Johnson College Earns 2021-2022 Military Spouse Friendly® School Designation

Johnson College announced today that it has earned the 2021-2022 Military Spouse Friendly® School designation.

Institutions earning the Military Spouse Friendly® School designation were evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey, with 747 schools earning the designation as a Military Friendly School, of which 194 were selected for the Military Spouse Friendly Schools list. Johnson College was designated as a Military Spouse Friendly® School for their leading practices, outcomes, and effective programs for military spouses.

The 2021-2022 Military Spouse Friendly® Schools list will be published in Military Spouse magazine’s May issue and can be found at

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources within a logic-based scoring assessment. We measure the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer), and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently and with purpose. Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services. Focusing on the betterment of the educational landscape and providing positive outcomes and economic opportunity for the Military Community.” – Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®.

For more information about Johnson College’s student veteran programs, visit Johnson College’s website at

Rally for Restaurants $10,000 Cash Prize for #RallyFinale

After raising nearly $50,000 for restaurants and over $12,000 for student scholarships, Lackawanna College Rally for Restaurants and Metz Culinary Management have committed to raising up to $10,000 to award to one local restaurant in need.

“Rally for Restaurants exemplifies the College’s commitment to bettering the communities we serve, namely in this case, our restaurant community,” said Stephanie Decker, Lackawanna College Associate VP of Social and Economic Impact. “Thanks to the generosity of Metz Culinary Management and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, our #RallyFinale event will deliver on that promise in a big way.”

Rally for Restaurants at 409 on Adams will feature Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, a franchise operated by Metz, for their final dinner service on May 6 at their #RallyFinale event. Metz Culinary Management will award all proceeds from the event to Lackawanna College who will run a community-driven contest to award the full amount raised to a local eatery.

“As a partner with Lackawanna College since 2015 as their onsite foodservice provider, Metz Culinary Management is thrilled to work in conjunction with their local Ruth’s Chris Steak House to support Rally for Restaurants,” said Jeff Metz, President and CEO of Metz Culinary Management. “Our commitment to raising money for those in need locally is part of who we are as an organization and we are proud to support this worthy cause.”

Restaurants can participate in the Lackawanna College Rally for Restaurant’s #RallyFinale contest by submitting a 60-second video on how the funds will be used to help their restaurant at by Friday, April 30. Lackawanna College will announce the finalists on May 3 and open the vote to the public. The contest winner will be announced at the #RallyFinale event with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on May 6.

For more information, reservations or to donate to Rally for Restaurants, visit

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police Highlight Litter Enforcement Corridors

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) have collaborated to explain the creation of and penalties of littering and littering in a Litter Enforcement Corridor.

PennDOT and PSP recently held a press event in Lackawanna county to explain what Litter Enforcement is, why it’s important and what the penalties are for littering.

“PennDOT is proud to be collaborating with the Pennsylvania State Police and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to build awareness of Litter Enforcement Corridors,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We encourage our municipal partners to reach out to their local PennDOT District Office for more information on designating a Litter Enforcement Corridor their area.”

Litter Enforcement Corridors have a high aesthetic or historic value worth preserving or need some additional help with litter issues. Approved segments are marked with signs to notify motorists of additional litter fines: doubled penalties for motorists caught scattering rubbish and tripled when it is done by a commercial business. Litter Enforcement Corridors also offer increased safety for workers or volunteers who are picking up trash in a designated corridor.

When drivers in these areas see traffic control devices, they must yield the right of way, as in a construction work zone. For this reason, it’s important to plan a cleanup event with local or state authorities involved when possible.

For more information on establishing a Litter Enforcement Corridor, consult PennDOT’s Roadside Enforcement Manual on PennDOT’s website.

Allied Services Integrated Health System People on the Move

Jennifer Ambrosino, MS, OTR/L, was announced as Director of Rehabilitation at Allied Services Rehab Hospital in Scranton. Ambrosino joined the health system as an Occupational Therapist after graduating from Tufts University in 1997 and has served in a variety of positions at the inpatient facility including supervisor and assistant director. 

Along with helping patients regain their independence following an injury or illness, Ambrosino’s new role includes supervising and managing inpatient rehab services provided by Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy, along with the Counseling department. This includes monitoring productivity, developing standards of treatment, and maintaining performance improvement programs. 

Chris Fazzini, MHA, NHA: Allied Services Integrated Health System welcomed Chris Fazzini, MHA, NHA, as Administrator of the Transitional Care Unit in Scranton. Fazzini earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees in Management and Human Resources Management from Kings College in 2018, followed by his Master of Science in Healthcare Administration in 2019. 

Prior to joining Allied Services, Fazzini was the Administrator of a long-term care facility in the Lancaster area.

Andrea Sokolowski, MS, CCC/SLP: Allied Services Integrated Health System welcomed Andrea Sokolowski, MS, CCC/SLP, as a new member of the therapy team at its Scranton-based outpatient rehab center. Sokolowski earned both her Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from East Stroudsburg University. 

Prior to joining Allied Services, Sokolowski was a school-based speech therapist in Bethlehem, PA working with students in a variety of classrooms, including autistic support, hearing support, life skills, emotional support, and partial hospitalization. 

Kimberly Yablonski, RN: Allied Services Integrated Health System announced Kimberly Yablonski, RN as the new Director of Nursing at the health systems Meade Street Skilled Nursing Center in Wilkes-Barre.  Starting her nursing career as a Licensed Practical Nurse, Yablonski went on to become a Registered Nurse graduating from Luzerne County Community College with an Associate in Applied Science Degree, and brings more than 25 years of nursing experience to her new role.   During her career, she has specialized in gerontology and dementia care. Prior to accepting the position in Wilkes-Barre, Yablonski served as the Assistant Director of Nursing, Unit Manager, and Alzheimer’s Specialist at Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Lowers Online Ticket Pricing for 2021

Single-game tickets for the month of May go on sale April 27 at 10 A.M. online at The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, in effort to shift ticket sales online and digital this season to help limit contact, have lowered pricing for tickets purchased on the team’s website.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $14 when purchased online at, which marks a $2 decrease from online pricing in 2019.

Infield Box seats are $14 online this year. Field Reserved and Budweiser RailHouse seats are $13 each this season, while Bleacher and Lawn seats are $11 and $10, respectively. All tickets will be fully digital with mobile delivery.

TicketMaster service fees are applied to all online ticket orders.

The RailRiders Box Office at PNC Field will be open prior to all home games this season and closed when the team is on the road. Infield Box tickets are $20 when purchased in-person at the box office. Field Reserved and Budweiser RailHouse seats purchased at the box office $19 each. Bleacher and Lawn seats are $17 and $16, respectively, when purchased in-person. Tickets purchased at the box office can be sent via text message at no additional cost, but there is a $2 per seat fee if printed tickets are desired.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre announced their 2021 health and safety policies on April 20. Due to state and CDC guidelines, PNC Field will not open at full capacity at the outset of the season. The RailRiders will incorporate “pod” seating within the ballpark and tickets will be limited based on social distancing guidelines and procedures.

While single-game tickets for the 12 home games during May will go on sale Tuesday, April 27, single-game tickets for the remainder of the season will go on sale at a later date. Full, Half and Partial Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now. For more information, please visit or contact the club by calling (570) 969-2255.

Geisinger Data Shows COVID-19 Vaccine Proving Effective

With more than a quarter million doses administered, and eligibility expanded to everyone 16 and older, Geisinger’s data indicates the COVID-19 vaccine is proving effective among those vaccinated in earlier phases. To date, Geisinger has administered 266,000 vaccine doses.

Based on Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines in December 2020, Geisinger employees were among the first groups to be vaccinated. As a result, the weekly average of new positive COVID-19 tests among employees has remained in the single digits since early February, down from the mid-30s in early December. Since employee vaccinations began in mid-December, we saw positive testing rates among employees plummet through January and stay consistently low as more employees received the vaccine (see figure 1).

The trended COVID-19 vaccinations of Geisinger employees versus the seven-day average of COVID-19 positive employee tests.

Similarly, the average number of COVID-19 admissions for those age 65 and older has also decreased significantly as vaccines have been rolled out to that age group starting in mid- January.

“The science — and our data — clearly demonstrates these vaccines are proving effective in helping prevent illness, hospitalizations and death,” said Jaewon Ryu, JD, MD, Geisinger president and chief executive officer. “If we are looking to put this pandemic behind us and return to a sense of normalcy, the vaccine is a great way to get there.”

While the vaccine is proving effective for many who have received it, a worrying trend is emerging across Geisinger’s communities. For the second week in a row, the majority of those being hospitalized for COVID-19 are younger than 65, with a growing number between age 25 and 49.

“What we don’t want is this increase of hospital admissions among younger people to accelerate. The vaccine can keep that from happening,” Ryu said. “Masking, social distancing and other mitigation efforts have helped us as well so far, but the best way we can win this fight is with the vaccine. It will help us get out in front of this virus and its potential mutations that threaten our ability to get our communities back to normal.”

Vaccine appointments remain available at Geisinger’s four vaccine centers in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. You can self-schedule a vaccine appointment through myGeisinger or by calling 570-284-3657. It still remains critical for everyone – vaccinated or not – to keep wearing a mask, physical distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene to stop the virus’ spread. For the latest information on the COVID vaccine, visit

NeighborWorks Seeking AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Volunteers

Looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend your summer? NeighborWorks is seeking two responsible, self-motivated individuals to provide 10 weeks of service, June 7 to August 13, 2021, through AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization that revitalizes neighborhoods and creates opportunities for families to improve their lives through quality housing and financial guidance. VISTA Summer Associates are an integral part of our dedicated, hardworking team, which is devoted to bringing low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

About the Position
VISTA Summer Associates will work with residents and volunteers to improve West Scranton and serve seniors through NeighborWorks’ aging in place program by:

• Coordinating volunteer home repair projects
• Installing home safety kits for seniors
• Visiting businesses to enroll them in a business association
• Coordinating neighborhood and park cleanups
• Maintaining vacant lots
• Picking up litter along main commercial corridors
• Documenting and reporting quality of life issues (code violations, missing street signs, etc.)

This position requires a commitment to serve as a full-time team member for a 10-week period this summer. Although this is a non-salaried volunteer position, VISTA Summer Associates receive a bi-weekly living allowance and are eligible for an education award or cash stipend at the end of their term of service.

For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit

• U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age
• Ability to work independently on a variety of projects and lead others in service activities
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Basic computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office
• Valid driver’s license and privately owned vehicle for service-related travel

How to Apply
Applications will be accepted until May 7, 2021, or until the positions are filled. To apply, email your resume to Todd Pousley, Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, at

Local Organizations Receive Almost $250,000 to Reduce Homelessness

FHLBank Pittsburgh recently announced Home4Good funding awarded to programs across the state working to reduce homelessness, including seven organizations in Lackawanna County and one in Luzerne County that split $248,190.55.

FNCB Bank was one of six local financial institutions to serve as a member co-applicant to make these awards possible. Distribution of the funding was overseen by local Continuum of Care organizations.

Home4Good is a flexible grant product that supports projects, programs and activities that lead to stable housing for those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. In response to COVID-19, FHLBank Pittsburgh and their partners – the Delaware State Housing Authority, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (collectively, HFAs) – changed the 2020 Home4Good process so that funding could more swiftly reach communities, families and individuals experiencing homelessness as a result of COVID-19.

FHLBank Pittsburgh awarded $4.8 million to the 2020 Home4Good initiative. The HFAs in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia added an additional $2 million, bringing the total funding amount to $6.8 million.

Local organizations receiving grants were: Valley Youth House Committee, Inc., Community Intervention Center, Catherine McAuley Center, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, Inc., United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, Women’s Resource Center Inc., Saint Joseph’s Center and the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO).

“The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is grateful for its partnership with the United Neighborhood Center, the Scranton Lackawanna County Continuum of Care, and the continued support of FNCB Bank. WRC provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. The monies allocated were used toward staffing for homeless prevention, rehousing as well as cleaning supplies. Also, rental assistance for its program participants,” said Amy Everetts, Women’s Resource Center Director of Development.

If you have any questions about Home4Good, please contact Kate Swanson at or 412-288-7350.

Marywood University Confirms Plan to Return to In-Person Classes for Fall 2021

Marywood University has confirmed its plan to return to in-person classes for the fall 2021 semester. Structured with the goal of keeping the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff paramount, the in-person plan was developed by Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., Marywood University president, in collaboration with a team of experts from across the University.

Sister Mary Persico, said, “We’ve been looking forward to a return to normalcy since the beginning of the pandemic. While our foremost concerns have always been, and continue to be, the health, safety, and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff, we are excited to return to in-person classes for the 2021-2022 academic year. Our plans are made possible as a result of the continuing cooperation of our campus community.”

Marywood’s overall goal is to provide the best in-person experience possible. If the situation changes, the University is prepared to make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep students, faculty, and staff safe.

Marywood University’s fall semester classes begin on Monday, August 23, 2021. For additional information, please visit, or call the Office of Admissions at (570) 348-6234. While vaccinations will not be required for students to attend classes, the University strongly encourages students to vaccinate against Covid-19 and to continue to follow CDC guidelines. For questions, please visit, or call Marywood University, at (570) 348-6211.

License, ID Card Holders Can Save Lives Through Organ Donation

In conjunction with the national observance of Donate Life Month in April, the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation and Health are spreading the message that driver’s license and identification card holders can easily help another person live a fuller, longer life by registering as an organ donor. 

An organ donor designation can be added by selecting “Become an Organ Donor in 30 Seconds” at

“It is easy to add an organ donor designation to your driver’s license or identification card,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Making the decision today to become an organ donor can potentially lead to saving a life.”

Once the designation is added, individuals will receive a designation card that they must carry with them to affirm organ donor status until they renew or replace their driver’s license or identification card. There is no charge for adding the designation to your driver’s license or identification card.

More than 48 percent of current driver’s license and identification card holders are registered organ donors – that’s more than 4.9 million Pennsylvanians. More than 7,000 Pennsylvanians currently await organ transplants.

“Registering to be an organ and tissue donor has the potential to save many lives and only takes a few seconds, as you can register online,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Organ and tissue transplants have become an integral part of health care in the state and across the nation. We are encouraging Pennsylvanians to register as organ donors and learn more about the importance of organ and tissue donation.”

Driver’s license and identification card holders, as well as registered vehicle owners, can also support organ donation programs by donating $3 to the Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund at the time of application and/or renewal. Customers renewing their vehicle registration for a two-year period can donate $6 to the fund when renewing online. Proceeds from the fund are used to educate and promote awareness of the importance of organ donation through non-profit organizations like the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and the Gift of Life Donor Program. Pennsylvanians have generously donated more than $16.8 million over the life of the fund.

More information on organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania can be found at