HNB Celebrates 185 Years of Supporting Local Communities

On December 26 The Honesdale National Bank officially celebrated 185 years in business. The Bank recognizes the milestone as an example of its achievements, but considers it more a testament to its ability to support the financial needs of the local area for years to come.

Earlier in December, Thomas E. Sheridan, Jr. rejoined HNB to reprise his role as president and CEO of the oldest financial institution headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Back at the helm, his sights are set on establishing the course for the Bank’s promising future by harnessing tradition.

The historical financial institution based in Honesdale, Pa has done anything but remain stagnant since its inception, often bringing the first of improved customer experience offerings to the area such as the first TV Auto Bank Drive-Up system in 1968, to its most recent deployment of a checking product suite that focuses on benefits that enable their customers to take advantage  of all aspects of their life, including protection, wellness and promotion of shopping in our local communities through exclusive deals and discounts. 

“The benefits that community banks bring to the areas we serve is a point of pride,” said Sheridan.  “The directors, management team, and staff at HNB have done an outstanding job in moving the bank forward.  They have targeted their efforts on helping our area to prosper by focusing on what is best for our customers.  In each and every role, HNB’s people are truly concerned with assisting our customers and willing to provide the extra effort to help.” 

Sheridan believes that bankers serve a unique and important role in helping communities grow. Ultimately, aiming to elevate all of the factors that make our communities such a desirable place to live, play and work

In the Bank’s historic service span, Sheridan noted there have been many extreme challenges to the economy.  He shared how HNB not only persevered, but more importantly, helped improve many difficult situations for local businesses and families to help the area forge new beginnings. 

“Experience has taught us that the greatest innovations are often the result of the need to overcome some significant challenge.  The pandemic has forced many of us to face changes.  With many people being relieved of the need to live within commuting distance of work, our area is now a residential option for telecommuting.   We are very fortunate to live in an area that still embraces the spirit of community.   We look forward to providing banking services for the business opportunities of an expanding area and new customers providing that growth,” he said. 

“The HNB team spends their time and talents thinking of ways for the Bank to better meet the needs of our customers at every stage of life,” said Sheridan.

Facing what could be a turbulent year ahead with prospects of inflation, recessions, regulatory scrutiny and more, HNB bodes confidence in its service model as it also prepares to crest $1 billion in assets.

Echoing the steps that have been taken in recent years by the Bank’s leadership team, Sheridan stated, “We will continue our quest to stay ahead of the technology curve.   With each advancement in technology the ease, speed and security of meeting our customer’s needs is improved and with that comes a better banking experience. Most importantly, we will not lose sight that personal service will always be important in meeting our customer’s needs.”

“Our concern for the wellbeing of the people and businesses who bank with us has been the foundation upon which we have built such a long history,” Sheridan said.  “This is the standard that has been set and passed on throughout the years among employees and board members.   I am looking forward to having the opportunity to contribute to progressing that mission.”

Geisinger Hospitals Awarded for Treatment of Severe Heart Attacks

Three Geisinger hospitals have been recognized by the American Heart Association for adhering to proven care guidelines that benefit patients suffering the most severe type of heart attack.

Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre have received the Mission: Lifeline ® Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award, and Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton has received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award. The hospitals earned honors for implementing specific quality improvement measures in treating ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack.

Each year, more than 250,000 Americans experience a STEMI, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The Mission: Lifeline program helps reduce barriers to swift treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 911 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. Coordination among EMS, hospital and health system is key to providing optimal care to heart attack patients.

“We pride ourselves in always implementing and following the latest, evidence-based methods of treatment, because we know it leads to better outcomes for our patients,” said Cinde Bower-Stout, RN, MHA, manager of cardiovascular quality for the Geisinger Heart & Vascular Institute.

As Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Centers, the hospitals have shown they meet or exceed quality of care measures for restoring blood flow in STEMI patients, and their achievement awards are the result of maintaining a standard of performance in delivering quick, appropriate, lifesaving care to patients coming into the hospitals directly or by transfer from another facility. “Our hospitals are committed to providing the best possible care for heart-attack patients,” said Vishal Mehra, M.D., Ph.D., director of cardiovascular quality for the Geisinger Heart & Vascular Institute. “Geisinger’s STEMI program was designed to achieve these same goals, and we’ve been honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication and achievement in cardiac care since Mission: Lifeline was launched.”

Governor Wolf Announces 22 Municipalities to Improve Traffic Safety with Red Light Enforcement Funds

Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will distribute approximately $12.9 million in Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding to 22 municipalities statewide to fund 28 safety projects.

Pennsylvania’s ARLE program aims to improve safety at signalized intersections by providing automated enforcement at locations where data shows red-light running has been an issue.

“This program helps communities across the state make investments in safety and efficient traffic flow,” Governor Wolf said. “These improvements complement the many road, bridge, and multimodal projects happening in Pennsylvania.”

Grant funding is supplied by fines from red light violations at 32 intersections in Philadelphia. State law specifies that projects improving safety, enhancing mobility, and reducing congestion can be considered for funding. Municipalities submitted 132 applications, totaling $48.3 million in requests. 

Projects were selected by an eight-member committee based on criteria such as safety benefits and effectiveness, cost, and local and regional impact. 

This investment brings the total dollars awarded through the ARLE funding program to $112.7 million, funding 501 transportation enhancement projects since 2010. 

The Lackawanna County project includes:

Lackawanna County 

  • Blakely Borough: $123,210 to improve pedestrian safety on Depot Street at the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail mid-block crossing.  Improvements will include ADA accessible ramps, flashing beacons to alert drivers and pedestrians/cyclists to slow down and be aware of conditions, signage to encourage sharing the road and a high visibility colored concrete crossing. 

For more information, visit PennDOT’s website, or email  

The Dime Bank Contributes to The Stock Market Challenge

The Dime Bank recently contributed $9,000.00 to the nonprofit Brighter Financial Futures (dba PennCFL). This donation, which was made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, supports local schools in the sponsorship of The Stock Market Challenge.

The Stock Market Challenge is a web-based stock simulation platform and curriculum. Students can learn how to trade all year long by using the whole curriculum, courses, and more, including six ten-week competitions.  The competitions are held in the classroom, by county and state-wide.

The Stock Market Challenge recently announced that Henry Reichman finished in first place in the Middle School Division for Wayne and Pike County and in the top ten of the Statewide Middle School Division. He is a seventh-grade student at Wallenpaupack Area School District and worked under the leadership of Mrs. Argyro Paspalas. 

President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Bochnovich commented, “We feel it is very worthwhile for students to gain a greater understanding of the world of finance. It provides them with a foundation for their future success. It is our hope that all of the eligible schools will continue to participate in and take advantage of this learning opportunity.”

PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for New Year’s Holiday

PennDOT announced that all driver license and photo centers, including the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, January 1, 2022, in observance of the New Year’s holiday.  Additionally, the Pittsburgh Driver License Centers and all services at the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg will be closed Friday, December 31, 2021.   

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,     

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services. 

A complete listing of PennDOT driver and photo license center closings in 2021 is available online. 

Motorists can check conditions on major roadway miles 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. 

511PA 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. 

Wright Center’s Chief Fellow Publishes 100th Scholarly Article

The chief fellow for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Gastroenterology Fellowship recently published the 100th scholarly article during his fellowship, “Scope of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Gastrointestinal Oncology,” in Cancers, a peer-reviewed journal of oncology that is published semimonthly.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, was invited to review literature that addressed the most current information available about the role of AI in diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, which cause more than 2.8 million deaths annually worldwide. He and his co-authors labeled the advancements and use of AI in endoscopic procedures as a “significant breakthrough in modern medicine.” The diagnostic accuracy of AI systems has markedly improved in screening, diagnosing and treating various cancers by accurately analyzing diagnostic clinical images, but it needs additional collaboration among physicians.

Overall, he has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles in various national and international scientific journals. Goyal’s research, “Taste Changes (Dysgeusia) in COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Metanalysis,” appeared in the Gastroenterology, the No. 1 scientific journal in the field of gastroenterology. It was the first published meta-analysis that highlighted taste changes as one of COVID-19’s symptoms.

Goyal also published, “Hyperlipasemia and Potential Pancreatic Injury Pattern in COVID-19: A Marker of Severity or Innocent Bystander,” in the Gastroenterology. The research highlighted the importance of elevation in lipase levels, which help the human body digest fats, in patients with COVID-19.

The International Journal of Colorectal Diseases included his scholarly research article, “Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer: Hospitalization Trends and Gender Disparities in the United State 2010-14.” It showed that white females between 41-50 years of age with colorectal cancer have higher hospitalization rates. The abstract earned first place at the 2019 Pennsylvania Society of Gastroenterology meeting.

Goyal, a gastroenterologist-in-training and doctor of internal medicine, accepts adult patients at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, for treatment of Hepatitis C. 

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Institutional Review Board-approves research studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Overall, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education has had 75 scholarly abstracts written on a wide array of topics in medicine accepted for presentation at professional conferences since the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.

For more information about The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, go to or call 570-343-2383.

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Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Continues Their Annual Holiday Wish Program

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 4 continued its annual Holiday Wish Program this year even during the COVID pandemic.  Santa arrived on a PennDOT dump truck to bring gifts to 61 children from the Head Start Program in Lackawanna County.

PennDOT employees also provided a gift to 47 people, including children and adults from the Domestic Violence Service Center in Luzerne County and three angels from the Lackawanna County Adopt an Angel Program.  PennDOT has been running this program since 2010.  The funds for the gifts come from the generosity of the PennDOT’s District 4 employees.

Meals on Wheels Community Services of NEPA Receives Pet Food Donation

Meals on Wheels of NEPA received a donation of Pet Food from Minooka Subaru. Minooka Subaru filled a Subaru Crosstrek with donated food supplies. The pet food donation supports the Treasured Friends Pet Food program which delivers pet food and supplies to participating clients. This helps keep a cherished pet with their companion and reduces food sharing by clients with their pets.

Meals on Wheels of NEPA is participating in the 2021 Subaru Share the Love Event as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national Share the Love charitable partners supported through the campaign. From November 18, 2021, through January 3, 2022, Subaru of America will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charities. By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Subaru Share the Love Event and selecting Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors right here in NEPA.

The core programming of Meals on Wheels Community Services of NEPA is the Home Delivered Meals program, which serves elderly adults and adults with disabilities in our community. Individuals whose life circumstances make it difficult or impossible for them to prepare needed nourishment receive a hot meal delivered to them by volunteers and caring staff. In addition to keeping the senior well-nourished, Meals on Wheels often provides the only human contact many homebound individuals experience each day. Meals on Wheels of NEPA has been in existence since 1969, and to date, has served over 5 million meals.

State Funding Enables Wright Center to Expand COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

The Wright Center for Community Health recently was awarded $75,000 in state funding to encourage hesitant residents in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The new grant funding is part of the state’s $2.5 million COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program that supports grassroots efforts to reduce vaccine hesitancy across the commonwealth. The program, administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development, builds upon the ongoing statewide public health awareness campaign, PA United Against COVID-19.

“The Wright Center is extremely grateful for the complete support the state has exhibited in providing us the necessary tools to get as many COVID-19 shots into the arms of our patients,” said Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth, chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health. “The COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. medical history.

“Vaccinations are an effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones and others in the community and reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization or long-term complications.”

The state funding supports efforts by nonprofit organizations, and child care and educational institutions to communicate the efficacy and importance of vaccinations through local media advertisements, and creation of training materials, vaccine-related community events and more.

“The Department of Health remains committed to eliminating obstacles and challenges that prevent Pennsylvanians from getting vaccinated,” Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in a press release announcing the 65 grant recipients. “I am impressed by the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who are stepping up every day to get their first, second or third dose of vaccine to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors against COVID-19.

With the grant funding, The Wright Center for Community Health will build upon its existing Driving Better Health program in the Hazleton area that delivers COVID-19 vaccines to members of the Hispanic community with the 34-foot mobile medical unit. The collaborative program involves the Hazleton Integration Project, Hazleton Area School District and community leaders reaching vulnerable, underserved populations in southern Luzerne County.

The Wright Center also will build vaccine confidence through outreach and community engagement that overcomes structural, behavioral and informational barriers, including education, rural residency that limits access to health care, people who speak limited English, individuals with low incomes and other under-resourced communities. The mobile medical unit enables clinical staff to establish community clinics and see patients where they live and work thanks to community collaborations that include schools, rural partners, community organizations and ethnic groups.

The grant will enable The Wright Center for Community Health’s Driving Better Health to conduct up to 36 outreach events in the coverage area over 12 months.

For more information about The Wright Center for Community Health, call 570.343.2383 or go to