HNB Montdale and Forest City Offices Celebrate 25 Year Anniversary

As The Honesdale National Bank celebrates 185 years of service this year, June 17 marks the Bank’s 25Year Anniversary of the opening of its Forest City and Montdale and Office Locations.

HNB President & CEO, David Raven, stated, “HNB has been proud to serve the Forest City and Montdale areas and be partners in their rich sense of community and livelihood,” he said.  “Our aim is to support and provide the resources that support the needs and goals of their residents and businesses well into the future.”

The Bank acquired these offices from a local competitor in 1996,  enabling it the ability to provide improved access to the benefits of HNB’s community banking service philosophy and commitment to the local area. The locations offer full banking services under the direction of Melissa Rushworth is AVP, Branch Manager at the Forest City Office and Paulette Straka is AVP, Branch Manager/Loan Officer of the Montdale Office.

Forest City Staff

The Honesdale National Bank Forest City Office is located at 619 Main Street Forest City, PA. The Montdale Office is located at 13 Chapman Lake Road Scott Township, PA.

Montdale Staff

The Honesdale National Bank, established in 1836, holds the distinction of being the area’s oldest independent community bank headquartered in Northeastern PA, with offices in Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.  The Honesdale National Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth solutions. HNB is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender with NMLS ID # 446237. Visit for more information.

AllOne Foundation Supports Expansion of Friendship House Autism Services in Williamsport

The Friendship House Autism program in Williamsport became operational on September 15, 2019 as part of the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence with the support of the AllOne Foundation. Located in the Hope Enterprises Inc. facility in Williamsport, PA, Friendship House is currently serving eight children and their families. Led by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Friendship House provides evidence-based teaching strategies in one to one or group formats to allow the children served the opportunity to acquire developmentally appropriate skill repertoires.

Friendship House has operated an Autism Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) Center Based program in Scranton, PA since November 2002. Formerly known as the Autism EIBI program, Friendship House has served over 500 children with Autism and comorbid diagnoses, and supported their transitions to various programs and schools in the community. The Autism program at Friendship House uses evidence-based teaching methods focused on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, a research-based, scientifically validated treatment widely used for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Early, intensive intervention services are key for skill development. The goal of the Autism program is to assist the child and his/her caregiver in developing “learning to learn skills” to better prepare them for inclusion in naturalistic settings within school based programming, their home, and the community.

Alex J. Hazzouri, President/Chief Executive Officer of Friendship House, emphasized the importance of early intervention services for children with Autism. “The opportunity that AllOne Foundation provided to Friendship House to expand services into Lycoming County has afforded families that have children with Autism a unique opportunity to access these critical services,” he said.

Friendship House is committed to maximizing the adaptive functioning and skills of its children in a planned, positive, and data driven manner.

According to John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation, Friendship House offers a unique program providing critical Applied Behavioral Analysis to young children. “This early intervention program is one of a kind and the AllOne Foundation is pleased to be part of this effort to bring these services to families in Lycoming County,” he said.

Friendship House is licensed by the state of Pennsylvania as an Intensive Behavioral Health Services provider. As an agency, Friendship House’s intention is to expand beyond center-based programming to provide Autism services in the home, school, and community settings. This would allow greater access to services for families in need in Lycoming County.

Enroll Now in Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program’s Fundamentals of Welding Class

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program is currently enrolling students in its next Fundamentals of Welding class, scheduled to begin in July on its campus in Scranton. Space is very limited.

Students will learn the basics of the major welding processes. After fundamentals, students can enroll in an intermediate class in either Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG), or Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG). Each of these classes works toward plate certification to a common welding code.

To learn more or enroll contact the Johnson College Continuing Education department at 570-702-8979 or email

The Wright Center Celebrates 81 Graduates, Addressing Regional and National Need for Physicians

Eighty-one medical residents and fellows are completing their training this year at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, with many members of the Class of 2021 choosing to remain in Northeast Pennsylvania for further studies or to enter practice here and care for patients.

The Wright Center’s newest cohort of highly skilled, compassionate caregivers – whose training overlapped with the outbreak of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic – will help to address the nation’s physician workforce shortages and improve access to care. Sixteen graduates plan to continue their careers in Pennsylvania, 10 of them in this region.

The Wright Center celebrated its graduates’ accomplishments with a virtual commencement on Friday, June 18. The event can be viewed online at

Established locally in 1976, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education has since blossomed into the nation’s largest Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, a critical part of the country’s workforce pipeline needed to fill an urgent need for more primary care physicians. Unlike traditional residency programs based out of hospitals, the THCGME program provides training sites in community-based settings and serves to inspire physicians to work in rural and other medically underserved communities 

For graduates of The Wright Center’s pioneering regional and national programs, this week’s commencement marked the completion of a three-year, or longer, graduate medication education training period during which they treated patients under the guidance of faculty physicians and simultaneously honed their skills to become highly competent, licensed caregivers.

Notably, the Class of 2021 includes the first physicians to have successfully finished The Wright Center’s three newest programs: its psychiatry residency and its gastroenterology and geriatrics fellowship programs. The graduation ceremony also recognized physicians who completed The Wright Center’s longer-established residencies – internal medicine, regional family medicine and national family medicine – and its cardiovascular disease fellowship program.

The graduating class includes Clarks Summit native Daniel Kazmierski, M.D., chief resident of the internal medicine program. Internal medicine residency graduates who plan to stay in Northeast Pennsylvania to practice medicine or continue their studies include: Anjalika Gupta, M.D., who will begin an addiction medicine fellowship at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre; Abdul Haseeb, M.D., Husnain Shaukat, M.D., and Mousa Thalji, M.D., all of whom will join Geisinger Wyoming Valley as hospitalists; and Rahool, M.D., and Umesh Singla, M.D., both of whom will stay with The Wright Center to join the geriatric fellowship program.

Family medicine graduates who plan to stay in NEPA include chief resident Ebi Rowshanshad, D.O., who will join Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale; and Steven Archambault, D.O., who will remain with The Wright Center as faculty. Geriatric fellowship graduates Nirali Patel, M.D., and Naeem Ijaz, M.D., will also stay on as faculty physicians with The Wright Center.

The commencement was held virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online event featured remarks and congratulations from Gerard Geoffroy, Chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors; Harold Baillie, Ph.D., Chair of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Board of Directors; and William Waters, Ph.D., Vice Chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors and Co-Chair of The Wright Center for Patient and Community Engagement; graduates and program directors as well as executive leadership, including President/CEO Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth; and Designated Institutional Official Dr. Jumee Barooah.

“I’ve been awed to observe firsthand as each of our residents and fellows faced hardship with humility, calmed concerns with compassion, and grounded the practice of medicine in grace,” Dr. Barooah said during her remarks. “Resilience has been the defining trait of our graduates, and it is a characteristic that will continue to serve them well throughout their lives and careers. They have served as brothers and sisters in arms on the front lines of healthcare, and have all solidified their place in The Wright Center’s history and family.”

“The pandemic brought an unexpected final act to these years of residency: a wake-up call to the profession and indeed to the world, that the object of your practice is not limited to your individual patients, but to them, their families, their communities, and ultimately, the world,” Dr. Baillie said to graduates. “You rose to that challenge in extraordinary ways, going beyond your training to care for the community: providing vaccinations, being alert to the ailments of your patients, and assisting the community in holding back the tsunami of the virus.”

Scranton Area Community Foundation Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award

Scranton Area Community Foundation is accepting nominations now until July 30, 2021, for the 2021 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award, which is presented annually to a woman who demonstrates commitment to community, ingenuity in response to community need, and leadership in empowering and transforming the lives of women and girls in the community. Nominations are open to anyone who wishes to recommend a female candidate who has made an impact in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The award has been presented since 1992 when a charitable fund was established by the family of Margaretta Belin Chamberlin both to honor her memory and to recognize accomplishments of women in our community while encouraging their personal and/or professional development.

The Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award will be presented at the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy Annual Event to be announced at a later date. The recipient will receive a monetary award of $1,000 to be used for the purpose of personal development or to donate to a charitable organization of the recipient’s choice.
Past award recipients have included Eleanore Ginader, Rosemary Broderick, Sharon McCrone, Catherine Richmond-Cullen, Mary Elaine Southard, Judith O. Graziano, Carol Weiss Rubel, Charlotte McIlwee Ravaioli, Diana Statsman, Susan S. Belin, Rachel R. Yaklic (10th anniversary youth recipient), Margaret “Peg” Ruddy, Sally E. Bohlin, Andrea J. Mulrine, Natalie Gelb, Mary Ann LaPorta, Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Mary Belin Rhodes, Sondra Myers, Nancy Dressel, Jeanne Bovard, Suzanne Fisher Staples, Jane Oppenheim, Sister Ann Walsh, Nada Gilmartin, Michelle Dempsey, Laurie Cadden, Maureen Maher-Gray, and Mary-Pat Ward.

Nominations for the 2021 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award will be accepted until July 30, 2021, online through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant portal, Individuals wishing to submit a nomination can contact Dana Hunter at for additional instructions.

For more information on the 2021 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award, please visit or contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, at 570-347-6203.

Wolf Administration Previews 2021 Northeast Region Construction Season

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today highlighted more than 64 projects that will take place across District 4 – which includes Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties – during the 2021 construction season.

“With over $650 million in infrastructure investment in the northeast region we anticipate another busy construction season in 2021,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We urge motorists to use caution in our work zones as we deliver the necessary improvements to our transportation system.”

Overall highlights in the 2021 construction season for District 4 include:

  • approximately 302 miles of paving;
  • approximately 78 bridges will be repaired or replaced; and
  • two slides will be repaired.

“We are excited about the level of active improvements in this region and I appreciate the motorists’ patience as we make these improvements to our highways and bridges,” District 4 Executive Richard Roman said. “I am pleased that the Department is making such a substantial investment in our infrastructure.”

Notable ongoing projects that will continue this year include:

  • Interstate 84 eastbound and westbound resurfacing and bridge preservations included in 32 miles of roadway rehabilitation in Lackawanna and Wayne counties, $36.5 million;
  • I-84 over Lackawanna Railroad, Roaring Brook and Route 435 Bridge Replacement, Roaring Brook, Lackawanna County, $113.2 million;
  • Completion of Interstate paving from Exit 164 South Cross Valley to Luzerne/Lackawanna county line consisting of 37 miles, $17 million;
  • Continuation of $30.5 million roadway reconstruction of Route 2001 in Lehman and Delaware townships, Pike County; and
  • Interstate reconstruction of 14 miles on I-84 eastbound and westbound from the Wayne/Pike county line to Exit 26 Promised Land, $104 million.

Notable projects that are expected to begin this year include:

  • Extension of Route 424 Hazleton Beltway from the I-81 Exit 141 Interchange to Humbolt Industrial Park, Luzerne County, $16.9 million;
  • Resurfacing contract for 13 miles of roadway on Route 315 (Dupont Highway), Route 940 (Foster Avenue, Hazleton Freeland Highway), Route 1014 (Overbrook Avenue), Route 2022 (Main Street), Route 3021 (Old Turnpike Road), Route 1019 (Dennison Street), Route 2013 (Courtright Street), Luzerne County, $4.6 million;
  • Resurfacing contract for 17 miles of roadway on Route 309 (North Cross Valley Expressway), Route 11 (Wyoming Avenue), Route 92 (Exeter Avenue), Route 2045 (South Main Road) and ADA ramp construction on Route 1009 (Market Street), Luzerne County;
  • Safety improvement on two locations on Route 6, two locations on Route 2001 and two locations on Route 507 including placement of high friction surface treatment, Pike County, $400,000;
  • Replacing three structures on Route 706 and improving the intersection of Routes 706 and 267 while removing a structure on Route 3037, Bradford County line to Rush, Susquehanna County, 4.3 million;
  • I-81 northbound and southbound resurfacing from north of Exit 223 New Milford, Susquehanna County, to the New York State Line, 18 miles, $3.5 million;
  • Base repair on approximately 75 miles of roadway including Route 247 (Main Street/White Rock Drive/Creamton Drive), Route 371 (Great Bend Turnpike), Route 670 (Belmont Turnpike South), Route 1014 (Galilee Road), Route 4008 (Niagra Road), Route 4009 (Dug Road), Route 4021 (Pleasant Mountain Drive), Route 4023 (Belmont Turnpike), Route 4025 (Sherwood Drive), Route 4031 (Pleasant View Drive/Cribbs Road), Route 3028 (Owego Turnpike), Route 191 (Hancock Highway), Route 652 (Beach Lake Highway) and Route 1001 (Cliff Street, Carley Brook and Dennis Road), Wayne County, $2.4 million;
  • Resurfacing contract on Route 6 (Roosevelt Highway in Canaan Township and Waymart Borough), Wayne County, Route 652 (Beach Lake Highway) and Route 4005 (Beech Grove Road) consisting of 13 miles; and
  • Bridge rehabilitation of Route 92 over tributary to Susquehanna River in Falls Township, Wyoming County.

As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and to take turns merging into the open lane. 

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

54PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Subscribe to PennDOT news in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties at

Information about infrastructure in District 4 including completed work and significant projects, is available at Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at

Leadership Lackawanna Core Team Celebrates Keystone Mission Project

Leadership Lackawanna Core class members meet with Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti and Justin Behrens, executive director, Keystone Mission.
Front row, left to right: Justin Marino of United Neighborhood Centers; Mayor Paige Cognetti, City of Scranton; Vivian Williams, Scranton Area Foundation; Justin Behrens, Keystone Mission; Meredith Mercuri, Barry Callebaut; Jennifer Shoemaker, Outreach Center for Community Resources; Robert Welsch, Tobyhanna Army Depot; and Michelle Cook, Community Bank, N.A.
Back row, left to right: Jesse Novatski, Penn State Scranton; and Patrick Keehan, University of Scranton Small Business Development Center.

One of this year’s Leadership Lackawanna Core Program teams recently celebrated their community service project for Keystone Mission in Scranton.

Homeless individuals without identification have difficulty accessing the critical services and benefits that can move them out of homelessness and poverty. To help Keystone Mission serve these individuals, the Leadership team worked with the organization to design, outfit, and equip a utility van that provides opportunities for homeless individuals to receive photo identification, social security cards, and birth certificates. 

This “mobile office” van is stocked with essential items, but more importantly, allows the Keystone Mission staff to conduct on-site outreach to homeless individuals. The team marketed the van to the community, secured community partners to obtain more supplies, and secured donations to pay for the project.

“On behalf of Team Keystone, I would like to thank all our community members who generously donated their time, items, and resources to this great cause. It has been our pleasure working with Keystone Mission in assisting them to be able to do such important work in our community,” said Justin Marino, Core Program participant from Team Keystone.

Each year, the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program class completes various service projects helping to fulfill a need in our community. By working with fellow non-profit organizations, class participants expand their leadership abilities and further develop their skills.

“I am truly thankful to the Leadership Lackawanna class of 2021 for supporting our effort to build relationships and a community of hope across NEPA. To help the homeless men and women takes the community to come together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!” said Justin Behrens, CEO, Keystone Mission.

NET Credit Union Awards $5,000 in Scholarships

High school scholarship winner Camilla Rinaldi. Camilla is a recent graduate of Scranton Prep. She will be studying nursing at Georgetown University in the fall.
College/trade school scholarship winner Ryan Ward. Ryan is a senior at Thomas Jefferson University, majoring in finance, in Philadelphia.

NET Credit Union awarded $5,000 in scholarships to two local recipients: a high school student and a college/trade school student. We believe in giving back to our community and in helping our members reach their goals. Each recipient receives a $2,500 scholarship. Scholarship application requirements include:

  • Must be a NET Credit Union member
  • Have proof of a B average or better
  • Proof of attendance
  • Submit a 1,000 word essay or 60 second creative video