Chamber Announces 2022 EMPOWER NEPA Women’s Leadership Conference

The Chamber is pleased to announce its 2022 EMPOWER NEPA Women’s Leadership Conference will be held on Thursday, April 28 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Pocono Manor, PA, sponsored by Geisinger.

This year, EMPOWER will be bigger and better than ever! Themed Resilient, Together, the 2022 conference will feature even MORE dynamic speakers, total of 18, who will arm attendees with information, encourage them to pursue new opportunities, and inspire them to conquer current challenges. Offering multiple tracks, this year’s conference will also offer a new interactive wellness studio, an ever-growing vendor marketplace, small group meet-ups, mini sessions and an engaging event app.

Some of this year’s speakers include Katie Leonard, Ed.D., president and CEO, Johnson College; Marianne Gilmartin, Esq., shareholder, Stevens & Lee; Sarah Effertz, owner, Blu Elefante Events; Lisa Rigau, RN, certified lifestyle medicine professional, and owner, Healthy Lifestyle Management; Elika Almeida, motivational speaker and life coach; Chelsea Manganaro, owner, Nearme Yoga and Nearme Café; Karen Darby, wealth management advisor, Jacobi Capital Management; plus more.

EMPOWER is the premier Women’s Leadership Conference in NEPA and highlights the ability all women have to create positive change in their communities and in their own lives – both professionally and personally – while recognizing the extraordinary power that exists when women come together to support each other. Tickets sell out every year! Get them today.

Tickets, speaker bios, and more information are available at here.

Keystone College Names Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Keystone College has named Andra Basu, Ph.D. as its new provost/vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Basu has had an accomplished career as an administrator at several colleges and universities. Prior to coming to Keystone, she served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at East Stroudsburg University. She was also dean of Adult and Professional Studies at Albright College and associate academic dean, interim dean of academic services, and dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

She has served as a faculty member, instructor, or lecturer at East Stroudsburg University, Albright College, Moravian College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh University, Kutztown University, Muhlenberg College, Bates College, Hunter College, Queens College, and the University of Minnesota. Her writing has been published in numerous academic and professional journals and she has received a wide variety of awards and grants.

Dr. Basu received a bachelor of arts degree from Tufts University, a master of arts degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in social personality psychology from the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center.

Outreach Center for Community Resources Welcomes New Executive Director

A new year marks a new chapter in the history of Outreach Center for Community Resources in Scranton as members of the Board of Directors announce Lori Chaffers has been named Executive Director. Outreach is a non-profit organization serving thousands of people of all ages in northeastern Pennsylvania through a variety of programs supporting family stability and economic self-sufficiency.

Chaffers brings a wealth of experience in social services and advocacy to her new position, including a decade of service with Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services, where she fulfilled various roles. Most recently, she was the agency’s program director in the Office of Social Service Research and Development. Prior to that, she was a supervisor for its Independent Living Unit, an independent living coordinator, and a caseworker.

Her career encompasses human services, strategic planning and education at social service agencies, religious organizations and educational institutions in Scranton, Philadelphia and surrounding communities, and New Jersey. A stalwart advocate for social justice, her experience will enhance efforts to fulfill the mission of Outreach, and meet the growing needs of the populations it serves.

Chaffers is affiliated with a number of professional and community organizations. Highlights of her community involvement include serving as board secretary of the Center for Health & Human Services Research & Action, and as executive committee member of Transforming Children’s Future. Past service includes volunteering as chairperson for the Youth & Education Sub-Committee of Lackawanna County Housing Continuum, and as a member of the Lackawanna Recovery Coalition.

She also served as an adjunct instructor and field instructor for the Master of Social Work program at Marywood University in Scranton. In 2017, Chaffers was honored with the Murray Fox Practicum Educators Award presented by Marywood University’s Field Education Department.

Chaffers has participated in numerous professional and educational conferences as a guest lecturer at Temple University, Marywood University, The University of Scranton, SWAN statewide conference, and TCOM/CANS conference, and CWRC: Older Youth Webinar Series Collaboration for Transition Planning.

She holds a bachelor of social work degree from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, and a master of social work degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. Chaffers resides in Dickson City with her husband, Alexander (A.J.), and her two children, Angela, age 9, and Joseph, age 6.

Chaffers begins her service on January 10, following the retirement of Executive Director Linda Ciampi, who joined the Outreach staff in 2014 as operations director. She was named executive director in 2015 and appointed in 2016, marking a period of growth for the organization. Under her direction, the center underwent a name change and rebranding from Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) to Outreach Center for Community Resources to better reflect the variety of services and programs the center offers. In addition, the organization was recognized by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce as the SAGE Award Non-Profit of the Year in 2018, and designated a Blue-Ribbon Parents as Teacher® National Affiliate in 2021.

An active member of the community, Ciampi served on multiple non-profit boards during her tenure, including: leadership roles on the Lackawanna County Criminal Justice Advisory Board; the Lackawanna County Opioid Reduction Coalition, as a member of the  Leadership Committee and co-chairperson of the Professional Education Committee; member of Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy initiative; coach for The University of Scranton’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program; and chairperson of the Pardon Project of Lackawanna County.

Johnson College Receives $25,000 from Kenworth of Pennsylvania

Recently, Johnson College received a $25,000 contribution from Kenworth of Pennsylvania to support its Diesel Truck Technology program and students.

Kenworth of Pennsylvania has been a strong industry partner with Johnson College for fifteen years. They consistently support the College and its students by making cash and in-kind contributions, participating in the Diesel Truck Technology program advisory committee, hosting student interns, and inviting students to take part in their live program labs inside their facility in Dunmore, PA. This year’s contribution will help maintain the quality of the hands-on education Kenworth values to prepare students to enter their industry’s workforce as well qualified and trained technicians.

Motor Truck Equipment Company was founded in 1933 and is the parent company of Kenworth of Pennsylvania, Motor Truck PacLease, Motor Truck Thermo King, and TRP of Allentown. Motor Truck spans three generations of leadership from the Mitchell family. They offer the sale of new, medium and heavy-duty Kenworth trucks, as well as a selection of used models. Kenworth of PA has 10 parts and service locations across the state of Pennsylvania to serve all their customers’ transportation needs. To learn more about Kenworth of Pennsylvania, visit

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Geisinger Honors 195 Providers for High Patient Satisfaction Ratings

Geisinger recently honored 195 caregivers for being named among the best in the country by their patients, according to national surveys.

Geisinger providers — including physicians, physician assistants and certified registered nurse practitioners — were recognized for ranking in the top 10% nationally for patient experience at the health system’s annual Top Patient Experience Clinicians Awards, which were held virtually this year.

Scores were based on Press Ganey survey results, which gives patients an opportunity to grade the service and care they received from a provider.

“There’s no better indicator of being a truly exceptional provider than to hear it from your patients,” said J. Edward Hartle, M.D., Geisinger’s executive vice president and chief medical officer. “Each year we have more Geisinger providers ranking in the top 10% nationally for patient experience, all while the standards keep getting tougher. The bar keeps getting higher, and our care providers continue to excel in making better health easier for our patients.”

Among the 195 clinicians honored, three were spotlighted for exemplary work, receiving Geisinger awards for going above and beyond when it comes to compassionate patient care.

Shane Daniel Newhouser, DO, family medicine physician at Geisinger State College, and Akiko Kawamura, MD, pediatrician at Geisinger Mount Pocono, received the Victor J. Marks Award for best Primary Care Physician and Outpatient Specialty Physician, respectively.

The award was established in 2002 to honor Dr. Victor Marks, who served as Geisinger’s interim CEO from 2000 to 2001, and his commitment to making patients the primary focus of the health system. It is given to the primary care physician and the outpatient specialty physician at Geisinger who have the highest overall scores on the care provider section of the patient satisfaction survey.

Debra Kaleta, PA-C, in family medicine at Geisinger Mount Carmel, received the Christina Appleman Award. The award is named in honor of Christina Appleman, certified registered nurse practitioner, and is given to the advanced practitioner at Geisinger with the highest overall score on the care provider section of the patient satisfaction survey.

The 90th percentile Geisinger winners are:

Central region:
Robin L. Adams, CRNP, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Kenneth Wayne Altman, MD, Otolaryngology
Madiha Mubarik Alvi, MD, Endocrinology
Christina Jo Appleman, CRNP, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Amy Gregory Barrett, PA-C, Pediatrics
Maria C. Bermudez, MD, Nephrology
Judith Bianchi Bowser, OD, Ophthalmology
Thomas J. Bules, CRNP, Cardiovascular Disease
Greg F. Burke, MD, Internal Medicine
Joyce A. Burnside, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Ronald Byerly, PA-C, Internal Medicine
James Tran Connolly, PA-C, Orthopaedic Surgery
Michelle Annabella Cornacchia, MD, Internal Medicine
Nicole Deckard, LGC, Genetics
Devin M. Conrad, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Kendall Dobbins, MD, Ophthalmology
Dan Lawrence Dometita, DO, Internal Medicine
Cassondra A. Ellison, MD, Dermatology
James R. Elmore, MD, Vascular Surgery
Matthew A. Facktor, MD, Thoracic Surgery
Tammie Christine Ferringer, MD, Dermatology
Henry F. Fesniak, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Brant R. Fulmer, MD, Urology
Christine Anne Gallagher, OD, Ophthalmology
Tullika Garg, MD, Urology
Keith Gibson, MD, Family Medicine
Nathalie M. Guibord, MD, Ophthalmology
Michael John Halupa, Dental Surgery
Charles Eugene Heid, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Eric John Hodgson, MD, Maternal & Fetal Medicine
Neil Robert Holland, MD, Neurology
Dawn R. Hornberger, CRNP, Endocrinology
Elyssa M. Johnson, PA-C, Family Medicine
Debra M. Kaleta, PA-C, Family Medicine
Rosalind L. Kellum, CRNP, Cardiovascular Disease
Joel C. Klena, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery
Erin Elisabeth Kohrherr, PA-C, Reproductive Endo/Infertility
Benjamin Robert Kuhn, DO, Pediatric Gastroenterology
Lauren Elizabeth Samuels, PA-C, Convenient Care
Mark R. Lentz, MD, Internal Medicine
Jenna Marie Lindenmuth, PA-C, Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Lindsay Anne Hauser, CRNP, ConvenientCare
Kevin Carl Long, MD, Colon & Rectal Surgery
Robert Blake Lowe, DO, Family Medicine
Michele S. Maroon, MD, Dermatology
Shannon M. McShea-Johansson, PA-C, Gastroenterology
Robert Alain Meloy, MD, Internal Medicine
Brittany Eve Meyer, PA-C, Obstetrics/Gynecology
O. Fred Miller III, MD, Dermatology
Brian Richard Monroe, MD, Anesthesiology, Pain Management
Megan Marie Moran, DO, Pediatrics
Donald C. Moyer, DO, Pediatrics
Misha Matongo Mutizwa, MD, Dermatology
Eric D. Newman, MD, Rheumatology
Jess W. Oren IV, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Matthew Lee Palmer, MD, Dermatology
Rajiv P. Panikkar, MD, Medical Oncology
Lori A. Parke, CRNP, General Surgery
Mayur A. Patel, MD, Medical Oncology
Priyanka Pathak, MD, Hematology
Howard B. Pride, MD, Dermatology
John Stephen Quick, MD, Anesthesiology
Arsalan Rafiq, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Marylou Rainone, DO, General Surgery
Jodie Alton Reider, MD, Endocrinology
Wells T. Reinheimer, DO, Ophthalmology
David D. K. Rolston, MD, Internal Medicine
Dana L. Rubin, PA-C, Plastic Surgery
Lisa Lorrae Schroeder, MD, Internal Medicine
Elizabeth Keslar Scott, CRNP, Cardiovascular Disease
Mark Alan Seeley, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery
John A. Semian, MD, General Surgery
Keith E. Shalongo, OD, Ophthalmology
Matthew J. Shellenberger, DO, Gastroenterology
Catherine Terese Shoff, DO, Pulmonary Disease
Dennis Randall Smith, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Jordan Bennett Southern, MD, Urology
Randle H. Storm, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Alexis Svokos, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Jill Susan Sweigard, CRNP, Pediatrics
John Robert Tomedi Sr., MD, Family Medicine
Tyler William Baran, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Tyler Raymond West, DO, Anesthesiology, Pain Management
Caitlin Jean Wiscount, MD, Pediatrics
Sandrina Dawn Womer, CRNP, Cardiovascular Disease
Jessica Gidaro Yancoskie, CRNP, Ophthalmology
Kathya Michelle Zinszer, DPM, Podiatry

Mark Judson Rockwell, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Melissa Jean Kireski, CRNP, ConvenientCare
Tena Delores Miller, PA-C, Family Medicine
Nicholas Showman, PA-C, Dermatology
Dana M. Smith, DO, Pediatrics
Roy Erroll Tuller, DO, Ophthalmology
Jessica Ann Zozos Stehman, PA-C, Obstetrics/Gynecology

Christian Stephen Adonizio, MD, Medical Oncology
Alexander M. Piczon, PA-C, Ortho & Sports Medicine Urgent Care
Joseph Patrick Bannon, MD, General Surgery
Louis C. Blaum Jr., MD, General Surgery
Elizabeth A. Bordy, PA-C, Family Medicine
Pranjal Kumar Boruah, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Mary Catherine Brady, MD, Dermatology
Laurie Campfield, DO, Pediatrics
Jose I. Castillo, MD, Medical Oncology
Peter Joseph Cawley, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Charlea Natasha Pedro, CRNP, ConvenientCare
Stacy J. Conway, OD, Ophthalmology
Kelly Jo Dalton, OD, Ophthalmology
Brian A. Delvecchio, DO, Rheumatology
Laurel Foxworth Dodgson, PA-C, Anesthesiology, Pain Management
Mitchell J. Gross, MD, Neurology
Collin Douglas Hair, MD, Ophthalmology
Megan Ward Harris, PA-C, Dermatology
Julia Ann Zafia Carey, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Karla Grace Dalious, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Akiko Kawamura, MD, Pediatrics
Amanda Katherine Keegan, PA-C, Urology
Eric J. Kemmerer, MD, Radiation Oncology
Kimberly Kaminsky, PA-C, ConvenientCare
David J. Kolessar, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery
Kimberly A. Kovalick, DO, Family Medicine
Michael A. Kovalick, DO, Family Medicine
Melissa Laporte, CRNP, Endocrinology
Leopoldo Legaspi, MD, Pediatrics
Lauren Nicole Polanin, PA-C, ConvenientCare
Kara Anne Levandoski, PA-C , Cardiovascular Disease
Maya Lillyan Lichtenstein, MD, Neurology
Paul R. Long, MD, Dermatology
Benoit Mapa, DO, Obstetrics/Gynecology
David R. Mariner, MD, Vascular Surgery
Vernon H. Mascarenhas, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Martin Eugene Matsumura, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Evan Lee McClennen, DO, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Sandeep Mehrok, MD, Family Medicine
Elizabeth Erin Miller, DO, General Surgery
Carl Andrew Nieweld, MD, Pulmonary Disease
Kathleen Marie Noss, DO, Pediatrics
Frank C. Olshemski, MD, Family Medicine
Mark Peter Pallis, DO, Orthopaedic Surgery
Sandra L. Pensieri, DPM, Podiatry
John Mark Prater, MD, Family Medicine
Brogdan Protyniak, MD, Colon & Rectal Surgery
John Robert Ramey, MD, Urology
Waqarun Nisa Rashid, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Jamian M. Ryan, DO, Pediatrics
Lakshmi Neeharika Saladi, MD, Pulmonary Disease
Thomas Spencer Samuelsen, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Sarah Ann Brown, CRNP, Urgent Care
Kenny Alan Schwartz, MD, Neurology
Shreya Sinha, MD, Oncology, Medical
Alessandro G. Smeraldi, MD, Surgery, Vascular
John Joseph Sobuto III, DO, Critical Care Medicine
James A. Tricarico, DO, Family Medicine
Cassandra Lynn Tunis, DO, Family Medicine
Justin Gerard Tunis, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Daniel William Upton, MD, Ophthalmology
Pugazhendhi Vijayaraman, MD, Cardiovascular Disease
Kathleen Iezzi Walsh, MD, Pediatrics
Mary Rachel Wolf, PA-C, Surgical Oncology
Jason Raymond Woloski, MD, Family Medicine
Joseph Alexander Wong, MD, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Sarah Ann Worsnick, PA-C, Cardiovascular Disease
Bonnie Tong Young, CRNP, Cardiology (Interventional)
Shane Steven Young, MD, Family Medicine

Lorraine L. Rosamilia, MD, Dermatology
Trevor Sherrick Smith, DO, Family Medicine
Natalie Rebeccah Steffen, PA-C, Family Medicine
Michelle Jane Thal, PA-C, Allergy & Immunology
Kathleen Mary Zazzali, DO, Cardiovascular Disease

NET Credit Union Donates to The Greater Scranton YMCA

NET Credit Union donated $10,000 to The Greater Scranton YMCA to benefit their 2021 Capital Campaign. The Capital Campaign benefits renovations to serve their community better.

The YMCA currently offers numerous programs to benefit all ages and demographics of our local community. The donations from The Capital Campaign will go towards a new kitchen that will benefit current and future programs and a new Welcome Center that will be more “user friendly” and secure for both staff and members. These updated areas will allow The YMCA to offer more programs and services.

The YMCA is a Preffered Partner Group of NET Credit Union. This means all staff is able to Bank On NET. We apprecaite all of our relationships with our Preffered Partners, especially ones that benefit our local community like The Greater Scranton YMCA.

The Wright Center Supports the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties

The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education recently donated $10,000 to the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties in support of its annual campaign.

“The United Way and the people we serve every day are grateful for the ongoing support of The Wright Center,” said Gary W. Drapek, president and CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “Our missions to lift up underserved communities in the region are more important than ever as the global pandemic continues to affect many facets of our lives. This donation will lessen the impact of COVID-19 on those who can least afford it.”

The Wright Center cares for more than 30,000 patients at its eight primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties. The Wright Center for Community Health works to improve the health and welfare of Northeast Pennsylvania by improving access to patient-centric health care services, while The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education builds a sustainable and competent workforce of physicians.

Participating in the ceremonial check presentation ceremony at The Wright Center, from left, are Deborah Kolsovsky, chairperson, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties’ annual campaign; Gary W. Drapek, president and CEO, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties; Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO, The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, and Gerard Geoffroy, chairperson, The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors.

Promote Your Business on the Ice Festival Map

The Scranton Ice Festival wants to promote restaurants, bars, and other businesses downtown!

To promote your business, we are requesting the below info we can add to the map:

  • Days/hours you’ll be open during the festival (fyi – Festival hours: Fri 5-9, Sat 1-9, and Sun 1-5)
  • Very brief business description/tagline
  • What you serve (Food, Alcoholic Beverages, Non-Alcoholic Beverages)
  • Any specials, promos, events, or added services you’ll have available
  • Whether you’re family friendly
  • The preferred website you’d like us to link to (perhaps you’d prefer to link to your menu or your social media)

We’ll be adding this as a layer to our existing map which can be found here.

Email with your business information.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is once again offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to prepare local, state and federal income tax returns for FREE!  There are NO hidden fees or charges – this is a completely FREE Service designed to help people secure all the refunds and credits for which they are eligible.

How do I schedule an appointment?

There’s two ways to schedule an appointment:

  1. Schedule an appointment by clicking HERE
  2. Starting Monday, January 3rd, call 2-1-1 and speak to an agent that can book your appointment over the phone.
    • In the case 2-1-1 doesn’t connect, be sure to call 570.602.3133 to schedule your appointment.  Please leave a voicemail when/if prompted.

When does the VITA program start?

You can schedule your VITA appointment today!  The first day on the schedule for this current tax season will be Friday, February 4th.

What if I want to file my own taxes?

If you’d like to file your taxes on your own, The United Way offers help for those who are comfortable preparing their own taxes online. MyFreeTaxes, powered by TaxSlayer, is available nationwide and includes federal and unlimited state returns FOR FREE while avoiding restrictive eligibility criteria.  There is no age or geographic limitations.  MyFreeTaxes follows the IRS VITA program guidelines and target filers who generally earn around $57,000 or less, but filers with incomes over this threshold will not be blocked from using this FREE Software and will not be charged any fees!

Is VITA for me?

Our VITA volunteers will prepare state, local and federal tax returns for households and senior citizens from Northeast Pennsylvania that have income during 2021 of $57,000. Wage earners and non-wage earners are both eligible.

VITA by the numbers:

During the 2021 tax season, the United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program saved our tax clients $228,300 in fees as we filed 1,522 tax returns for free with $1,658,329 in federal refunds being returned to the community—and the budgets of hard-working area families.

Information about 2022 VITA appointments:

For a complete checklist of what you need for your tax drop-off, a schedule of this year’s appointments, and more CLICK HERE