | 7:30PM | Wilkes-Barre, PA
September 13th @ Mohegan Sun Arena | 5:30PM | Wilkes-Barre, PA
September 16th @ McHenry Outdoor Theater | McHenry, IL – SOLD OUT
September 17th @ McHenry Outdoor Theater | McHenry, IL – SOLD OUT
September 18th @ Expo Gardens | Peoria, IL]

Billy Strings has been hailed as the future of bluegrass, transcending tradition and genre with his high velocity, flat-picking guitar technique, and intense, confessional songwriting. HOME (Rounder Records), Strings’ remarkable second studio album, is undoubtedly the Michigan-born, Nashville-based artist’s bravest excursion thus far, completely rewiring bluegrass with elements of punk, country, folk rock, and genuine psychedelic exploration to fashion something altogether his own. Strings has infused the aesthetic with his own experiences and inspirations, adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to confront contemporary social truths. With guest appearances from the likes of Jerry Douglas and Molly Tuttle and produced by Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass, Marcus Miller), HOME marks a landmark on Billy Strings’ ongoing creative journey, its fearless songs and freewheeling approach recasting string-based American music in his own inimitable image.

Follow Billy Strings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.