Geisinger Marworth Tops Newsweek List of “Best Addiction Treatment Centers”

Geisinger Marworth Treatment Center has been named to Newsweek’s 2021 list of America’s Best Addiction Treatment Centers as the top-ranked facility in Pennsylvania.

The America’s Best Addiction Treatment Centers 2021 list highlights the nation’s top facilities based on quality of service, reputation and accreditation relative to in-state competition. Facilities in the 25 states with the highest number of addiction treatment centers, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), were included in the survey. The rankings feature the top 300 inpatient/residential and long-term addiction treatment centers. The evaluation process included quality and accreditation scores as well as recommendations from peers.

“Geisinger Marworth is dedicated to providing quality, evidence-based treatment for people with substance use disorder, and we are honored to be recognized by this survey and by our peers for the care we offer,” said Margaret Jarvis, M.D., chair of addiction medicine at Geisinger. “Marworth provides a safe and supportive environment to help people gain remission from addiction diseases.”

Geisinger Marworth, located near Scranton, offers individualized, holistic inpatient and outpatient treatment to help people overcome alcohol and substance use disorder, including medication-assisted treatment, individual and family therapy, and support groups. Marworth cares for patients from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England, and more than 40,000 people have chosen Marworth for treatment since 1982.

For more information about Marworth and addiction medicine care at Geisinger, visit

Johnson College Announces New Two-Year Associates Degree

Students can now enroll in Johnson College’s new Mechatronics Technology program. The program will start during the fall 2022 semester.

The two-year associate degree program prepares students for entry-level work in the multidisciplinary field of Mechatronics, which includes energy, plastics, computer and communications equipment manufacturing, and aerospace technology. Students learn the theoretical principles and measured values required to troubleshoot electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems. The program also teaches customer service, supervisory, and professional communications skills to help students excel in their future roles as Mechatronic technicians.

Graduates will work in careers such as electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists or technicians and have the opportunity to earn a median annual income of up to $59,800.

“Johnson College’s industry partners have shared with us the importance of students entering the workforce with interdisciplinary skills. These are the students they want to hire.” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College’s President and CEO. “The addition of the Mechatronics Technology program addresses their need for versatile employees with dynamic troubleshooting skills.”

For more information about or to enroll in Johnson College’s Mechatronics Technology program visit or contact Johnson College’s Enrollment Department at 570-702-8856 or

Director of Addiction Services at The Wright Center for Community Health Participates in PA Panel Discussion

Maria Kolcharno, L.S.W., director of addiction services for The Wright Center for Community Health, recently participated in a panel discussion at the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Learning Session that addressed working relationships between Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence and maternity care providers in the commonwealth.

Kolcharno addressed numerous collaborative relationships The Wright Center for Community Health’s Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program (Healthy MOMS) has formed with regional Children & Youth Service agencies, OB-GYN providers and hospital maternity units since it was founded in 2018 to better deliver services.

During the program’s breakout sessions, she outlined workflow charts to assist others in replicating the collaborative relationships and processes the Healthy MOMS program has established with Centers of Excellence and maternity care teams. Topics discussed included best practices in connecting patients with opiate use disorder to local Centers of Excellence.

Established in 2016, The Wright Center for Community Health’s Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence is one of 50 in the state. The program helps individuals in recovery reshape their lifestyles from the comfort of their own communities. Patients visit any of The Wright Center’s primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne or Wayne counties to connect with supportive certified recovery specialists, case managers, social workers, and medical providers who collectively help them break the cycle of addiction through outpatient care.

Linked to The Wright Center’s Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence, the Healthy MOMS program was co-founded with multiple agencies to assist women who are pregnant and have a substance use disorder. Healthy MOMS provides prenatal, perinatal and postpartum care, including medication-assisted treatment to women coping with a substance use disorder, and strives to break the stigma associated with it while building their self-esteem during and after their pregnancies, ideally engaging them in recovery support services.

The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative includes 61 birthing hospitals and newborn intensive care units and 14 health plans in the state. Overall, the organization works to reduce

maternal mortality and improve care for pregnant and postpartum women and newborns affected by opioids.

For more information about the Healthy MOMS program, call 570-995-7821 or text healthymoms to 555888. Information about the program and its partners is also available online at Go to for information about the Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence.

University of Scranton Professor Awarded Six-Figure National Science Foundation Grant

Bryan Crable, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at The University of Scranton, was awarded a $198,265 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a two-year study of the impact of plastic debris on the physiology of freshwater microorganisms in Lake Lacawac. In addition to Dr. Crable’s role as principal investigator, the research project will involve and train approximately eight undergraduate students in field, laboratory and computer simulated investigations.

According to Dr. Crable, microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size that are a common pollutant that have seen widespread accumulation in the environment since World War II. 

“This type of research is important because we really don’t have a good understanding of how plastics influence ecosystems,” said Dr. Crable. “For the longest time, we thought that microplastics didn’t really impact the local ecosystem. Over the last five to ten years, we have begun to get a better understanding of their impact. In the last few years, researchers have discovered there are microbes that degrade plastics and, although that can be beneficial, the overall impact has to be studied much more.”

According to Dr. Crable, comparatively, there has been lots of research on the effects of plastic debris in marine environments, but there has been very little research in freshwater environments. 

“Lake Lacawac is only about 30 minutes away from campus and is a near pristine freshwater watershed. The lake was privately owned for a few hundred years. There has been essentially no development on the lake and there is no known microplastic intrusion,” said Dr. Crable. “Our experiment will use water from the lake in microcosms that we establish in a lake side field lab.  In the first year, we will look at microbial communities which colonize plastics versus natural debris such as leaf litter.  In the second year of the study, we will analyze the impacts of different types of plastics on microbial communities.”

The project will provide full-time summer research opportunities to two to three students each summer for two years. Dr. Crable noted that students will gain experience using state-of-the-art software programs for analyzing microbial communities as well as learn critical programming languages used for statistical analyses.

“One of the great things about the University is that undergraduates are doing actual research projects,” said Dr. Crable.

“The benefit undergraduates get out of research, especially working on larger projects in a faculty member’s labs, is that they get to take ownership over some part of a project. The students are able to take the seeds of an idea and move it forward – to design the necessary experiments, carry them out and analyze the results to answer a question,” said Dr. Crable, who noted that students also have the possibility to present their studies at conferences, with some undergraduates having their research published in an academic journal. 

Through the research project, Dr. Crable will also develop an advanced undergraduate curriculum on microplastics, which will be integrated into the Special Topics in Biology – Environmental Microbiology course.

Dr. Crable joined the faculty at Scranton in 2018. His research focuses on the fields of microbial physiology, environmental microbiology and microbial biotechnology. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Vincent College, his master’s degree from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma. In 2010, Dr. Crable was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship by the Institute for International Education to conduct research at the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands.

Open Skate at Mohegan Sun Arena Returns December 2nd to Benefit Toys for Tots

The ASM Global managed Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza will open its doors once again for public ice skating on Thursday, December 2nd for the Toys for Tots Open Skate presented by Utz in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy or making a $5.00 contribution to Toys for Tots is permitted to participate in the Open Skate.

The Open Skate will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Complimentary snacks will be available for guests’ courtesy of Utz Snack Foods and light refreshments will be available for purchase with partial proceeds donated to Toys for Tots.

All guests in attendance will have the opportunity to win some great prizes while at the event including tickets to select Mohegan Sun Arena events.

This is the only day throughout the year that the public is allowed to skate on the ice at Mohegan Sun Arena, home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Patrons must bring their own skates to participate in the Open Skate. Mohegan Sun Arena will not have skates on site for rent and all guests that will be going on to the ice will need to be wearing skates.

Skate rentals are available at the Toyota SportsPlex (Community Ice Rink) at Coal St. in Wilkes-Barre for $4 per pair starting at 5PM on Wednesday, December 1st. There are a limited number of skate rentals available. Proper photo ID and a credit card must be presented to rent skates. All skates must be returned to the Toyota SportsPlex at Coal St. before 12pm on Friday, December 3rd. For more information on the Toyota SportsPlex, please visit their website at

ASM Global reminds everyone attending events at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to please adhere to the new hygiene and security policies in place consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance for the safety of all participants, guests and employees at the arena including:

  • Face coverings and social distancing for guests who are fully vaccinated is not required but is strongly encouraged per current recommendations from the CDC
  • All guests two years of age and older who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings during their visit except while actively eating or drinking
  • Guests do not need to show physical proof of being fully vaccinated
  • We will rely on our guests to accurately follow the guidelines based on their vaccination status

If a guest is experiencing any of the following, we ask that you stay home:

  • A guest who has COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A guest who has a COVID-19 test result pending.
  • A guest who is under a healthcare provider’s care for a positive COVID-19 test.
  • A guest who has been exposed to COVID-19 (unless fully vaccinated).

For more information on the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, please visit

New Leader of Diversity and Inclusion Program at Misericordia University

Kas Williams, Associate Vice President for Mission Integration & Institutional Diversity

Kas Williams has been named Misericordia University’s Associate Vice President for Mission Integration and Institutional Diversity, announced Amy Lahart, Vice President for Mission Integration and Student Life. Williams joined the Misericordia University community in September following seven years at South Dakota State University, where she recently held the position of Chief Diversity Officer. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration from South Dakota State University.

“This position is critical to advance Misericordia University’s desire to live out its mission through vision and strategy implementation of significant diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Ms. Williams will collaborate with division directors, campus leaders, students, faculty, staff, and external constituencies to embed the critical concerns into all campus operations and provide leadership to cultivate pride in our Mercy heritage as a Mercy institution of higher education,” said Lahart.

“To me, this role looks at the quality of life that people have in and around the campus community. We can tell people all the time that we’re diverse but are we inclusive? This isn’t my quote, but I say it all the time: ‘diversity is inviting people to the dance, but inclusion is inviting people to dance’,” said Williams.

“I’ve told the folks here that they are all passionate about diversity and inclusion because they love the institution. There’s great energy around here and I’m excited to be here. It’s a great place and eight years from now I’ll be saying the same thing: the values of this institution are what keeps people here. That’s the energy that folks have. They love the hospitality. They love the social justice. They work towards that every day,” she continued.  

Williams has spent her first month on campus getting to know the campus community, speaking with individual students, student groups, under-represented student groups, as well as staff and faculty. She’s delved into the most recent campus climate survey. “I read every word and every line of the campus survey. Lots of folks here are doing great work in diversity, but the work isn’t always connected. Their hearts are in the right place; they see the gaps and they want to do the work. I want to really change the conversation and make sure we are all speaking the same language of diversity and inclusion on this campus,” said Williams.

Williams looks at diversity, inclusion, and access through what she calls an equity lens. She encourages each department to look at their policies and procedures at least every six months using that equity lens. “Are some policies inadvertently affecting some communities or populations? I tell people, don’t change your policies now, just think about it. What happens is, once they start thinking about it, that becomes an everyday practice and becomes natural. Equity and inclusion doesn’t take anything away; they add to who and what we are as an institution,” she said.

Marywood University Receives the Robert H. Spitz Foundation 2021 Grant

Marywood University received a 2021 Robert H. Spitz Foundation Grant. The $12,000 grant was awarded to the S.T.A.R.S. (Students Together Achieving Remarkable Success) program, an after-school mentoring program. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation has made a positive impact on Scranton’s Latinx population through its grant support of the University’s S.T.A.R.S. program.

Pictured from left to right are: Frank Caputo, Grants and Communications Coordinator, Scranton Area Foundation; Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarship Manager, Scranton Area Foundation; Patricia Rosetti, Leadership Annual Giving Officer, Marywood University, and Jenny Gonzalez, S.T.A.R.S. Program Director, Marywood University.

Marywood University is the recent recipient of a 2021 Robert H. Spitz Foundation Grant. The $12,000 grant was awarded to the S.T.A.R.S. (Students Together Achieving Remarkable Success) program, an after-school mentoring program. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation has made a positive impact on Scranton’s Latinx population through its grant support of the University’s S.T.A.R.S. program.

Established in 2018, S.T.A.R.S. has provided weekly academic tutoring and mentoring to 20-25 middle and high school Latinx students. Marywood students serve as tutors and mentors to the youth. In addition to academic assistance, the students participate in career exploration activities and workshops related to secondary and post-secondary academic options. Monthly workshops, in English and Spanish, provide families with similar information about potential opportunities for their children.

Additionally, Marywood University academic departments host students on campus 4-5 times a year, providing information and experiential activities that are focused on various majors. This includes small-group and individual mentorship for students using a career and college readiness curriculum, as well as individual tutoring sessions via zoom or in-person with a Marywood student. Student and family workshops are also provided.