Geisinger Launches Nursing Scholars Program for Employees

Nurses make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and play critical roles in caring for patients. Now, Geisinger employees interested in a nursing career will have an easier path. By launching a new career development program, Geisinger will provide financial, educational and wellness support to its employees pursuing a career in nursing. The Geisinger’s Nursing Scholars Program eases the financial burden of nursing school and is open to any employee who’s worked with Geisinger for a year or more and isn’t already a registered nurse (RN) or provider.

The program awards $40,000 in financial support with a 5-year work commitment as an inpatient nurse. The goal is to support 175 scholars per year by offering rolling admissions to the program. While supporting employee career and professional goals, the program will also mitigate a shortage of nurses across the organization and beyond. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation needs 1.1 million new RNs by 2022 to avoid a nursing shortage.

“There is a recruitment gap of approximately 300 registered nurses per year across the Geisinger system,” said Janet Tomcavage, chief nursing executive at Geisinger. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections, registered nursing is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2029. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3 million in 2019 to 3.3 million in 2029, an increase of 7%. Community members across our footprint can join the Geisinger workforce and take advantage of this wonderful career advancement opportunity.”

The program serves as an entry point into the healthcare profession for high school students and for anyone considering a career in nursing. Community members who are not Geisinger employees can apply for available positions within Geisinger and qualify for the program after only one year of employment.

“We are aware that many of our employees are keen to pursue a nursing career but need additional support from us in achieving their dreams. This comprehensive nursing scholars’ program is designed to provide financial, educational and well-being support for Geisinger employees who would like to become registered nurses,” added Tomcavage.

Geisinger will support the employee scholars in preparation to go back to school to set them up for success. Guidance in choosing a school and type of degree is available via an internal website and personal counseling. Those who wish to attend prep classes may do so through internally offered classes designed by Geisinger experts. Basic math, navigating online classes and work-life balance are some of the courses offered. While employees are in school, support via study groups, mentoring from Geisinger nurses and professional development opportunities will be available at Geisinger.

“Studying while working is a huge undertaking and we understand that employees will need more than just financial support. We want to be able to support our employees’ well-being and provide them with help that they might need when preparing to go back to school. Geisinger’s Nursing Scholars Program is designed to motivate and support employees in achieving their best at work and at school,” said Rebecca Stoudt, associate dean of nursing student education at Geisinger.

Geisinger partners with various nursing schools across its footprint, and has created easy access to healthcare for many Pennsylvania communities. The Geisinger Career Center, a recruitment and career services hub, offers community members and Geisinger employees the chance to make a difference through available job opportunities in the health system.

Beyond the physical career center, located at 529 Mill St. in Danville, anyone interested can make virtual or phone consultations to learn about Geisinger careers. Candidates can speak with a Geisinger representative about open positions, and current Geisinger employees can learn more about professional development resources and events.

Open positions at Geisinger are also listed at To find out more about the career center or to make an appointment, call 877-564-6447 or email

Leadership Lackawanna Applications Open for Executive Program

Leadership Lackawanna, the premier community leadership and professional development affiliate of the Chamber, is now accepting applications for its Executive Program.

This five-week Executive Program engages high-level professionals more deeply in the greater Scranton region, broadening their social network, and increasing their overall knowledge of the community. Participants meet key business and community leaders as they receive an overview of Lackawanna County’s history and culture, economic and political structures, community events, civic groups, recreational activities and nonprofit organizations. 

Sessions are held one evening per week for five consecutive weeks at various locations and include cocktails and dinner. Leadership Lackawanna’s Executive Program accepts applications from public and private sector administrators and professionals in an executive level position who live or work in Lackawanna County. Sessions start in September.

To apply, visit Applications will be accepted through September 8, 2021.

SLIBCO Receives $100,000 for Talent Attraction Campaign

From left to right: Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Rep. Kyle Mullins, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, Senator Marty Flynn, Rep. Mike Carroll, and P. Timothy Kelly, Esq., Needle Law, attend a meeting and luncheon at the Chamber.

The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO) – the economic development affiliate of the Chamber – received a $100,000 Local Share Account (LSA) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a national advertising campaign targeted at remote workers and talent attraction. The goal is to draw awareness of career opportunities available and recruit new talent to Lackawanna County.

The campaign, which will be managed by The Scranton Plan, the economic development marketing arm of the Chamber and SLIBCO, will consist of digital marketing – including web, social media, and video – in the metro areas of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Audience segments will include remote workers, corporate executives, real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, millennials, retirees, and more.

“The demand for a highly-skilled workforce has never been greater. We are grateful to have the engaged support of our local state-elected officials in these efforts to attract and retain talented individuals for career opportunities in Lackawanna County,” said Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

As an extension of The Scranton Plan’s Rediscover Scranton campaign from earlier this year, the messaging will highlight Lackawanna County’s affordability, lifestyle, and location benefits for young professionals, families and retirees, as well as the advantages for being a well-positioned region for real estate development and company relocation or expansion.

The Chamber would like to thank our local state-elected officials for their support in receiving the grant, including Senator Marty Flynn and state representatives Mike Carroll, Bridget M. Kosierowski, and Kyle Mullins.

Geisinger Invests in Pittston Township Healthplex

Geisinger has announced the development of an $80 million outpatient facility that will make better health easier for residents of northeastern Pennsylvania by improving availability and convenience of a variety of in-demand health services — from surgery to eye care.

Centrally located between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, the 124,000 square-foot Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint will house nine clinical suites providing services in surgery and endoscopy, orthopaedics, urology, ophthalmology and retail eyewear, laboratory and imaging, and a hybrid medical and orthopaedic ConvenientCare.

The healthplex will be located at 1201 Oak St., Pittston Township, previously the site of a Walmart. Situated near junctions of state Route 315, Interstate 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the facility is a short trip from either city.

Designed to bring together services that complement each other, such as diagnostic imaging and orthopaedics, the healthplex will reduce the need for patients to go to different facilities for related appointments. It will have ample, ground-level parking, multiple entry points and will be reachable by public transportation.

The project, expected to be complete by summer 2022, will create 154 jobs and is the latest in a line of Geisinger investments totaling more than $200 million in Luzerne County since the beginning of 2019. Each investment has been dedicated to expanding services, providing the latest technology and advancements in treatment, and bringing world-class care closer to home for people living in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The healthplex will allow Geisinger to offer more appointments in the services provided and to hire new providers, which means patients will experience shorter wait times between scheduling an appointment and being seen by a provider.

“When we looked at the services needed by our patients here in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, we realized we were limited by the space we had available,” said Ron Beer, chief administrative officer of Geisinger’s northeast region. “This location makes care more accessible to our friends and neighbors, because it’s about as centralized between Scranton and Wilkes- Barre as it can be, truly making it easier for our patients and members in both counties to get the care they need more quickly.”

Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint will offer treatment options unique to the region. Bolstering a wide range of sports medicine, hand, and foot and ankle services, the orthopaedics team will perform arthroscopic hip procedures and wide awake local anesthesia no tourniquet (WALANT) procedures, which can treat conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis and reduce recovery times.

A complete subspecialty eye-care program will feature ophthalmic providers capable of delivering virtually any service a patient may need, including neuro ophthalmology care and pediatric ophthalmology care, which are currently limited in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

The team will also perform LASIK surgery, a first for Geisinger in the northeast region. Extended hours of operation will be available for diagnostic and by-appointment or walk-in ConvenientCare services, and amenities will include a central café and atrium with outdoor green space and seating. Modern design will create a bright, inviting atmosphere designed for patient comfort, and facial recognition technology will be available for easy check-in.

“Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint will offer distinctive, convenient care to the people of northeastern Pennsylvania,” Beer said. “Along with expanded services, we’re proud that our growth means more employment opportunities for local residents. We’re also excited to be renovating a space that was a popular place of commerce for the community. What was a frequented place of business will now be an easy-to-reach destination for exceptional care.”

Investments in Luzerne County since January 2019:

  • January 2019: $3.1 million, 8,000 square-foot inpatient wing opens at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre with 14 private rooms for patients with medical and surgical needs
  • May 2019: $22 million Central Utility Plant completed at Geisinger Wyoming Valley
  • Medical Center, increasing utility capacity for the campus, which paves the way for future service growth, and decreasing energy consumption by 40 percent
  • August 2019: $3 million 65 Forward Health Center opens in Kingston, bringing concierge-style primary care to Geisinger members 65 and older
  • March 2020: $6.5 million installation of CyberKnife S7 technology for targeted radiation therapy at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
  • July 2020: Construction begins on $80 million renovation and expansion of Geisinger
  • Wyoming Valley Medical Center and the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center
  • October 2020: $3 million 65 Forward Health Center opens in downtown Wilkes-Barre
  • November 2020: $3.3 million 65 Forward Health Center opens in West Hazleton

Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to announce its 2021 scholarship recipients, benefitting 168 local students from various schools in the area from scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. A total of $474,440 was recently distributed through 63 scholarships, including the #GaryInspiredMe Scholarship, the Matt McGloin Scholarship, the Neal J. Fasula Scholarship, and the highly-competitive James F. Swift scholarship.

The complete listing of all 2021 scholarship recipients is detailed below.

Scholarship recipients are selected annually by various scholarship committees at the Foundation.

“We are grateful to the generous donors who make these scholarships possible to benefit so many students from across the region,” stated Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO, Laura Ducceschi. “The Foundation proudly manages over 50 individual scholarship funds established by charitable donors who want to support outstanding students and make higher education more attainable for so many in our communities.”

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is a partner with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in their Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program to offer qualifying students additional financial aid. Through PHEAA, many scholarship recipients may be eligible for additional dollars toward their tuition.

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

To establish a scholarship fund in honor of or memory of a loved one or to include a scholarship as a legacy gift in your estate plans, please contact the Scranton Area Community Foundation today or visit to learn more.

2021 Scholarship Recipients

#GaryInspiredMe Scholarship 
Natalie Deal (North Pocono)
Shiloh Miller (Northwest Area)

American Legion A. Pierson Hurd Academic Scholarship
Margaret Domski (Valley View)

Angelina Fricchione and Michael Cupple Scholarship
Sydney Dana (Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine)

Ann Wall Scholarship
Nathan Dill (Lackawanna Trail)

Anthracite Scholarship
Taylor Bartle (Greater Nanticoke)
Joseph Fasula (Scranton Prep)
Joseph Ferrara (Wallenpaupak)
Hunter Geise (Riverside)
John Gilchrist (Riverside)
Lindsay Grzyboski (Riverside)
Zack Kovalchik (Valley View)
Shiloh Miller (Northwest Area)
Isabelle Ritz (Hazleton)
Matthew Williams (Holy Redeemer)

Ashley and Erin Williams Memorial Scholarship
Destiny Anello (North Pocono)

Blakely Borough Scholarship
Emma Burak (Valley View)

Caroline Ace, LPN/Angela Muchal, LPN Scholarship
Morgan Veina (Career Technology Center)

Catherine A. Alu Memorial Scholarship
Paige Martin (Dunmore)

Chris Moran Scholarship
Chase Poplawski (Mountain View)
Michael Rodyushkin (Abington Heights)

Chris Till Sender Scholarship       
Christine Townsend (Scranton)

Cinderella’s Closet Scholarship                
Jillian Brennan (Holy Cross)

Constance M. and Joseph A. Brocavich Memorial Scholarship
Travis Bridgeman (Scranton Prep)
Samuel Grizzanti (Scranton Prep)
Grace Ann Kapacs (Scranton Prep)

Danielle Faramelli Scholarship
Olivia Kaschak (Valley View)

David Gallagher Memorial Scholarship
Kayla Przekop (Abington Heights)

Dr. Bernard Shair Memorial Scholarship
Peter Heckman (University of Scranton)

Dr. E.C. LaCoe Scholarship
Kristin Lipkus (Abington Heights)
Tyler Petty (Abington Heights)

Dr. George J. Hallesky Memorial Scholarship
Allana Elizabeth Warner (Johnson College)

Dulcey Degilio Scholarship
Kristin Lipkus (Abington Heights)

Edward C. Snyder Memorial Scholarship
John Barrera (Kings College)

Greg Legg NEPA Diamond Scholarship
Zack Kovalchik (Valley View)

James F. Swift Scholarship
Jillian Brennan (Holy Cross)
Shannon Baransky (Marywood)
Tanner Begin (Penn State University)
Cameron Butka (West Scranton)
Sofia Capozzi (Abington Heights)
Calista Calabro (Penn State University)
Ashley Capone (Marywood)
Christina Carachilo (University of Scranton)
Hannah Carr (University of Scranton)
Ryan Coleman (Valley View)
Andrew Cummings (Dickinson College)
Ava Decker (West Scranton)
James Docalovich (Lehigh University)
Caitlin Doughton (University of Scranton)
Collin Ennis (University of Scranton)
Fione Evans (University of Scranton)
Marguerite Flynn (Boston College)
Hunter Geise (Riverside)
Austin Glidewell (University of Scranton)
Nicholas Guerra (University of Scranton)
Marilyn Hoskins (Marywood University)
Matthew Howard (Scranton Prep)
Daniel Jaggars (University of Nebraska)
Rebecca Johnson (University of Scranton)
Tiffini Kalt (Marywood University)
Meghan Keenan (Elizabethtown College)
Benjamin Koshinski (University of Scranton)
Tori Kovalchick (Penn State University)
Korey Kruk (Scranton High School)
Kristen Lello (Marywood University)
Rebecca Lucas (University of the Sciences)
Ximena Maldonado (University of Scranton)
Olivia Manarchuck (University of Scranton)
Hailey Matechak (Lakeland)
Sara McCormack (Scranton)
David McKenney (Lakeland)
Mark Melesky (Penn State University)
Brooke Mickavicz (Marywood University)
Tyler Muskey (University of Scranton)
Jenna O’Malley (University of Scranton)
Gia Occhipinti (University of Pittsburgh)
Marisol Olivares (North Pocono)
Marley Palmere (Moravian College)
Claudia Pitts (University of Scranton)
Antonio Pugliese (Penn State University)
Megan Purcell (Lehigh University)
Meredith Purcell (Scranton Prep)
Taralyn Reilly (Valley View)
Michael Rodyushkin (Abington Heights)
Julia Romanovich (University of Scranton)
Kayla Rose (Riverside)
Amanda Sakulich (Marywood University)
Nina Sampogne (Penn State University)
Gerardo Sanchez Garcia (University of Scranton)
Kaitlyn Savage (Marywood University)
Taylor Seprosky (Marywood University)
Gwyneth Serowinski (Keystone College)
Christian Snee (Mid Valley)
Gabrielle Snee (Mid Valley)
Natalie Sottile (University of Scranton)
Eric Spivak (Marywood University)
Elizabeth Stone (Marywood University)
Christopher Talluto (Elizabethtown College)
Alexis Tanana (Holy Cross)
Benjamin Thompson (North Pocono)
Makenna Thorpe (Saint Joseph’s University)
Evan Tremback (Marywood University)
Maura Turi (University of Scranton)
Ryan Turlip (University of Pennsylvania)
Alexandra Valvano (Villanova University)
Anna Van Wert (University of Scranton)
Jacob Vituszynski (University of Scranton)
Joshua Vituszynski (University of Scranton)
Stone Wormuth (Wilkes University)
Alec Yanisko (Johnson College)
Drew Yanni (Marywood University)

James M. Akens North Pocono Athletic Trust Fun
Casey Serine (North Pocono)
Kyle Serine (North Pocono)

Jane H. Rushmore Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Lisa Engroff (Career Technology Center)
Kacie Szczech (Career Technology Center)

Jason Evans Memorial Wrestling Scholarship
James Brown (Abington Heights)

Jefferson Scholarship
Sara Reyes Guerrero (Riverside)
Jaela Johnson (West Scranton)

Jeffrey Morgan Davis Memorial Scholarship
Sean Herbert (Holy Cross)

Jennifer Morgan Scholarship
Lindsey Christian (Pittston Area)

John and Grace Kreig Scholarship
Jeffery Higgins (Riverside)

John R. and Maureen J. Pesavento All Saints Interparochial Academy Scholarship
Ella Cohen (Scranton Prep)
Nicholas Rusinko (Holy Cross)

Joseph (Firp) and Charles Pacino Scholarship
Peter Kawash (Lakeland)

Joseph J. Costa Memorial Scholarship
Gene Biscontini (Lackawanna College)
Lindsey Eason (Lackawanna College)
Gilbert Diaz (Lackawanna College)

Joseph P. McDonald Memorial Scholarship
David Day (Dunmore)
Katie McKitish (Dunmore)
Steven Qarmout (Dunmore)

Junior League of Scranton Scholarship
Sara McCormack (Scranton)

Keisling Family Scholarship
Sarah Tolerico (Carbondale)

Margaret Briggs/Lackawanna College Scholarship
Tara Palumbo (Lackawanna College)
Donald Yarros (Lackawanna College)

Matt McGloin Scholarship
Brennan Burnside (West Scranton)
Iylah Mosley (West Scranton)

Midori Yamanouchi, PhD Scholarship             
Nevica Molinaro (Riverside)

Neal J. Fasula Scholarship
Gavin Beck (Marywood University)
Mia Castellano (Edinboro University)
Kevin Jumper (Holy Cross)
Norah Kelly (Holy Cross
Bryan Melliand (Penn State University)
Samantha Meeker (Penn State University)
Alexandra Mitchell (Penn State University)
Adam Nitch (West Chester University)
Will Oliphant (Misericordia University)
Frank Rosenski (Abington Heights)
William White (Penn State University)

Page to the Stage Collegiate Scholarship      
Damien Chmielewski (Mid Valley)

Patrick Andrew Luptak Scholarship
Natalie Deal (North Pocono)
Michael Rodyushkin (Abington Heights)
Sarah Tolerico (Carbondale)

Pay It Forward Scholarship
Jessica Kehl (Penn State University)
Emma Kernoschak (Penn State University)

Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship
Taylor Bartle (Greater Nanticoke Area)

Russell J. O’Malley and James E. O’Brien Memorial Scholarship
Richard Rodenbach (Temple University)

Sarah Beth Beynon Memorial Scholarship
Jadan Zawierucha (Pittston Area)

Scotty Cummings Perry Special Ed Scholarship     
Margaret Domski (Valley View)

Scranton Central High School Class of 1964 Scholarship
Emily Kizer (Scranton)

Sean J. Calpin Automotive Technology Scholarship
Nicholas Wilson (Johnson College)

Teddick Family Scholarship
Ashtyn Mecca (Lackawanna Trail)
Zoe Pickett (Elk Lake)
Chase Poplawski (Mountain View)

The Melvin-Deininger Scholarship
Madeline Meckwood (Abington Heights)

Tolerance Scholarship
Taylor Bartle (Greater Nanticoke)

Todd Angelo Memorial Scholarship
Peter Heckman (University of Scranton)

Waverly Women’s Club Scholarship      
Sarah Siddiqui (Abington Heights)

Waverly Women’s Club Mildred Mumford English Scholarship
Isabell Holland (Abington Heights)

Waverly Women’s Club Technical School Scholarship      
Spencer Jones (Abington Heights)

The Wright Center for Community Health Offers ‘OARS’ App

The Wright Center for Community Health announces it has introduced a new software tool intended to help individuals who are coping with substance use disorder to better maintain their treatment plans and avoid relapse.

The Opioid Addiction Recovery Support app, known as OARS, can be installed on a patient’s smartphone.

Patients use the app to securely message their healthcare team, chart daily progress and receive support from professionals and/or peers. The Wright Center’s healthcare providers, meanwhile, are able to view the patient’s real-time reporting and feedback, then use that information to quickly address any emerging challenges and make treatment decisions to promote a more successful recovery journey.

The app was developed by Q2i, a Boston-area digital health company, in partnership with UCLA. Their work is aimed at mitigating the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis, which reached a historic new level in 2020 – reportedly the deadliest year ever in the U.S. for drug overdoses. 

Federal estimates released this month show a nearly 30% rise in fatal overdoses over the prior year, an increase that health officials attributed partly to the emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OARS can improve the success of medication-assisted treatment programs. The Wright Center’s primary care practices offer medication-assisted treatment – a whole-person approach to addiction that combines counseling and behavioral therapies with the use of approved medications such as buprenorphine.

“Tools like OARS, which extend our behavioral health team’s ability to connect with and support individuals in recovery, are especially useful and potentially can improve outcomes,” said Scott Constantini, The Wright Center’s Director of Behavioral Health. “We’re proud to be on the forefront of studying and introducing these kinds of technologies.”

In response to community needs, The Wright Center became an early proponent and provider of medication-assisted treatment and related services across a multicounty area in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2016, the state Department of Human Services designated The Wright Center as an Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence. Today the organization serves about 540 active Center of Excellence patients.

The Wright Center also co-founded the Healthy MOMS program, which assists pregnant and postpartum women who are coping with substance use disorder. The program currently has 121 active mothers.

The OARS app will be offered to The Wright Center’s Center of Excellence patients and the women enrolled in the region’s Healthy MOMS program. About two dozen patients have already adopted use of the app.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) had granted approval earlier this year for the OARS software to proceed to a Phase II clinical trial. The Wright Center, which operates primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties, served as a study site during Phase I and is also a study site for Phase II.

For more information about The Wright Center’s healthcare services, visit

Marywood University Honors Jim and Cathy Gavin for Inspiring Social Justice

Marywood University’s Eighth Annual Community Leadership Celebration, Inspiring Social Justice, took place on Thursday, June 10, 2021, and honored Jim and Cathy Gavin of Scranton.

Nearly 300 people gathered at the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden to celebrate as Marywood proudly bestowed the Lead On Award to Jim and Cathy Gavin, honoring them for their community leadership, their selfless work for the benefit of Marywood students and the greater community, and for making our area a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Guests of the event were welcomed by Richard McLane, bagpiper. Entertainment was provided by Isabella Snyder ’22, student vocalist, accompanied by Stephen Murphy, pianist and vocalist. Barbara Cawley ’63 and Mary Ellen Coleman ’68, served as committee co-chairs of the event.

Funds raised at this year’s Community Leadership Celebration (CLC) exceeded $325,000. To date the CLC has raised nearly 3 million dollars. Marywood University’s CLC event provides special support to Marywood students. Proceeds from this year’s event, as in the past three years, will support the President’s Innovation Fund, a fund that supports Marywood students through initiatives that enhance the academic experience in the IHM tradition.

The Gavins have had a lifelong relationship with the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, beginning in grade school at Chapel and Holy Rosary schools in the 1950s. This relationship has flourished over several decades.

Mr. Gavin graduated from the University of Scranton in 1971, following three years of active military service. He earned graduate degrees in Social Work and Management from Marywood in 1973 and 1985. A professional social worker, Mr. Gavin worked in the behavioral health field for 47 years in clinical as well as management positions. He recently retired after 21 years as President/CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a UPMC insurance company, and is currently a Senior Advisor to executive leadership. Elected to Marywood University’s Board of Trustees in 2014, Mr. Gavin is a member of various committees serving as Treasurer and Chair of Finance since 2016.

Mrs. Gavin began a lifelong career in the restaurant business at Stirna’s Restaurant in 1967. After a short stay at The Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency she returned to her true passion, Stirna’s Restaurant. In 1980, with the support and assistance of a friend and attorney, she purchased the business and remains its sole proprietor today. During the next 40 years, Mrs. Gavin began and managed what is today a thriving catering business. She also negotiated and managed the food service contract for Lackawanna College. In 2008, on the 100th Anniversary of Stirna’s Restaurant, and with the help of her son, Michael, she totally renovated the West Market Street facility. Today, the restaurant and catering business continue to thrive under their management and supervision.

During Jim and Cathy’s fifty years of marriage, their focus has been on family, church, and community. They have two children, Kate and Michael, and two grandchildren, Gavin and Grace. They are proud members of the Gavin/Walsh families, who are collectively committed to the missions and work of the IHM Congregation.

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Gavin are active on numerous boards dedicated to the health and welfare of the citizens in Lackawanna and Allegheny counties.

To learn more about Marywood University’s Annual Community Leadership Celebration, please visit, or call (570) 348-6238.

Transportation Revenue Options Commission Submits Report to Governor Wolf, General Assembly

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that the Transportation Revenue Options Commission (TROC) has submitted its report to Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly.

On March 12, Governor Wolf signed an executive order establishing the commission, which was tasked with developing comprehensive funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s vast transportation network. TROC is comprised of transportation, economic, and community stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including majority and minority leaders from the House and Senate Transportation and Appropriations committees.

“I wholeheartedly thank the members of TROC for their hard work and engagement,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian, who serves as TROC chair. “Throughout this process, we have had thoughtful and productive discussions, and we are now presenting the governor and the General Assembly with a host of well-researched options for consideration.”

In 2019, the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) identified major risks to transportation funding such as reduced fuel revenues, unpredictable federal funding, and legislative changes to reduce commitments. PennDOT’s latest assessment places the annual gap of its needs in all state-level modes and facilities at $9.3 billion, growing to an annual $14.5 billion gap by 2030. Additionally, infrastructure maintained by local governments faces an annual shortfall of nearly $4 billion, growing to $5.1 billion per year by 2030.

The TROC report presents an overview of transportation funding in Pennsylvania and outlines the commission’s review of several potential revenue sources including road user charges, tolling, redirection of funding, fees, and taxes. Analysis of each option includes potential revenue that a given solution could bring the commonwealth, concerns raised by commission members relating to each option, and suggested next steps.

The TROC’s work was informed by presentations and materials provided during and associated with its nine meetings held since March 25. Those materials – such as a report of PennDOT Efficiencies – can be found with meeting presentations, minutes, and recordings on the TROC page.

“This commission represents nearly 50 transportation stakeholders, with a diversity of positions on the potential funding options discussed,” said Gramian. “Those varied perspectives were crucial to our discussions and are represented in the final report.”

The commission was divided into eight workgroups related to a specific revenue need or potential option.

“As the Transportation Revenue Options Commission met frequently in recent months, it became very clear that our commission benefited greatly from a diverse group of experts and stakeholders,” TROC workgroup leader and Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “Because the commission included authorities from state and local governments, members of the General Assembly, and transportation professionals, we were able to analyze the issues at hand from many vantage points. That helped us generate a thorough report that provides solutions to address Pennsylvania’s critical transportation funding needs in the near term and in the future.”

“We’ve long advocated for several of the suggested solutions, including fair electric vehicle user fees, a delivery fee for goods and services and the complete removal of the State Police from the Motor License Fund,” said Robert Latham, TROC workgroup leader and executive vice president of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors. “We look forward to further exploring and continuing the discussion on the other solutions offered in the TROC report.”

“As a representative of local government on TROC, I am excited to see the growth and commitment of PennDOT and other stakeholders in understanding the critical role that local government plays in our transportation network and the recognition that local governments are an integral part of Pennsylvania’s economy and its residents’ quality of life,” said TROC workgroup leader David Sanko, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

“This report presents an opportunity to adequately fund the current and significant unmet needs of all the transportation modes in the state,” said TROC workgroup leader Ronald Drnevich, who also serves on the State Transportation Commission. “When fully implemented, the options in the report provide for the elimination of the gas tax in Pennsylvania. It needs the support our leadership, our businesses and the public, and is an opportunity that should not be missed.”

“My hope is that we can collectively commit to these long-term funding options that will strengthen the economic climate and help meet Pennsylvania’s investment needs at both the state and local level,” said Amy Kessler, TROC workgroup leader and director of community development and regional planning at the North Central Regional Planning Commission. “As we have learned over the past five months, it will take forward thinking, new ideas and many partners working together to grow our economy, create a safer and more resilient transportation network, better connect our rural areas and support technological and operational advancements that will allow every corner of the commonwealth to compete in the global market.”

Rebecca Oyler, TROC workgroup leader and president of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, who has expressed concerns about various options, particularly tolling, suggested that the report be “viewed as a list of policy options that can be further examined by our legislative leaders as they consider transportation funding solutions in the future.”

“The TROC represents stakeholders from various industries, backgrounds and knowledge to come together for one very important reason: to ensure our transportation network is viable now and into the future,” said Leeann Sherman, TROC workgroup leader and executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA. “Our transportation network is vital to our quality of life, food security and economic growth now and into the future. The information vetted through and presented by the TROC gives our administration and legislators options to consider as they create a final plan to maintain, modernize and ensure our best Pennsylvania is here for generations.”

Now that the report has been submitted, TROC recommends that leadership and technical teams be established to support the Administration and General Assembly in further evaluation and implementation of potential funding options. 

“Our work is far from over,” said Gramian. “PennDOT is committed to continued collaboration with stakeholders and our colleagues in the General Assembly in support of reliable transportation funding.”

For more information about transportation funding in Pennsylvania, visit

Walk-in, by Appointment COVID-19 Vaccines Remain Available at Geisinger

Geisinger continues to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our neighbors at our four vaccine centers and select Geisinger Pharmacy locations.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations will be available:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Geisinger Lewistown Hospital Vaccine Center, 400 Highland Ave. Ext., Lewistown, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 5, at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, 1020 Thompson St., Jersey Shore, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 6, at the Geisinger Hughes Center Vaccine Center, 9 Stearns Lane, Danville, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 6, at the Geisinger CenterPoint Vaccine Center, 300 Keystone Ave., Pittston, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In addition to appointments and walk-in times at our vaccine centers, by-appointment COVID-19 vaccines are available at select Geisinger Pharmacy locations, including Dallas, Danville, Lewistown, Lock Haven, Mount Pocono, Pottsville, State College and Scranton.

Geisinger is offering the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at all locations, which is a two-dose vaccine administered 21 days apart. The vaccines are available to anyone age 12 and over, but those under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian with them during vaccination.

Appointments for a vaccine at one of the vaccine centers or a Geisinger Pharmacy can be made through myGeisinger or by calling 570-284-3657. To check on additional walk-in vaccine days and times, and for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit

As a reminder, masks are required for all patients and visitors (regardless of vaccination status) in all Geisinger buildings.

NET Credit Union to Host Cornhole & Carnival Fundraiser

NET Credit Union is hosting a charity event hosted by NEPA Cornhole, NET-A-Palooza: Family Carnival and Cornhole Tournament, to benefit Peggy’s Pathway for Women’s Cancer Care.  The event is Sunday, August 22nd at The Hilton in downtown Scranton beginning at noon.

There are still cornhole team opportunities available. Join us for a day full of:

  • Competitive & Social Cornhole Tournaments
  • Cash & Game Prizes
  • Carnival Games
  • Food & Drinks

There is no entrance fee for the carnival. If you would like to participate in the cornhole tournament, registration is required prior to the event. Register Here:  

Please contact with any event questions.