Johnson College to Offer Pre-Employment Transition Program

Johnson College, in conjunction with The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and KANE Logistics will be offering a Pre-Employment Transition Service (Pre-ETS) Program to qualifying students attending local member school districts, starting August 2021. OVR is a state & federally funded agency that assists people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, maintain or advance in employment. OVR offers several Pre-ETS programs, including paid work experience transition opportunities for youth with disabilities, who have a post-secondary goal of employment. This gives students the opportunity to prepare for competitive employment. This program will prepare students to become entry-level warehouse associates, with a fundamental understanding of the supply chain. For more information about this program contact Dr. Kellyn Williams, Johnson College’s Chief Academic Officer at 570-702-8940 or

Due to the pandemic, classes for this 6-month certificate program will be held online. If federal and state guidelines are updated, classes will be held on the Johnson College campus on Main Avenue in Scranton, PA and at KANE Logistics located in the Stauffer Industrial Park in Scranton, PA. Students will gain an understanding of the physical and technological process, along with the safety considerations of warehouse/distribution operations. Additionally, students will learn about facility configuration, storage and handling techniques, picking and shipping processes, customer service expectations, and the overall role distribution operations plays in the supply chain. Students will earn college credit, an OSHA certification and a forklift certification. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to be potentially hired by KANE Logistics.

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Greater Scranton YMCA Announces Virtual Wellness Platform Through A Regional Collaboration

The Greater Scranton YMCA is proud to announce a new online wellness platform to benefit their members and the community. On January 25th, the Greater Scranton YMCA launched Y Wellness 24/7, providing live and on-demand group exercise, and sports and play programs online, free to their members. Over 150 live classes and 100s of new on-demand classes led by over 120 nurturing and motivating YMCA instructors will be available weekly. The platform also provides access to 1000s of additional on-demand classes from leaders in the fitness industry nationwide. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in mandated closures and strict safety protocols, the need for outstanding virtual wellness offerings has been on the rise. Recognizing this need in our communities, Y Wellness 24/7 is the result of a collaboration among 29 YMCA associations from throughout the northeast United States. Involved in the partnership are many Pennsylvania YMCAs including those in Bloomsburg, Bucks County, Lancaster, Lebanon Valley, York and York County as well YMCA of the North Shore and YMCA of the Twin Tiers in Massachusetts and New York, respectively. 

Y Wellness 24/7 provides live and on-demand classes in training, mindfulness, nutrition, and stress management. With the collaboration, YMCAs are able to serve youth, adults and seniors through a variety of class formats such as strength training, cardio, kickboxing, cycling, Tai Chi, yoga, dance, bootcamp, balance, core and more.    

“We are so pleased to partner with YMCAs from across the northeast region,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “By working together, we are able to meet the needs of our members across the region by offering more classes and a greater variety of classes.” 

Since the March pandemic shut down, the Y has made it their mission to meet community needs in new ways. The creation of this virtual wellness platform is another step toward serving YMCA members from across the region. 

Geisinger Recognized by American Heart Association

Geisinger has been recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) for commitment to helping improve blood pressure and cholesterol control rates among adult patients.

Through participation in the AHA and AMA’s Target BP™ initiative, Geisinger has earned Gold-level recognition. The Gold award recognizes health care organizations that have 70 percent or more of their adult patient population with high blood pressure controlled.

Geisinger has also earned Gold-level recognition through participation in the AHA’s Check. Change. Control. Cholesterol™ initiative. The Gold award recognizes health care organizations that have 70 percent or more of their adult patient population at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) appropriately managed with statin therapy.

“Our Primary Care teams are profoundly dedicated to preventing, identifying and treating chronic conditions. Their work around management of these conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, is a testament to their practice and the patients they serve,” said Stacei Faust, quality program coordinator for Geisinger Care Gaps. “It’s an honor to be recognized for that work by the AHA and AMA, and my pleasure to work alongside these remarkable colleagues.”

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a leading risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and preventable death in the United States. There are 116 million U.S. adults living with high blood pressure, and less than half of those people have it under control – making diagnosing and effectively managing hypertension critical.

Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., with an estimated 92.1 million adults having at least one type of cardiovascular disease that can lead to heart attack, stroke or death. The use of statin therapy for the prevention of ASCVD in many higher-risk patients is supported by an extensive body of evidence, but many patients who might benefit from this therapy go untreated or undertreated, according to the AHA.

“We recognize how important aggressive and early treatment of chronic conditions like hypertension and hyperlipidemia is in preventing disease progression and serious complications like heart attack, stroke and kidney disease,” said Cybele Pacheco, M.D., director of Community Medicine in Geisinger’s west region. “Prevention and team-based management of chronic diseases is our focus in Primary Care, and it shows the collaborative work among our Geisinger teams.”

Lackawanna College Awarded Funding for Suicide Prevention

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition has awarded Lackawanna College a mini-grant to launch “You Matter”, a student-led project that combines a visual suicide prevention campaign with a one-day suicide prevention event. 

The grant will be used to install large-scale inspirational message decals and support an event for Lackawanna students, faculty and staff to provide education on suicide prevention. At the event, participants will write encouraging messages to support students who are struggling on a banner that will be displayed on campus.

The campaign, led by Lackawanna’s PRIDE student organization and supported by the Student Engagement and Student Wellness programs, will be launching a platform for creating an Active Minds chapter in fall 2021. Active Minds is a nonprofit organization that supports mental health awareness and education for students.

“Our PRIDE club students are so excited about this initiative because it reflects what PRIDE stands for in promoting peace, respect, inclusion, dignity, and equality with oneself,” said Christine Kiehart, Lackawanna College Associate Professor in Academic Development.

The project builds on the College’s current efforts to implement suicide prevention programming for students and trauma-informed care training for staff. Through the “You Matter” event, the college seeks to change campus culture by promoting positive self-esteem and encouraging conversation about suicide prevention and mental health. 

Boback Announces Over $6 Million in Federal Funding Awarded to Area School Districts

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) has announced additional funding made available to local school districts from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CCRSA).

“Ensuring that our students and teachers are provided for has been a priority during this pandemic,” explained Boback. “It is wonderful to see that federal funds were made available to our school districts from this program that plans for and covers those additional expenses sustained due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the 117th Legislative District, Dallas, Lackawanna Trail, Lake Lehman, Northwest Area and Tunkhannock School Districts all received funding as a part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). As part of the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CCRSA), Congress and the Trump Administration established and appropriated a total of $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Funding is distributed to states based on each state’s proportionate share of Title I, Part A (Title I-A) funding. ESSER funds are intended to support COVID-19 response efforts and may be spent on a wide range of allowable activities.  

Pennsylvania’s share of this funding is approximately $2.22 billion, which will be distributed to the state’s school districts and charter schools based on the Title I-A formula.  This funding is on top of the $471 million that was distributed to school districts last year through the CARES Act.

Marywood University Receives $200,000 Grant

Marywood University recently received a $200,000 grant to The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler endowed Scholarship fund, which was established in 2020 with a gift from the Foundation in the amount of $385,000.

The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation was established by Mr. and Mrs. Stabler in 1966 exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. Students who receive a Stabler Scholarship commit to making contributions to the endowment scholarship fund after their graduation in an amount at least equal to what they received. This is a “debt of conscience” rather than a legal obligation, and it helps to create a culture of philanthropy in students who have received funding and support.

Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., president of Marywood University said, “This generous gift will create resources that best serve our students during these times that require flexibility and ingenuity—two bedrocks of a Marywood education founded in the liberal arts tradition. Because of The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, our resilient and innovative students will have the resources to emerge stronger and better. Their support indeed inspires the next generation of Marywood students to dedicate their lives to serve the common good.”

For additional information about Marywood University, please visit, or call the Office of Admissions, at (570) 348-6234.

Scranton Area Community Foundation to Launch Special Grants Program

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is launching a special funding opportunity to provide critical, emergency grants to address needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Scranton Area Community has received a $100,000 gift from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support those in the community experiencing hardship, and 501c3 charitable organizations in the Lackawanna County area can apply for grants up to $10,000. The Scranton Area Community Foundation, administrator of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, will accept applications for this grant cycle through the online grant management portal until Monday, February 1, 2021, accessible through the Foundation’s website,

“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation during this time when there are so many continued needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s President and CEO.

This special grants program is in addition to the regular Robert H. Spitz Foundation grants cycle which will begin in Spring 2021.

For more information on the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at

Geisinger Expanding COVID Vaccine Availability

Geisinger is expanding the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to those who qualify as part of the state’s updated Phase 1A groups. Vaccine appointments are available at the health system’s community-based vaccine centers throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Appointments are required to receive the vaccine, and can be made online using myGeisinger. A questionnaire must be completed prior to scheduling to ensure eligibility and for health screening purposes. Those receiving the vaccine must bring to their appointments identification that verifies your eligibility as part of the state’s Phase 1A groups (certificate, license etc.) and a valid driver’s license.

If you’ve been cared for by Geisinger or have Geisinger Health Plan insurance, but don’t have a myGeisinger account, you can create one online. Those who haven’t been cared for by Geisinger and don’t have Geisinger Health Plan insurance or anyone under the age of 18 can call 570-284-3657 for help setting up an account.

In alignment with federal and state guidelines and as supplies, staffing and logistics allow, COVID vaccines will now also be available to those who qualify as part of the state’s Phase 1A groups.

Phase 1A groups now include:

  • Healthcare workers
  • People age 65 and older
  • People age 16–64 with high-risk medical conditions including:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD
    • Down syndrome
    • Heart conditions (e.g., heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)
    • Weakened immune system (from solid organ/blood/bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or other immunity-weakening medicines)
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of ≥30 kg/m2) or severe obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m2)
    • Pegnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes

Geisinger is administering the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines. Due to the vaccine distribution process, it isn’t possible to select the vaccine you receive when scheduling your appointment. It’s important to remember that two doses of the vaccine are required, so it’s encouraged to consider both doses when scheduling. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is needed 21 days after the first, and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is needed 28 days after the first. Scheduling for your second dose occurs at the time you receive the first dose at the vaccine center.

It’s required to receive both vaccine doses at the same location. Receiving that second dose is a critical step in the COVID vaccination process to trigger the immune response needed to develop an immunity level against COVID-19.

Vaccines also remain available to Geisinger staff and those in the state’s Tier 1A phase. To date, Geisinger has provided over 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Even as the vaccine becomes more available in our communities, preventive measures to help stop the spread of the virus continue to be important. Everyone, including those who receive the vaccine, should continue to properly wear a mask, avoid group gatherings, maintain physical distancing and practice proper handwashing. For answers to questions about the vaccine, visit the Geisinger COVID-19 vaccine resources center at

Johnson College Now Enrolling Students in Forklift Operator Training Course

Johnson College’s Continuing Education program is offering a Forklift Operator Training Course on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 5 the Diesel Technology Center on the College’s campus in Scranton. The cost of the course is $200, but if you are a current Johnson College student or alumni the cost is only $100. Space is limited! Contact the Continuing Education team at 570-702-8979 or to learn more and enroll.

The forklift operator training is designed to familiarize students with OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Requirements (29CFR Standard 1910.178 and ASME B56.1), provide current training requirements under the newly adopted standards and to assist participants in becoming an authorized operator of forklifts through theory and tactile testing. 12 hours of instruction including pre-operational inspection, picking up, traveling and placing loads, parking procedures, refueling, and practical operation.