Allied Services Palliative Care Team Brings on Added Support

Palliative care is a growing level of specialized medical care for people living with serious chronic illness. The care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress that the illness can cause. The main goal – improve the quality of life for the patient and their family.   

Allied Services Palliative Care team is the region’s only community-based certified palliative program due to the nurse practitioners’ expertise, and the fact that the team’s medical director is a board-certified Palliative practitioner.  

With two nurse practitioners – Kara Mohan, MSN, CRNP, and Danielle Riggi, FNP, DNP, CCRN – the Palliative Care program at Allied Services is helping provide palliative care to a broader community base.   

Kara Mohan has been with Allied Services Hospice and Palliative Care since 2019. She received her bachelor, master, and post-masters degrees from Binghamton University.   

Danielle Riggi joined the team in early 2022 to help the growing program serve more patients. Riggi earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, then her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Russell Sage College -followed by her Doctor of Nurse Practice from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  

Through their patient-centered approach, Kara and Danielle work alongside their patient’s other physicians to provide an extra layer of support. This team approach helps to address each individual’s specific needs and preferences, along with helping to prevent and/or relieve suffering through early assessment and correct treatment of issues – whether medical, social, or spiritual.   

SWB RailRider Weissert Named International League Pitcher of the Year

Minor League Baseball announced its 2022 International League All-Stars and Greg Weissert was named as both the league’s Pitcher of the Year as well as the top relief pitcher. Weissert pitched in 42 games for the RailRiders this past season, going 2-1 with 18 saves and a 1.69 ERA while striking out 70 over 48 innings pitched.

Weissert is the first Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pitcher to earn the top league honor in two decades. Brandon Duckworth and Joe Roa took the top pitching honors in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The last SWB pitcher to earn any year-end award was Jonathan Albaladejo after his 43-save season in 2010.

Weissert was selected by the New York Yankees in the 18th round of the 2016 draft and made his Major League debut in August.

Durham’s Jonathan Aranda was honored as the league’s Most Valuable Player while Nashville’s Rick Sweet took the Manager of the Year award. Norfolk’s Gunnar Henderson was named the league’s top MLB Prospect.

Season tickets for the 2023 campaign are available now. Visit for more information.

Applications Open for Student Ambassador Program

Do you know a local high school senior who is interested in learning more about the state government and legislature?

Applications are now open for Senator Flynn’s 2nd Annual Student Ambassador Program! Applications will be accepted until 5:00PM on Friday, December 9. 

Last year’s inaugural Student Ambassador Program

This comprehensive legislative shadowing program offers local students the opportunity to learn about the Pennsylvania legislature and state government, experience the value of diversity by working with students from other schools and backgrounds, and to represent their personal and community’s interests by proposing legislation to Senator Flynn and their local State Representatives.

Senator Flynn’s Student Ambassador Program is open to graduating high school seniors from all of the high schools in the 22nd Senatorial district in addition to students who live in the 22nd Senatorial district but are homeschooled, attend a charter school, or attend a high school outside of the legislative district.

If selected, students will be expected to attend meetings once a month from January through early June.

Each month, students will learn about an aspect of state government and lawmaking through presentations and discussions with local and state elected officials, legislative staffers, and individuals that influence lawmaking in Pennsylvania. Student Ambassadors will take a field trip to the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, PA in May to tour the building, observe legislative session, and be introduced by Senator Flynn on the Senate Floor. Throughout the entirety of the program, students will work in small groups to create a piece of legislation that they will then present to Senator Flynn during the last program session meeting in June. 

For more information on the program and to apply, visit 

The Wright Center for Community Health Promotes Garvin

The Wright Center for Community Health has promoted Marcella Garvin to lead case manager of the collaborative Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program. Garvin joined the regional nonprofit primary and preventive care provider in 2020 as a case manager for the Healthy MOMS program.

In her previous role, Garvin provided care and support to mothers in recovery from substance use disorder. She focused on developing and expanding the Healthy MOMs program in Luzerne and Wyoming counties, collecting and analyzing data related to the program.

As the lead manager for the Healthy MOMs program, Garvin is responsible for providing comprehensive case management services to address the opioid epidemic as it affects pregnant women, newborns and their families. The position will collaborate with community partners to assist with pregnancy-related issues and work closely with the program’s community partners. Garvin’s additional responsibilities include a range of patient-centered services that link clients with medication-assisted treatment and addiction services, counseling, primary care, OB-GYN care, and a range of other supports.

Garvin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA in business administration and technology from Carlow University. In addition, she is a certified recovery specialist and a certified addiction counselor. A member of the Luzerne County Breastfeeding Coalition and County Cares, Garvin is also pursuing her certification as a certified lactation counselor.

The Healthy MOMs program is modeled after a similar program in Ohio, using a collaborative, team approach to treat mothers with substance use disorder in a holistic manner. Launched in 2018, the program is offered in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

To date, 199 infants have been born into the Healthy MOMs program and 149 mothers are actively engaged in it. For more information, call 570-955-7821 or visit

The University of Scranton SBDC Upcoming Programs

Grow Your Small Business with an Internship in 2023! (Webinar)
Thursday, 11/10 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
For existing small businesses located in Bradford, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties: 
Could hosting an internship propel your business forward in 2023? Join The University of Scranton SBDC, Small Business Internship Initiative, and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for a quick 30-minute session to learn about what a paid educational internship is, different types of internships (traditional, micro, hybrid, or virtual), and what makes up a great internship. Determine whether you’re ready to host an internship this coming Spring and learn more about the Small Business Internship Initiative. Hear from the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce about their Small Business Internship Fund resource, too.
Details & Registration

30 Minutes to Better Search Engine Optimization: Measuring Results (Webinar)
Thursday, 11/10 | 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
You know what terms will get your website the most traction, your first blog post has been shared, and all of your profiles link back to your website. How do you know if this is all working? Are you actually getting more engagement on your website? In the fourth and final session of our search engine optimization series, we will give you the tools to measure these initiatives to show how it is paying off for your small business.
Details & Registration

The First Step Express: Starting Your Business (Webinar)
Tuesday, 11/22 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

A condensed version of our First Step: Starting Your Business seminar, this one-hour webinar will help aspiring entrepreneurs to begin the process of successful business ownership including a quick look at applications and licenses needed to start a business, different types of business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.), business plan basics, financing options , and SBDC Services available as you start your business.
Details & Registration

The Importance of Food Safety: An Introduction to the Food Safety Modernization Act
Monday, 11/28 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. & Tuesday, 11/29 | 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
This session will be held in person at The Stourbridge Project in Honesdale. A detailed info sheet, including session description, event image, and cut-and-paste email can be found here.
A PDF flyer is also attached to this email.

Social Media 101 for Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Carry-Out (Webinar)
Tuesday, 12/6 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Social media is essential for any small business in order to engage customers and drive sales. Being able to build a following and attract customers to your restaurant requires effective use of social media platforms and strategies that highlight the culinary adventures in store. But just how is social media able to capture this excitement?
Details & Registration

Limited Food Establishments: Adding Value in Your Home Kitchen
New to On-Demand
Setting up and operating a food business from your home kitchen used to be so simple. Today, national- and state-based changes to food safety standards can make it an overwhelming endeavor. But don’t worry – the SBDC is here to help. During this session, we will cover start-up steps, inspections, and registration, as well as ways to grow a commercial food business in your home – addressing the intricate differences based on the types of food made, how the food is sold, and where it is sold.
Details & Registration

Johnson College Hosts Annual Scholarship Breakfast

Johnson College hosted its annual Scholarship Breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, at Fiorelli Catering in Peckville. The event was held to recognize the scholarship recipients and thank and honor the generous donors who make scholarships available to students.

The College awarded 42 students with scholarships during the event. Devin Walsh, a student in Johnson College’s Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning program, and recipient of one of the College’s Presidential Scholarships served as student speaker.

“To me, the Presidential Scholarship is more than just money,” Walsh said. “It means that my accomplishments are valuable enough for Johnson to put such an enormous amount of faith in that I will follow through with my education and become a great example of what Johnson College provides to the community.”

Walsh says that the scholarship has lifted the burdens that accompany the cost of pursuing a degree in higher education.

“Most college students need to make major sacrifices, work numerous jobs, and take out huge loans that will cause stress, leading to the inability to focus on coursework,” Walsh told attendees. “The financial assistance of the Presidential Scholarship is a life changer for my family and me.”

The event also featured keynote speaker, David Hawk, who, with his wife Ann, are founders of the Hawk Family Foundation created to help the underprivileged, support education, and encourage community initiatives to help families thrive. The Hawk Family Foundation contributed to the College’s Innovation at Work Capital Campaign specifically for student scholarships and campus developments.

The breakfast concluded with the presentation of the scholarship awards by Katie Leonard, Ed.D., president and CEO of Johnson College, and Jeanine Engelmann, Ed. D., Chief Academic Officer of Johnson College. The presented awards included:

AAA North Penn Annual Scholarship, Dylan DeGroat;

Andrew Mazza Memorial Scholarship, Gavin Noll;

Anthony Ploskonka Memorial Scholarship, Brianna Covington;

Bartolai Family Scholarship, Peter Winowich;

Christopher Pambianco ‘65 Book & Tool Scholarship, Kenneth Stucker;

C.M.C. Rich Vinansky Memorial Golf Tournament Scholarship, Jessica McKee;

Dr. George J. Hallesky Memorial Scholarship, Donovon Brown;

Ed Vogel Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas Lathrop;

Edgar A. and Ida M. Alekna Scholarship, Alexander Carpenetti, Luke Galli, Jordan Navarro, and Madison Trotto;

Frank and Jean Hubbard Scholarship, James Lamberti;

Hawk Family Foundation Scholarship, Julianne Feigenbutz and Christian Overholtz;

Irene Ploskonka Memorial Scholarship, Ryan Phillips;

Islyn Thomas Achievement Award, Alexander Canjar;

Janie Lamberton Memorial Scholarship, Cassidy Weber;

John K. and Mary E. Blackledge Memorial Scholarship, Andrea Marques;

John T. Gerod Scholarship, Richard Reed;

Johnson College Presidential Scholarship, Jessica McKee, Emily Ohme, and Devin Walsh;

The Margaret Briggs Foundation Scholarship, Matthew Spiccioli;

Moffat Merit Award, Richard Bowen;

Moses Taylor Foundation Scholarship, Sierra Matash and Gina Simeone;

MotorWorld Lexus Scholarship, Jeremy Russo and Casey Williams;

Orlando S. Johnson Merit Award, Emma Faithfull and Madison Kier;

Ross Family Foundation Scholarship, Alyssa Crawford and Tiahna Jackson;

Ruth Stitt Morgan Memorial Scholarship, Kodee Bates;

Scranton UNICO Scholarship, Christopher Henderson;

Sean J. Calpin Automotive Technology Scholarship, Mackenzie Snyder;

Sebastian “Sebby” Amico Memorial Scholarship, Jallen Wilks;

Society of Broadcast Engineers, Chapter II Scholarship, Kyle Williams;

Technology Merit Award, Michael Altieri and Anna-Marie Lake;

The John R. O’Hara Scholarship, Brandon Grandinetti;

The P. Fricchione and Sons Scholarship, Jonathon Hunsberger;

Thomas Hesser Scholarship, Zachary Menichello;

and Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Scholarship, Jeremy Russo.