Tobyhanna’s Employee Services Center Draws Awareness to Suicide Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and members of Team Tobyhanna have many resources available to them and their families at Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD).

One such resource is the Employee Services Center (ESC), which is available 24/7 via the ESC Hotline at (570) 615-5591 for immediate assistance. The ESC offers brief, solution-focused counseling to help employees or their families balance the struggles they may be having.

When someone calls the Hotline, ESC personnel will confirm if the person in need is a threat to themselves or anyone else. If they are, emergency first responders will be called to get them immediate assistance. ESC personnel ask the same who, what, when, where, and why questions to all who call in so they can learn what the individual is doing and where they are. They make sure to stay engaged in the conversation and try to obtain crucial information that can be used to ensure safety. When the crisis is over, ESC personnel work with the individual to connect them to community resources.

In an effort to better the community around them, the ESC works to promote educational awareness, conducts annual training, normalizes conversations about suicide, and runs a Peer 2 Peer Proactive Education Program. These are all great resources that provide beneficial training for mental health and suicide awareness.

The Peer 2 Peer Program is designed to train employees on mental health, substance abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and suicide prevention to better understand the signs and symptoms of each. Once employees are trained, they receive a yellow lanyard that will allows other employees to identify them as a person they can talk to about what may be bothering them. If more assistance is needed, Peers can escort the employee to the ESC or call 911 to get them immediate assistance.

Currently, the ESC is preparing a training called LivingWorks ASIST. ASIST stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. The training is a two-day face-to-face workshop featuring powerful audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations. Participants learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, providing a skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan to keep someone alive. Three ESC employees recently received certification to conduct the workshop and will schedule trainings for the Tobyhanna community in the upcoming months.

ESC personnel caution that the signs of suicide are not black and white. They are complex and can look different depending on the person. Suicidal thoughts can occur to anyone, even if they do not have any mental health illnesses. Statistics show that about 5 percent of the United States population are having suicidal thoughts at any given time. Showing others empathy and letting them know they are not alone is a huge step in letting those with suicidal thoughts know their thoughts are common and treatable.

ESC Supervisor Ricardo Horn said that people with suicide thoughts are often in pain, isolated, and unsure of what to do. “Asking a person if they are thinking about suicide shows them you care and that there may be another option. Although it is an uncomfortable question to ask, it just may save a life.”

Becoming more informed about suicide can help prevent it. Looking for the signs and letting others know they are not alone is important.

Bryanne Caruso Promoted To Retail Branch Manager at Fidelity Bank

Daniel J. Santaniello, President & CEO, Fidelity Bank, is pleased to announce the promotion of Bryanne Caruso to Retail Branch Manager of the Wyoming Branch of Fidelity Bank.

A member of the Fidelity Bank team since 2017, Caruso plays an integral role in the success of the Wyoming Branch, overseeing daily operations to provide exceptional service to Fidelity Bank clients. She participates in outside sales and customer service calls with current and prospective clients, and ensures compliance with operating policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements.

Caruso earned an Associate’s degree in Business Studies from Lackawanna College, Scranton, and she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University. An active member of the community, she is enrolled in Leadership Northeast, Class of 2023.

She resides in Dunmore with her fiancé, Charles Salvo, and her daughter, Emery. When she isn’t working, Caruso enjoys spending time with family and pursuing a variety of interests. Crafting, country music concerts, and watching her daughter play softball are among her favorite activities. She also enjoys outdoor recreation with her fiancé, including kayaking, riding quads, and hunting. With an adventurous spirit, Caruso has been sky diving, snorkeling, and white-water rafting, and she aspires to add ziplining, swimming with sharks, and rock climbing to this list in the future.

Now Accepting Letters of Intent for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants, and invites charitable organizations working to address the needs of people living in the Lackawanna County region to complete a Letter of Intent by Friday, September 30th.

Innovative Impact Grants(up to $25,000) seek to provide resources for a nonprofit, or collaboration of nonprofits and other partners, to make a measurable improvement in the region.

These competitive grants are made to those applying organizations that are committed to new, innovative, transformational, and/or collaborative efforts to:

  • Carry out an important goal or address a specific challenge;
  • Become more impactful, effective, and sustainable in their work;
  • Achieve a greater impact in the community they serve;
  • Meet their organizational missions.

Applications must meet the following requirements:

  • Impact: Applicants must demonstrate how this program/project will make the community better, what data will be collected in order to measure success, and what goals have been set for the program/project to achieve
  • Budget: Applicants must supply a detailed program/project budget, which includes the uses and sources of funds. The organization’s budget must also be included.
  • Sustainability: Applicants must demonstrate how the program/project will continue after grant funds are expended and what the plan is to build sustainability for the future.
  • Timeline and Evaluation: Applicants must describe when the desired impact might be realized and which populations will benefit from the program/project. Additionally, applicants need to detail how the program/project will be evaluated both during the course of the program/project, and also following the program/project’s completion.
  • Applicants are also strongly encouraged to establish collaborative partnerships
  Interested applicants must complete a Letter of Intent (LOI) by Friday, September 30th through SAF’s online grant management portal.

If invited to apply, applications will be due Tuesday, November 1st.
  All grants must be used for a charitable purpose and be granted to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Complete an LOI for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants

Ready to apply? As part of our ongoing commitment to building the capacity of our nonprofit professionals and to better serve our grant seekers, our grant application process is now streamlined through our online grant management portal. All grant requests are handled through the online portal.

No paper or emailed applications will be accepted.

The grant application process generally begins with submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) through the online portal. To submit an LOI, you will need to log on to your organization’s account in our online grant management portal. If your organization does not have an account established, you will need to create an account. If you are unsure of your organization’s account credentials, please contact your organization’s leadership to inquire or email us at for further instruction. 


1. At the login page, please follow the appropriate next step:
a. If you have already created a login: you must login using the credentials you’ve utilized for previous grant applications. NOTE: username is always an email.
b. If someone else in your organization has already created a login: please email to have a new user added to your organization.
c. If your organization has never accessed our online grant portal, create your account using the following information:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization’s information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for the organization’s Executive Officer

2. On the applicant dashboard, select “Apply” along the top menu to view available grants.
We have provided additional resources, including a written tutorial, to help you with our new grant application process. To access the written applicant tutorial, visit the Applicant Tutorial – Grants

All submitted LOIs will be reviewed and select organizations will be invited to submit a full grant application through the online portal before the grant application deadline.

If you have any questions about our grant application process, please contact us via email at

The Dime Bank Celebrates its Steamtown Community Branch in Scranton

The Dime Bank celebrated its newest addition to the community bank’s branch network with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 300 Lackawanna Avenue, at the Marketplace at Steamtown. This branch brings high-tech, concierge banking to the community.  With concierge banking, customers have high-tech, personal customer service with cross-trained staff to take care of their needs by one person in one place. With an iPad in the branch for customer’s convenient access to their accounts online and an ATM in the bank’s vestibule bringing 24/7 access to funds, customers have high-tech convenient access to finances. Spanish speaking staff are also available to assist customers as needed.  The community is invited to visit The Dime Bank Steamtown branch to tour the facility, meet the staff, and to enter a drawing to win one of 20 gift certificates to local merchants. Winners are being drawn and contacted the week of October 31, 2022. The Steamtown branch offers customers access to trusted, dependable financial professionals who bring financial solutions to the community Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

President and Chief Executive Officer Pete Bochnovich thanked the attendees and the participants who worked so diligently to make this new state-of-the-art banking facility a huge success. Bochnovich stated, “We’re elated to be in Scranton and look forward to servicing the needs of all in the community by providing an ultimate customer experience. We’re very excited about the development going on in Scranton and the ongoing repurposing of the Marketplace at Steamtown. The Dime Bank is very fortunate to have been involved in several revitalization projects in the greater Scranton downtown area, and this location is a perfect fit for us to assist with the expanding financial needs in the community. We are firmly committed to our existing customers and look forward to cultivating new relationships in the Lackawanna County area. To further enrich the quality of life for all in the region, The Dime Bank will continue to support the community and nonprofit programs, as we have done since 1905. Our mission to serve the financial needs of all, continues to hold true as we strive to build strong partnerships for years to come.”

Misericordia Appoints New Members To Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of Misericordia University (MU) approved three new members at its annual meeting.

Joining the board are Mark Alles, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., and David M. Payne, Jr. ’85.

“The Misericordia University Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome our three new members,” said Deborah Smith-Mileski, D.Ed., ’75, chair, Board of Trustees. “Their combined expertise in higher education, business development and finance are sure to add significant value to our board. I look forward to working with them to meet the challenges of modern higher education and to help Misericordia University continue to prosper.”

Mark Alles is an accomplished executive in the biopharmaceutical industry who built and led highly successful global oncology-focused organizations and cancer therapeutics over his more than three-decade career. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corporation, a global biopharmaceutical company, with an outstanding record of driving growth and medical innovation throughout his 15-year tenure at the company. He optimized long-term shareholder value through the analysis, execution and completion of Bristol Myers Squibb’s $74B acquisition of Celgene Corporation in late 2019.

At Celgene, he consistently delivered industry-leading financial performance, led teams that completed several multibillion-dollar company and product acquisitions, built a diverse suite of globally marketed cancer medicines and a development pipeline of high-potential therapeutics for blood cancers, solid tumor cancers and serious inflammatory diseases. He led the expansion of Celgene from a US-based organization with 500 employees, to a global company with 8,800 employees serving patients in more than 50 countries.

He is a recognized industry leader with deep operational, financial, business development and commercial experience. Mark is a former Board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Gilda’s Club NYC (non-profit helping families of people living with cancer), and a former member of the Trustees for the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ). He is currently a member of the board of directors for Antengene Corporation Limited (HKSE listed: 6996.HK), BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Nasdaq listed: BMRN), Syros Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq listed: SYRS), and was chairman of the board for Turning Point Therapeutics (Nasdaq listed: TPTX), a precision oncology company expected to be acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb for $4.1B during mid-2022. Mark is consulting CEO and a member of the board for PIKSci, Inc – a private biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for hematologic malignancies, and a board member for TORL BioTherapeutics – a private biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of solid tumor cancers. Mark is an advisor to the life sciences venture capital fund Eir Ventures and serves on the board of trustees for Misericordia University.

Before joining Celgene in 2004, Mark was vice president of the U.S. Oncology business unit at Aventis Pharmaceuticals and served in other senior management roles over an eleven-year period. He began his career in the biopharmaceutical industry at Bayer and worked at Centocor before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Mark earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps.

Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., is president emeritus and professor of English at Manhattan College, having served as president there from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2022. O’Donnell came to Manhattan after five years of service as the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham University. Before coming to New York, he spent 17 years at Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University Maryland), where he served as a professor of English and, from 1999-2004, director of the university-wide honors program. As a scholar and teacher, he has focused mainly on poetry, especially of the British Romantic period, and on religion and literature, particularly contemporary American Catholic writers. He has authored two books on the poetry of William Wordsworth and co-edited “The Work of Andre Dubus,” a collection of essays published as a double issue of “Religion and the Arts.” In 2014, he won the prestigious Robert Fitzgerald Prosody Award, which recognizes scholars whose work has “made a lasting contribution to the art and science of versification.” 

A frequent contributor to national and international conversations about the current state and future of Catholic higher education, O’Donnell served from 1994–2000 as editor of the national magazine “Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education,” and as a member of the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education from 1993–2000. He currently serves on the board of trustees of Lewis University.  In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and as a trustee of La Salle University, Philadelphia.  While at Loyola, he was on the board of the Lilly Fellows Program, and of Collegium, a consortium of Catholic universities that strives to strengthen faculty understanding of and participation in the mission of Catholic higher education.

A native of Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley, O’Donnell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with highest distinction and honors in English at The Pennsylvania State University in 1981, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in English and American literature and language. He is married to poet, writer, and scholar Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham.  The couple has three sons (all educators) and four grandchildren.

The O’Donnells have strong family ties to Misericordia. Both were awarded honorary doctorates from Misericordia in 2019.  Brennan O’Donnell’s mother, Mary Brennan O’Donnell, was a 1939 graduate of College Misericordia. His aunt, Miriam Ruth Brennan, RSM, was a 1950 graduate of College Misericordia and a Sister of Mercy.

David M. Payne, Jr., ’85, Dallas, is managing director of PNC Capital Markets LLC, which provides investment banking and bond underwriting services as part of the PNC Public Finance Group. Payne began his association with PNC Capital Markets LLC in 2006 and is directly responsible for the development and structuring of bond financings for governments, agencies, and authorities located primarily in Pennsylvania. Payne holds the Series 7, Series 53, and Series 63 FINRA securities licenses. Payne joined PNC Bank in December of 2004 after 20 years of service with Citizens Bank, with experience in many areas of bank sales and management.  Payne is a graduate of Misericordia University and holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Scranton. He also holds a Graduate Banking Degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware. In August of 2006, Payne received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Misericordia University in recognition of his many years of service to various economic development and non-profit organizations in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well as his continued service to his Alma Mater, Misericordia University. 

He has been serving as a consultant member of the Investment Committee of the MU Board of Trustees. Payne is an active member of the Wyoming Valley community, assuming leadership roles over the years in many organizations including serving as Chairman of the Board of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, and board member of Volunteers of America PA, Leadership Wilkes-Barre, the Penn State University Wilkes-Barre campus, the Ethics Institute of NEPA, The Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta, and a volunteer with the North Branch Land Trust. Payne was also past chair of the Pastoral Council of St. Theresa’s Church, Shavertown.

Payne and his family have made significant and lasting contributions to Misericordia University. He is a former member of the Alumni Board, former class agent, a 2006 Convocation speaker, honorary degree recipient, Legacy member, scholarship benefactor and a member of the university’s Ethics Institute. His late father David Sr., served as a faculty member and administrator for over 38 years, and in 2004 was bestowed the title Professor Emeritus by the board of trustees.  Payne’s mother, Andrea, was the university’s first recipient of the Honorary Alumni award for her many years of service to the university and the Sisters of Mercy. 

Payne’s sister, Dr. Ellen McLaughlin, is an Occupational Therapy professor and Doctoral Program Director at Misericordia University. Payne is a graduate of the university along with his four sisters, Allison Payne, Dr. Ellen McLaughlin, Katie Payne and Susan Ferentino, daughter Sarah Payne and niece Brianna McLaughlin. 

Payne and his wife of 35 years, Darlene, reside in Dallas, and are the proud parents of triplets Sarah, David III and Jillian Payne.

Christelle Hoffman ’13 has joined the Board of Trustees as an ex-officio member upon assuming the role of president of the MU Alumni Association. She has been an active member of the Alumni Association since 2015 and previously served as its president-elect.

Two members have left the board. Mary Helen Nugent, R.S.M. has served as a Board of Trustees member since 2013. Adam Grzech ’13, ’17, previous Alumni Association Board president, served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees during his tenure with the Alumni Association.

“We, as members of the Board of Trustees, extend our most sincere gratitude for the significant service and we extend our best wishes for success and happiness in the future to Sister Mary Helen and Adam Grzech,” said Smith-Mileski. “We know they will continue to remain involved with Misericordia.”

Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., president of Misericordia University, also thanked the outgoing Board members for their service to the university. “I want to thank Sister Mary Helen and Adam for their support during my first year as president. The university has faced many challenges over the last several years. The input and guidance from our board members has been instrumental to the success of the university.”

WVIA Announces Original Documentary Film Chronicling the 2022 Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers

WVIA has announced its next original documentary film will chronicle the 2022 Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers as they chase a PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.)   record sixth consecutive state championship.

Award-winning WVIA filmmaker Alexander Monelli will tell the story of their season from the locker room to practices to the sidelines of the games, giving viewers an up close and never-before-seen look at of one of the top high school football programs in the state. Located in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania (near the world-renowned Knoebels Amusement Resort), the film aims to discover what makes the small-town team so successful year after year while simultaneously chronicling its great history. The documentary will also delve into some of the history of high school football in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, exploring programs like George Curry’s old Berwick Bulldogs and comparing them to Southern Columbia.

The film will feature interviews with the 2022 Southern Columbia football team and its coaches alongside interviews with former NFL players Henry Hynoski (Southern Columbia, New York Giants) and Bo Orlando (Berwick, Houston Oilers), as well as former WNEP sports director Jim Coles, who covered Southern Columbia and regional high school football for 33 years.

“We have this incredible story right in our own backyard. The Southern Columbia football program was almost shut down in 1980 because of a 26-game losing streak and poor player turnout. It is now the perennial state champion with the winningest high school football coach in Pennsylvania history,” said filmmaker Alexander Monelli. “Everyone has their theory (good and bad) about how Southern is so dominant every year. I’m looking to answer that question with this film. And the real answer might just surprise you.”

“What I hope people will say after this documentary is ‘they do things the right way,” said head coach Jim Roth. “As far as the way we work, the way we treat players, the way we interact, and then the rest takes care of itself and translates into wins.” “Southern Columbia High School football is a unique story, and we are excited to give our viewers an up-close and personal view of this team,” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA Chief Content Officer. “WVIA takes pride in shining a light on the stories of our region and giving them a platform to be shared with the world.”

The Lodge at Woodloch Announces New Partnership With Lackawanna College

The Lodge at Woodloch is thrilled to announce their partnership with the Massage Therapy Certificate Program at Lackawanna College’s Lake Region Center. This strategic partnership will gather the knowledge and expertise of a world-renowned destination spa resort along with the well-rounded education at Lackawanna College to create a-certificate program with a true “hands-on” opportunity for an enriched educational experience.

The Lodge at Woodloch has recruited a new Program Director, Donna Schriver, an avid Lodge at Woodloch guest, advocate, and Massage Therapy Instructor. Donna comes to The Lodge at Woodloch with over 15 years’ experience in training future therapists in a variety of specialized techniques. Additionally, Treatments Manager Amanda Clabaugh will take an active role in teaching classes and leading cohorts through experiential education at The Lodge at Woodloch. The award-winning destination spa is located within seven miles of the campus and allows for students to get an in-depth look at a fulfilling career in the spa industry.

The curriculum will instruct students on topics such as anatomy, physiology, massage theory & research, kinesiology, and more. The program will prepare each participant to take the MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). The non­ credit program is compliant with Pennsylvania state guidelines.

The wellness industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. More specifically, employment opportunities for massage therapists are estimated to grow by 32 percent from 2020-2030, well above average. The U.S. spa industry revenues grew from $12.1 billion in 2020 to $18.1 billion in 2021, an increase of more than 49 percent, and the rapid growth is expected to continue.

The ability to get exposure to an award-winning destination spa in the course of one’s training is truly unique. The exposure to rigid training techniques, high­ level service, and a luxurious setting is a great benefit to one’s resume while starting out. “The partnership with The Lodge at Woodloch ensures our students receive supervised, hands-on training while studying at Lackawanna College,” said Lackawanna College President Dr. Jill Murray. “This gives students an insight into the massage therapy career field and better prepares them to enter the workforce. We are grateful to The Lodge at Woodloch for providing our students with the opportunity to learn at a destination spa in the Poconos, which attracts tourists from around the country and the world”

Johnson College’s Inaugural Fall Fest

Johnson College announces PNC Bank as the presenting sponsor of its inaugural Fall Fest. This free-admission community event will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the College’s campus in Scranton, PA.

The event will feature a variety of activities for all ages. Families can enjoy live music, games, pumpkin decorating, and face painting, and browse an array of items from over 25 local artisan, craft, and food vendors. There will also be an all-ages scavenger hunt and program displays for attendees to learn more about what the College has to offer.

Johnson College alumni can catch up with each other in the alumni tent, which will feature special giveaways.

The Fall Fest will also feature the College’s first-ever Cornhole Tournament, sponsored by NET Credit Union and in partnership with NEPA Cornhole. The tournament will feature both Social ($20/team) and Competitive ($40/team) divisions with double elimination. A team will consist of two players, and anyone from beginners to pros can play. Prizes for the Social division will include: 1st place, $100 cash; 2nd place, $50 in gift cards. Prizes for the Competitive division will include: 1st place, $300 cash; 2nd place, $150 cash. There will be food and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Teams can pre-register online at or register at the door from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Additional sponsors for Fall Fest include Lamar Advertising, Sweda Advertising, Fastenal, Commonwealth Charter Academy, Highmark, L.R. Costanzo Co, Inc., NRG Controls North, Inc., Onvo, Troy Mechanical, Gibbons Ford, Mesko Glass & Mirror, Shea Industries, ShopRite, Lace Works Tap & Grill, Walmart Dickson City, Carpenter’s Local Union 445, Citizens Savings Bank, FNCB Bank, IBEW Local Union #81, and Topp Business Solutions.

More details can be found at Proceeds from Fall Fest, presented by PNC Bank, will benefit the Johnson College Annual Fund, which helps to maintain important scholarships, programs, and facilities to continue providing hands-on learning to Johnson College students.