The Wright Center Receives Grant

The Wright Center for Community Health was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation in support of the collaborative Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program (Healthy MOMS) that focuses on helping pregnant women and new mothers overcome addiction and embrace a life in recovery.

The grant will support working mothers in the Helping MOMS Out of Poverty (HOP) program who need help with initial costs of paying for security deposits, rent and utility bills to secure safe housing, an important step in maintaining their recovery and independently caring for their children.

Healthy MOMS participants are offered a variety of necessary services that include medication-assisted treatment and addiction services, counseling, primary health care, OB-GYN care, parenting tips, legal advice and a range of other support programs. The program promotes the well-being of both mom and newborn, ideally engaging them in wrap-around services until the child turns two years old.

Launched in 2018, the program serves Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. To date, Healthy MOMS has supported more than 300 mothers and 193 babies.

“We are grateful to the Robert H. Spitz Foundation for their financial support and the various community partnerships that enable our program to help two generations in our communities,” said Maria Kolcharno, the director of addiction services and a leader of the Healthy MOMS program at The Wright Center for Community Health. “The lack of affordable, safe housing continues to be a challenge for women enrolled in Healthy MOMS. This grant will help women in our program afford safe housing in which to raise their children and secure their future.”

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation awards grants to registered nonprofit organizations that support initiatives and programs serving the residents of Lackawanna County and Northeast Pennsylvania. Among the foundation’s four priority areas are “programs that aim to break the cycle of poverty, remove economic barriers, and encourage independence in adults and children through access to safe, affordable housing, transportation, education and other important issues.”

To date, the Robert H. Spitz Foundation has distributed more than $4.6 million in grants to the community. The Scranton Area Community Foundation has served as administrator of the foundation since 2016. Learn more at

For more information about the Healthy MOMS program, call 570-955-7821 or visit

Women’s Resource Center Santa’s Snippers

  31st Annual Santa’s Snippers!  
Join the Women’s Resource Center on Sunday, December 11th for the 31st annual Santa’s Snippers. The “Cut-A-Thon” will be at the Career Technical Center of Lackawanna County (CTC) from 10 am – 2 pm. Professional licensed cosmetologists from area salons will be providing haircuts. Haircuts are $15 and all of the proceeds will be donated to the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) toward our work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault from our community.    

Tickets can also be purchased to be donated to a local family in need. CLICK HERE or call (570) 346-4460, ext. 143 for more information, or email   Donations can also be mailed to: Women’s Resource Center P.O. Box 975, Scranton, PA 18501 Checks can be made payable to the “Women’s Resource Center Memo line: Santa’s Snipper’s Donation.    

Santa’s Snippers was created by a Senior Vice President of a national cosmetic company. She had a personal connection to domestic violence and recognized before domestic violence agencies existed women would turn to their hairdressers for advice and help. She created Santa’s Snippers as a way for domestic and sexual violence agencies across the United States to raise funds to support its program participants.  

“Today, our Women’s Resource Center is the only organization participating in this fundraiser. We are happy to continue this tradition for 31 years and hope with community support we can hold it for many more years to come,” said Women’s Resource Center, Executive Director, Peg Ruddy.  

“This event would not be possible without local stylists donating their time and talent, along with the support of the Career Technology Center (CTC). Santa Snippers embodies the spirit of giving during the holiday season,” said WRC association member & event organizer, Colleen Pettinato.

If you are a professional licensed cosmetologist and are interested in volunteering please contact or call (570) 346-4460, ext. 143.  

Hospice of the Sacred Heart Receives Grant

Hospice of the Sacred Heart recently received a grant for $3,000 from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. The grant will cover a portion of operating expenses due to the loss of volunteer hours and other COVID-19-related expenses. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation primarily awards grants to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that support initiatives and programs serving the residents of Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“We are grateful for this gift from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, which will help cover unanticipated expenses related to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Diane Baldi, CEO, Hospice of the Sacred Heart. The mission of Hospice of the Sacred Heart is to provide comfort, care, hope and choice to patients and their families, while guiding them through their end of life journey.

Commonwealth Health: State Approves Hospital Merge Under One License

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved the merger of Regional Hospital of Scranton with Moses Taylor Hospital and their respective satellite facilities to operate under one license. The transition is effective on Sunday, November 13, 2022.

Delivering quality care for the community for a combined 233 years, Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital of Scranton now formally coordinate operations across their two campuses.

“Our boards, physicians and employees are united in a vision for serving our patients and Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Michael Curran, CEO of Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor Hospital. “Operating under a single license brings efficiencies that strengthen the delivery of care and position us well for the future. I extend sincere thanks to all of our leaders, providers and employees for their collaboration in planning for this transition.”

WVIA Receives SAGE Impact Award for Community Outreach

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announced WVIA as the recipient of the Impact Award for Community Outreach at this year’s SAGE Awards.

“WVIA is honored to receive this award,” said Carla McCabe, President/CEO of WVIA. “We are uniquely positioned to be able to help businesses and organizations collaborate, convene, and discuss the issues that face our region, and we are proud to use our resources to help serve as a catalyst to improve the quality of life in our communities.”

The SAGE Impact Award for Community Outreach recognizes creative expansion, collaborations, or adaptations within a business or organization for the purpose of addressing significant community needs. 

In the past year, WVIA produced over 80 hours of original television content and developed a news department to cover local stories. WVIA serves the citizens of the greater Scranton area by providing thoughtful and insightful programs that bring together area experts, leaders, and change agents to inform and educate audiences about the important topics facing our region and to create a platform for positive change. WVIA focuses most of its creative energy, time, and financial resources on creating these programs as they help further WVIA’s mission: WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.

In the past year, WVIA partnered with over 100 community organizations, highlighting the issues that are important to the people of the region and providing answers and resources to our community’s most pressing questions. WVIA News has highlighted stories of our region and brought them national attention, having been featured on NPR stations across the country multiple times.

Putting together these programs requires a large investment on the station’s part. Thousands of staff hours and thousands of dollars were invested, all with the goal of better informing our region and building connections for greater prosperity.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

Established in 1867, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is the largest business network in northeastern Pennsylvania, with more than 1,500 member companies representing a variety of businesses.  By becoming a Chamber member you become part of a community of businesses that seeks to ensure a high quality of life for all those living and working in the region.

In addition to traditional Chamber services, such as networking, referrals, and cost-saving programs, The Chamber is also the parent organization to a number of affiliates. These affiliates support economic development, provide small business lending services, facilitate leadership development programs and guide workforce development initiatives.

The Chamber and its family of affiliates support our members’ success, creating opportunities for the region and helping business owners and executives address the issues they face each day.

Representative Karen Boback News

Boback Announces District Office Changes

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) today announced that her district office in Dallas only has limited services available at this time, as it is scheduled to permanently close on Wednesday, Nov. 30, due to redistricting. The district office staff can no longer be reached by telephone or email. However, residents are still able to stop by the office, located at 105 Lt. Michael Cleary Drive, for assistance with any state government-related issue until the closure date.  

Meanwhile, Boback’s district office in Tunkhannock remains fully operational. The phone number there is 570-836-4777. Located at 133 W. Tioga St., Suite 4, the office will remain open after Nov. 30 under Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), who will serve the newly created 110th Legislative District, which includes Wyoming County.   

Boback Takes Part in Signing Ceremony for Her Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day Legislation

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, on Tuesday took part in a ceremonial bill signing with Gov. Tom Wolf for legislation she sponsored to designate March 29 of each year as “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day” in Pennsylvania (Act 138 of 2022). Three members of the Tuskegee Airmen were also in attendance, including (seated from left): Dr. Eugene Richardson Jr., fighter pilot; Alma Bailey, cadet nurse; and Nathan Thomas, operations. The Tuskegee Airmen was the first group of African-American military aviators and served during World War II. They were known for fighting with exemplary courage and distinction despite facing racial adversity. Nearly 100 Tuskegee Airmen are originally from western Pennsylvania.

Scranton Cultural Center Announces Studio Two: The Early Beatles Tribute

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple will present Studio Two: The Early Beatles Tribute on January 20 at 8:00 PM in Shopland Hall.  Hailed as ‘New England’s Best Beatles Tribute Band’ by “The Boston Globe,” Beatles tribute band, Studio Two, continues its tour in celebration of The Beatles coming to America.

Studio Two is a headlining Beatles band that pays tribute to the early Beatles years, choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era.  Featuring graduates from Berklee College of Music and Beatles devotees, Studio Two band mates met in a “cellar full of noise” in a town slightly west of Liverpool (Milford, New Hampshire!) to pay homage to the greatest rock band of all time.  Band members are experienced musicians of today’s generation dedicated to preserving the memory and fan culture of The Beatles generation.  By recreating the Fab Four’s music, appearance, instruments, and onstage banter, Studio Two performs audiences’ most favorite hits that will bring people to the dance floor.  Studio Two has performed at numerous large and small venues, from large open-air festivals to nightclubs.

The show will take place in Shopland Hall, located on the building’s fourth floor, with doors opening at 7 PM.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase.  Tickets are $33.25 in advance, and will increase to $43.25 on the day of the show.  All ticket prices include fees.  Tickets will be available for purchase beginning November 25 at 10 AM at the Fidelity Bank Box Office at the SCC in person or by calling (570) 344-1111, or via Ticketmaster.  For more information or to view a full schedule of events, visit

Marywood Presidential Society Dinner Recognizes Major Benefactors

At its recent Presidential Society Dinner in the historic Rotunda, Marywood University recognized its major benefactors for their support and commitment.

As part of this evening of recognition, Pia Ferrario, New York, N.Y., vice chair of the Marywood Board of Trustees, was awarded the Presidential Mission Medal and was inducted into the Saint Alphonsus Society. Mission medal recipients are servant leaders who embrace a commitment to Marywood’s core values of Catholic identity, respect, empowerment, service, and excellence. They inspire others to serve and advance Marywood’s commitment to excellence and empowerment through education.

In addition to Ms. Ferrario, Daniel and Kathleen Damico Mezzalingua ’60 and the Pascucci Family Foundation were inducted into the Saint Alphonsus Society, which honors benefactors whose lifetime commitments to Marywood have reached or exceeded $500,000.

Mrs. Mezzalingua, a Marywood graduate, who earned her master’s degree from Syracuse University, taught in Syracuse Public Schools before retiring to raise the couple’s six children. She has served on behalf of numerous civic causes. Mr. Mezzalingua, a graduate of and former Syracuse University Trustee, worked as a marketing analyst before developing and managing a Syracuse-based family business that manufactured coaxial cable connectors for the cable TV industry. Committed to sharing their blessings and ensuring people have opportunities, the couple has been involved in a leadership capacity with many nonprofit organizations, including the United Way, Community General Hospital Organization, and Hospice of Central New York. The Mezzalinguas serve as President and Vice President for the Saint Agatha Foundation established by their late daughter, Laurie, a 2010 Marywood Presidential Medal recipient.

Mr. Pascucci, who with his family, established the Pascucci Family Foundation, credits his early IHM education as the catalyst for his successful business career. A graduate of Bucknell University and New York University’s School of Business, Mr. Pascucci began his career as an entrepreneur, going on to found several successful businesses, including an auto leasing company, television station, and one of the top 100 golf courses in the United States, Seabonack Golf Club. The Pascucci Family has provided resources to and volunteered for many nonprofits and service organizations, including the Catholic Relief Services. Their Foundation generously supports Marywood’s health and wellness endeavors, including the acquisition of Marywood Heights and other healthcare initiatives planned at the University.

A native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Ms. Ferrario attended Marywood Seminary, then went on to study art education at Kutztown University. However, she soon realized that the world of merchandising was her true professional calling. She got her start at The Globe Store in Scranton, then moved to the store’s parent company, John Wanamaker, in Philadelphia. Her leadership and management positions continued at JCPenney, Dallas, TX, and Ups’N Downs, Enfield, CT. From there, she served for 23 years in a number of executive leadership roles at Victoria’s Secret, a subsidiary of L Brands, which culminated in her being named as CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct, a position she held until her retirement.

Ms. Ferrario has traveled overseas with Catholic Relief Services and has served as a member of the New York Regional Council and the President’s Circle of Catholic Relief Services. Additionally, she participated in the Mentor Outreach Program of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New York, volunteered for and supported the Food Bank for New York City, the Inner City Scholarship Fund of New York City, and the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in New York City.

Ms. Ferrario enthusiastically supports both Marywood University and the IHM Congregation, because of their emphasis on helping people and educating students, particularly those who otherwise would not have educational opportunities.

Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., Marywood University president, said, “I thank Pia for her unwavering commitment to the present and her faith in the future. She lives the virtue of kindness and humbly, wholeheartedly, and graciously espouses the mission of Marywood.”

The University of Scranton and Le Moyne Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The University of Scranton and Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish new academic relationships and engage in other collaborative programs. Supplemental agreements create opportunities that each school can offer to new undergraduate students enrolling in the fall of 2023.  

The memorandum of understanding will allow the Jesuit schools to collaborate in ways that leverage academic strengths, faculty expertise, resources and technology to enhance further the quality and breadth of programs offered to students. The agreement also encourages the exchange of faculty members, research scholars and students, and facilitates jointly organized conferences and other programs, among other items. 

Under the innovative agreements, Scranton can enroll up to five qualified students for direct entry into Le Moyne’s Physician Assistant (PA) program after graduation, and Le Moyne can likewise enroll up to five qualified students with a guaranteed seat in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at Scranton. 

“The Memorandum of Understanding prudently leverages the existing resources and strengths of two sister Jesuit institutions that share a common mission of Catholic higher education,” said Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “The supplemental agreements already signed will provide access for our respective students to highly competitive, established programs in much-needed health professions. This is a win-win for our schools, our students and for the patients they will compassionately and competently care for in the future.”  

“This relationship will serve our students well and strengthen the work of both Le Moyne College and The University of Scranton in developing health care professionals who are so in need today,” said Linda LeMura, Ph.D., president of Le Moyne College. “I’m proud to be working collaboratively with Scranton on this and look forward to how this initiative will be mutually beneficial to both institutions.”

The direct entry pathway for the PA program at Le Moyne is open to up to five incoming University of Scranton students accepted into its class of 2027 who will major in biology, biochemistry, kinesiology, physiology neuroscience or biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 92 and have completed specific high school course requirements. They must also have 50 hours of documented shadowing or patient contact, among other requirements. During their matriculation at Scranton, students admitted to the PA Program pathway must maintain a minimum overall G.P.A., and an overall cumulative science G.P.A. of 3.4 or higher; complete an additional minimum of 700 quality patient contact hours; remain in good moral and ethical standing, and meet other program requirements.  

The pathway for the guaranteed seat in the DPT program at The University of Scranton is open to up to five incoming Le Moyne students accepted into its class of 2027 who will major in biology, biochemistry, or similar major that allows for completion of required prerequisite courses. High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 92 and have completed specific high school course requirements. During their matriculation at Le Moyne, the students admitted to the DPT Program pathway must maintain a minimum overall G.P.A., and an overall cumulative science G.P.A. of 3.2 or higher; and have verified 30 hours of direct observation of physical therapy patient care; remain in good moral and ethical standing, and meet other program requirements.