The Wright Center, Kolcharno Presents at Meeting

Maria Kolcharno, LSW, director of addiction services and leader of the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program at The Wright Center for Community Health, recently outlined the novel program to participants at the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Virtual Meeting.

Kolcharno addressed the importance of collaborative relationships for making referrals and establishing communication pathways between OB/GYN and medication-assisted treatment providers to coordinate patient care for mothers with substance use disorder.

“In 2016, The Wright Center began a journey to offer opiate use disorder treatment. When it started, there was a large influx of pregnant women with substance use disorder coming into the program,” Kolcharno said. “Our leadership team looked at how we can better serve people who have so many needs. They were not coming in just for counseling. They were experiencing food insecurity, lack of safe housing, and they weren’t receiving the medical care they needed. Our Healthy MOMS program grew from the needs of the women in our community.”

During the event’s breakout session, Kolcharno provided workflow charts to assist organizations looking to replicate the relationships and processes the Healthy MOMS program has established with maternity care times and medical Centers of Excellence.

Part of that process involved visiting birth hospitals to meet with labor and delivery nurses and doctors to introduce them to the Healthy MOMS program. “The biggest part was talking about the stigma of being a mother with a substance use disorder and being pregnant. It’s two things people never want to hear together – pregnant and addicted to a substance,” said Kolcharno.

The labor and delivery staffs were open about their feelings for treating the patient population and the ways in which they can offer support to the new mothers. Out of these conversations, a small, but effective tool, was designed by providers: A Healthy MOMS pin. According to Kolcharno, when mothers in the program see the pin, they know the nurses are an extension of the Healthy MOMS program that has become an integral part of their lives.

Part of The Wright Center’s Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence, the Healthy MOMS program was co-founded with multiple agencies to assist women who are pregnant and have a substance use disorder. Healthy MOMS provides prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum care, including medication-assisted treatment to women coping with a substance use disorder, and strives to break the stigma associated with the disorder while building their self-esteem during and after their pregnancies, ideally engaging them in recovery support services. Currently there are 142 mothers active in the program, with 206 babies born through the program. Since its founding, more than 300 mothers have participated in the program.

The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative includes more than 60 birthing hospitals and newborn intensive care units and over 10 health plans across the state. Overall, the organization works to reduce maternal mortality and improve care for pregnant and postpartum women and newborns affected by opioids.

For more information about the Healthy MOMS program, call 570-995-7821 or text healthymoms to 555888. Information about the program and its partners is also available at Go to for information about the Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence.

Allied Services Welcomes New Employees

Brenda Reibson, MDiv: Allied Services Integrated Health System proudly announced Brenda Reibson, MDiv, as the new Bereavement Coordinator for their Hospice program. Reibson holds a Master of Divinity and a Certificate in Counseling from Missio Seminary (formerly Biblical Theological Seminary). In her role, Brenda will provide support services and spiritual care to bereaved families and individuals after the passing of a loved one. She brings more than 6 years of pastoral experience to her new role at Allied Services. 

Alysha Suley, MM, MT-BC: Allied Services Integrated Health System welcomed Alysha Suley, MM, MT-BC, as a new Music Therapist for their Wilkes-Barre Hospice Center. Suley holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and a minor in Psychology from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music Therapy from Colorado State University. In her role, Alysha will provide music support services to patients and families receiving care at the inpatient center in Luzerne County. She brings more than 10 years of music therapy experience to her new role at Allied Services.

Johnson College Announces Fall President’s List

Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, has announced the President’s List of students who have completed the 2022 Fall Semester with a grade point average of 3.90 or higher.

Jacob Banta, Automotive Technology, Trucksville, PA

Dominic Bulzoni, Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Scranton, PA

Rachel Butler, Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Lake Ariel, PA

Richard Christianson, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Susquehanna, PA

Briana  Curtis, Electronic Engineering Technology, Blakely, PA

Colton Esslinger, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Susquehanna, PA

Brandon Grandinetti, Computer Information Technology, Olyphant, PA

Hope Hoanzl, Electronic Engineering Technology, Forest City, PA

Jared Hodorawis, Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Honesdale, PA

Anthony Kutchmanich, Physical Therapist Assistant, Greenfield Twp., PA

Andrea Marques, Carpentry and Cabinetmaking Technology, Sybertsville, PA

Dustin McAllister, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Scranton, PA

Chase Notz, Computer Information Technology, Scranton, PA

Devin Nowicky, Radiologic Technology, Drums, PA

Ryan Phillips, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Dallas, PA

Carley Riefler, Physical Therapist Assistant, Honesdale, PA

Julie Ristics, Computer Information Technology, Dunmore, PA

Thayer Rogers, Veterinary Nursing, Hershey, PA

Devin Walsh, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Olyphant, PA

Karl Weninger, Diesel Truck Technology, Kingston, PA

Kevin Williams, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Eynon, PA

Kyle Williams, Electronic Engineering Technology, Greentown, PA

Nominations for the 2023 ATHENA Award are Open!

Scranton, PA—Nominations for the 2023 ATHENA Awards are open at Today, nominate a person that advocates for women in the greater NEPA community.   

The ATHENA Award is presented to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.

The ATHENA Award is sponsored by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants and will be presented at the Chamber’s International Women’s Day luncheon, sponsored by Honesdale National Bank, which will be held at Marywood University on Tuesday, March 8, 2023.

The final day to submit nominations is 4:00 p.m., Friday, January 20. Find the application and eligibility criteria online at

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by providing programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit