Make Mental Health a Priority in May

By Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri, M.D.

If you’re like me, you cherish pretty much everything about springtime, from the warmer temperatures to the abundant outdoor activities and rebirth of the flowers and trees.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that we as a society are dealing with some very difficult events at the moment, from the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine and to rising inflation and supply shortages. Add all of that to the everyday stresses of life and it’s no wonder that people are experiencing increased rates of anxiety and depression.

How appropriate then that May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, an awareness campaign geared around encouraging people to practice self-care and seek out any of the many mental health resources available to them. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is promoting a “Together for Mental Health” message, using the month “to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events.”

It’s a noble goal, for sure, since mental illness remains a huge public health crisis throughout the United States and the rest of the world. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness in some form and 1 in 20 are seriously afflicted by it. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 youths ages 6-17 have mental health disorders, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34. Types of mental illness range from anxiety and depression to obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

These statistics reinforce the great need to further destigmatize mental health so that people aren’t so reluctant to get the help that they need. Fortunately, we have first-rate mental health services available here in Northeast Pennsylvania, including at the Wright Center for Community Health.

At the Wright Center, we offer an array of behavioral health services – therapy, psychiatric care and more – for children, adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, substance use and addictive disorders, bullying, relationship stressors, LGBTQI+ issues, trauma, and loss and grief. In addition, our staff has made significant strides in the realm of telehealth services since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, in response to the shortage of psychiatrists in Northeast Pennsylvania and across the country, we started a psychiatry residency in July 2017 and expanded the number of residents accepted into the program in 2022. Our Accreditation Council for Medical Education–accredited residency is progressive in its integration of behavioral health services within primary care environments and promotion of preventive screenings, timely interventions and a team-based approach to care – especially for patients who may not initially seek help on their own.

Our psychiatry residents receive hands-on training in regional public health-based settings, including specialty practices, behavioral health clinics, hospitals and safety-net community health centers where they partner with primary care and addiction medicine teams. The first class graduated in 2021, and scored a 100% pass rate on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology’s Psychiatry Certification examination.

We are thrilled to be doing our part to address the mental health needs of our community. We have a lot of work to do, but with further advocacy and innovation, we will continue to make great strides against mental illness.

Outreach Program Receives Grant from the SACF

Outreach – Center for Community Resources is honored to receive a $5,000 grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to support the delivery of the Incredible Years® evidence-based parenting and positive childhood behaviors program.

This grant provides needed resources for Outreach to provide the Incredible Years® program that helps parents to achieve improved parenting skills, reduced childhood conduct problems, and strengthen social-emotional learning, self-regulation, school readiness, and problem-solving skills. Incredible Years® parents and children increase social connections, resiliency, and knowledge.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation has been serving the Northeastern Pennsylvania region for over 65 years as a steward, a grantmaker, a charitable resource, and a catalyst for change and growth. The Scranton Area Community Foundation was established as a community trust in 1954 by the Scranton Family, whose initial gift was the seed that has grown into a permanent vehicle for donors to accomplish their philanthropic goals while helping to support positive change within our community. Today the Scranton Area Community Foundation holds and manages a variety of funds from individuals, organizations, and corporations. Through these gifts, the Foundation responds to community needs and has provided grants to support regional nonprofits.

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Settlers Hospitality Announces Partnership with Moka Origins

An award-wining craft chocolate and coffee producer is partnering with Settlers Hospitality to provide product for service in all its Hawley locations including The Settlers Inn,, The Dock on Wallenpaupack and Cocoon Coffeehouse and Bakery.

Since its founding in 2017, Moka Origins has achieved an inspiring blend of social responsibility and fine quality. The factory in Honesdale produces coffee and chocolate from hand-selected ingredients of the highest caliber. Much of the product is sourced from Moka’s direct-trade farming partners across Africa. The heart of the business is a devotion to ethically sourced cacao and coffee beans. That commitment has grown into a passion for crafting small-batch premium chocolate and coffee. Moka Origins’ factory is a USDA Certified Organic food facility. It is also Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified. In addition, an organic Swiss Water Process is used to decaffeinate coffee.

“Partnering with Settlers Hospitality has been a dream of ours.,” states CEO/Co-Founder of Moka Origins, Jeff Abella. “This collaboration is the perfect opportunity to deliver our high-quality products to the NEPA community, while also expressing our commitment to supporting coffee and cacao farmers globally.”

NEPA Crane & Hauling New RailRiders First Responder Friday Partner

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are pleased to announce that NEPA Crane & Hauling will present each First Responder Friday at PNC Field for the remainder of the 2022 season. This new program was giving 50 complimentary tickets to the area’s local first responders and this new partnership with NEPA Crane & Hauling will expand that number to 100 tickets for every Friday home game this season.

“First Responders are the fabric of community and it’s because of them so many of us get to enjoy days at the ballpark,” stated Jeff Keeney, the owner of NEPA Crane & Hauling. “First Responders choose to be an active member of keeping our communities safe and NEPA Crane & Hauling does not take this for granted.  Our communities First Responders are the reason why NEPA Crane & Hauling and our family members get to live and work where we do, and it’s important to us to say thank you any way we can.”

Tickets are given away on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are limited to four per week per first responder.

First responders can register for tickets by filling out the form on the First Responder Friday page on Our Community Relations department will contact the first responders that will receive tickets in advance of each Friday home game this season with information regarding the seats and to make further arrangements.

“When I was kid, a day at the ballpark meant a day watching the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons,” Keeney continued. “I still have memories of going to the games and my brother catching a foul ball and me being mad that I didn’t. The RailRiders aren’t just a business operating in our community. Their passion for supporting the local community and our First Responders is honorable and NEPA Crane & Hauling wants to support our local businesses and community members who live and work here.”

For more information, please contact Jordan Steiner, the Director of Community Relations for the RailRiders, at or by calling (570) 558-4616.

Internship Opportunity With the Chamber’s IGNITE Program

Join the Chamber’s IGNITE Entrepreneurship team for a unique, on-site experience! You will engage with local entrepreneurs who are developing technology, products, and services at the forefront of their industries. You’ll learn how to enhance your networking and relationship development skills, source high quality information for program development and marketing purposes, as well as the foundational knowledge necessary to start a business.

An intern in the economic development department of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce will apply their classroom-learned skillset in a real-life business incubation setting working with the IGNITE Program Manager, Director of Facilities and Asset Management, and a portfolio of 21 active entrepreneurs in the technology space.

Learn more about us at

Students of all years and majors are welcome and encouraged to apply by Monday, May 16, 2022

  • Summer 2022, 10 week internship, flexible start date
  • In-person internship at the IGNITE Business Incubator located within the Scranton Enterprise Center in downtown Scranton, PA
  • Opportunity to work up to 5 hours a day, not to exceed 20 hours a week, within weekday business hours
  • $10.00/hour
  • All necessary tools and equipment provided!
  • For-credit optional*

*Requirement: Students are required to check with their college/university career development office to find out if any guidelines, must be followed and/or requirements must be met for the internship (health & safety, academic or other), by the student and/or the small business host.


  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Energy, passion, and enthusiasm to intern and learn in a business setting
  • Desire to engage with others
  • Foundational knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Students of all years and majors are welcome and encouraged to apply

Project Description:

  • Engage with the IGNITE program clients and alumni through in person meetings, interviews, emails, and phone calls to develop professional relationships and rapport.
  • Research and gather key information about the current and past clients of the IGNITE Entrepreneurship Program and catalog the information into a spreadsheet.
  • Assist the IGNITE Program Manager with curating content from the research catalog to promote the clients, the program and the community.
  • Other duties and tasks as assigned, including ideas generated by the intern based on their personal interests and course of study.

Apply at by 5/16/2022

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Dickson City Community Open House

Stop by the new Lehigh Valley Hospital–Dickson City for our Community Open House! Take a tour of the facility before it opens to get a sneak peek of the great care Lehigh Valley Health Network is bringing to the Scranton region. The event will also include Papa’s Grill Food Truck, light refreshments, giveaway items and a performance by Lynnette’s Twirlerettes.

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, noon-2 p.m.
WHERE: 330 Main Street Dickson City, PA 18519

Geisinger Health Board of Directors Chair Honored by Modern Healthcare

Geisinger Health Board of Directors Chair John C. Bravman, Ph.D.,is among this year’s class of Modern Healthcare’s Excellence in Governance award honorees. The Excellence in Governance program recognizes influential individuals who serve on a board of directors for a healthcare organization and foster advancement in culture, mission and performance.

Dr. Bravman, president of Bucknell University since 2010, was appointed to the Geisinger Health Board of Directors in September 2012. He was appointed chairman of the board in December 2016 and also chairs the Emergency Action Committee. He serves as a member of the Geisinger Family, Audit and Compliance, Finance, Governance and Quality committees of the board, and also serves on the Board of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

“I am honored to serve Geisinger and our communities through my service on the board,” said Dr. Bravman. “This recognition is meaningful because it acknowledges the commitment of Geisinger’s entire board, its leaders and employees in putting patients first and contributing to healthier, more vibrant communities.”

This year’s honorees are profiled in the April 18 issue of MH magazine and online at

“Geisinger is very fortunate to have an active, engaged and dedicated board,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger president and CEO. “I’m grateful for the experience, leadership and invaluable perspectives John brings to our system as we strive to make better health easier for the communities we serve. I congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.”

Each director in the class exemplifies the qualities of excellence in governance: loyalty and service, strategic and innovative vision, and commitment to fostering the values of accountability, diversity, equity and sustainability.

“We are thrilled to launch the rebranded Excellence in Governance awards program with such an esteemed group of honorees,” said Fawn Lopez, publisher of Modern Healthcare. “They are invaluable assets to the organizations and communities they serve and to the advancement of healthcare. We congratulate and thank them for their leadership and dedication.”

Marywood University Announces Co-Chairs for Community Leadership Celebration

When Marywood University honors Sister Gail Cabral, IHM, Ph.D. for a lifetime of service to Marywood and the community, the work and dedication of her colleagues and friends will be evident in the special celebration. Event co-chairs Mary Anne Fedrick, Ph.D., a retired Marywood dean, and Maria Gogal, a Marywood trustee, both longtime friends of Sister Gail, are working to ensure the success of Marywood University’s Ninth Annual Community Leadership Celebration, set for Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 5:30 p.m., at the Center for Athletics and Wellness on the University’s campus.

Dr. Fedrick retired as the Dean of Marywood’s Reap College of Education and Human Development in 2013. Her distinguished Marywood career spanned nearly 30 years and included leadership positions in the library, admissions, academic affairs, and enrollment management, prior to her service as an academic dean. She received a bachelor of arts degree in education from Marywood, later adding a master of science in library science and a master of arts in counseling, also from Marywood. Dr. Fedrick earned her Ph.D. in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University. While at Marywood, she was a member of countless university committees and boards of professional associations, often serving in leadership roles. Upon retirement, she earned the Sister M. Denis Donegan Award for Distinguished Service from the Marywood Alumni Association. Dr. Fedrick’s post-retirement activities have focused primarily on service to educational and cultural organizations, including NativityMiguel School of Scranton, Fricchione Center Advisory Group, Fine Arts Fiesta, McGlynn Learning Center, Pennsylvania Library Association, and Marywood and Penn State alumni groups, among others.

Dr. Fedrick noted, “Sr. Gail Cabral has been involved in so many areas of Marywood and the wider psychology and educational world for so many years. Her gentle, inquisitive, and caring style have touched the hearts and minds of students, faculty, and friends. She truly deserves to be celebrated for all her accomplishments.”

A Marywood trustee, Ms. Gogal, of Lebanon, N.J., is the Director, Oncology Global Expert Input and Medical Education in Global Medical Affairs, for Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J. She joined Merck after graduating from Marywood University in 2004, and has been promoted within the organization in various leadership roles since then. Ms. Gogal holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial/organizational psychology, with a minor in business, from Marywood, as well as a master of science in jurisprudence in health, science, and technology law, from Seton Hall University of Law, Newark, N.J. A Marywood trustee since 2015, she serves on the University Advancement Committee and the Committee on Trustees. Ms. Gogal does volunteer work for several nonprofit organizations, including the Development Committee for the Women’s Health and Counseling Center at Zufall Health Center, Feed My Starving Children, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, America’s Grow A Row, and sponsoring a child in El Salvador through Compassion International.

Citing Sister Gail’s distinguished record of service, Ms. Gogal observed, “After over a half-century as a cornerstone of the Marywood mission, we are celebrating the legacy of this incredible woman. I urge everyone, especially those who have learned from, worked with, or been touched by Sister Gail’s life and work, to join us at this festive gathering, at which we will pay tribute to her and also support Marywood students, which, by the way, is the best tribute we can give to Sister Gail.”

The Community Leadership Celebration, Marywood’s signature fundraiser, provides special support to Marywood students and honors individuals in the community who exemplify Marywood’s core values in leadership and service to others. Sister Gail, a licensed psychologist, who is retiring after 52 years as a Marywood psychology faculty member, will receive the University’s Lead On Award, in recognition of her lifelong commitment to education, to service, and to the common good. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the President’s Innovation Fund, which supports Marywood students through initiatives that enhance the academic experience in the IHM tradition.

Tickets and event sponsorships are available now. Please visit or call (570) 348-6238 for more details about honoring Sister Gail Cabral, IHM at Marywood University’s Community Leadership Celebration on May 5.