Geisinger Opens Memory and Cognition Site in Wilkes-Barre


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Geisinger has opened a center for the Memory and Cognition Program in Wilkes-Barre, offering assessments, management and rehabilitation, as well as social work support for patients and families affected by memory and cognitive disorders. The program also includes support groups and state-of-the-art technology, including a driving simulator and a gait analyzer.

“With Pennsylvania’s aging population, the need for memory and cognition care is paramount,” said behavioral neurologist Glen Finney, M.D., director of the Memory and Cognition Program at Geisinger. “Our approach is comprehensive, providing your loved ones with all their memory and cognitive care under one roof.”

Nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians are older than 65. Nearly all of the state’s counties exceed the U.S. percentage of residents over age 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The program at 620 Baltimore Drive offers services for adults including behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, cognitive rehabilitation and social work.

“The Memory and Cognition Program helps patients and their families navigate brain health issues with personalized, high-quality care in an uplifting setting,” said Anthony Aquilina, D.O., regional president for Geisinger Northeast. “The new site in Wilkes-Barre helps us provide this type of care close-to-home for our community.”


The Memory and Cognition Program also offers support groups for patients and their families. The no-cost support group for patients suffering from memory loss and cognition issues provides a safe place to ask questions and share experiences and concerns about memory loss from aging, illness or traumatic injury. Family members and caregivers are welcome. Click here for location and times.

Family, friends and loved ones of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can attend a six-week caregiver support group program featuring education on issues that affect a person with dementia, as well as the opportunity to:

  • Develop a support system
  • Improve communication with their loved one
  • Exchange practical information on caregiving challenges and discuss solutions
  • Find new ways of coping
  • Share feelings, needs and concerns
  • Learn about community resources


For more information, call 800-275-6401 or visit The Memory and Cognition Program also offers services at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital.


About Geisinger

One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Board of Ambassadors Finalize Spirit of Hope Celebration


Pictured are several Board of Ambassadors. Front row, seated from left to right: Patrick Sicilio, Amanda E. Marchegiani, Community Relations Coordinator of Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Robin Long, Leo P. Vergnetti, Board of Ambassador Chairman, Mark Conway, Esq, Susan Brady, and Vince Scarpetta. Back row, standing from left to right: Philip Medico, Matthew Beynon, Nevin Gerber, James Gorman, Brian McQuestion, Jim Brady, Scott Henry, and Nick Colangelo, Ph.D. Board of Ambassadors absent from the photo: Thomas P. Cummings III, Tom P. Cummings, Jr. Esq., Joe Van Wie, Karen M. Saunders, President of Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Tom DePietro, Traci Fosnot, Event Chair, Eugene D. Sperazza, Esq, Patty Vergnetti, Joe Ferguson, Richard P. Conaboy Jr., Mary Erwine, John P. Rodgers, Esq., Tom Blaskiewicz , Greg & Meghan Gagorik, Kristie Hynoski, Charles C. Jefferson, Evie Rafalko McNulty, Dan Meuser, John and Jennifer Heil, Pat McGloin, Chuck Morgan, David J. Nape, Dr. Christopher Peters, Billy Rinaldi , P. Richard Scheller, Dr. & Mrs. Steven J. Szydlowski, and Joseph S. Tomko. Associate Board members: Melissa Burke, Kathleen DeLeo, Jo Ann Romano Hallesky, Dr. George J. Hallesky, Jessica Kalinoski, Angela Rempe-Jones.

SCRANTON, PA – The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute and the Board of Ambassadors and Associate Board will host its seventh annual Spirit of Hope Celebration on Friday, November 2, 2018 from 7:00pm to 10:30pm at Mohegan Sun Pocono in the Keystone Grand Ballroom.

The event features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, food stations, live music by Paul LaBelle and The Exact Change Band, a live and silent auction and gift card guarantee.  Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased by calling the Cancer Institute at (570) 941-7984 or online at or purchased at the door the night of the event. The Tribute to Courage honoree is Susan S. Belin.

The Board of Ambassadors is a group of individuals and business leaders in northeast Pennsylvania who have come together to raise funds & awareness to fight cancer in the local community through their support and promotion of a gala event.

The Spirit of Hope Celebration benefits the Cancer Institute’s Community Based Cancer Screening Program. This program helps low income and un/underinsured individuals in northeast Pennsylvania get their recommended colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screenings.

About The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute
The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a nonprofit community-based agency serving seven counties in northeast Pennsylvania with offices located in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.  Focusing on surveillance, community and patient services, and hospital and practice support services, the Cancer Institute invests 100% of its resources locally.


tecBRIDGE to Host 16th Annual Entrepreneurship Institute


Please join us for this year’s 16th annual Entrepreneurship Institute on Friday, November 2nd, at Lackawanna College.

The Entrepreneurship Institute is a one day conference focused on topics of interest for aspiring business students, entrepreneurs, established business professionals, and life long learners.

Our program consists of keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, learning sessions and lots of networking opportunities.

Interested college students should email Don Webster at to identify their school coordinator for registration.

Marywood University to Hold Free Memory Screenings


SCRANTON, PA (October 24, 2018)—As part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Memory Screening Program, Marywood University will offer free, confidential memory screenings on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. The screenings will be held from 9 a.m.–7 p.m., at the Psychological Services Center in the McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies. The screenings are free and open to the public.

Qualified healthcare professions will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health, and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks and last approximately 10 minutes.

According to event organizer, Brooke Cannon, Ph.D., professor of psychology and clinical neuropsychologist, “Annual memory screenings, like regular physical exams, allow for identification of potential cognitive problems and monitoring of already existing impairment.”

Trained and supervised by Dr. Cannon, advanced clinical psychology doctoral students will administer the screenings. While screening results do not provide a diagnosis, individuals with below-normal scores, or those who have concerns, will be encouraged to pursue a full medical exam and additional cognitive testing.

Memory screenings are an important part of successful aging and are gaining in popularity. Last year alone, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) screened more than 250,000 people through its National Memory Screening Program (NMSP). Further, a recent study suggests that screenings may detect cognitive impairment up to 18 years prior to clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons. Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes.

Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to nearly triple by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

For additional information about National Memory Screening Day at Marywood University, please call the Psychological Services Center, at (570) 348-6269.

Colson Whitehead to Deliver American Masters Lecture

Colson Whitehead, the American novelist whose bestselling book, Underground Railroad, won the National Book Award in 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2017, will deliver the Lackawanna County Library System’s 2018 American Masters Lecture on Thursday, November 15, 7 PM, Scranton Cultural Center.

Tickets are now available online and at Lackawanna County libraries.

Whitehead, 48, has had six novels and two works of non-fiction published. In addition to the National Book and Pulitzer awards, he has also received a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “Genius Award”) and a Guggenheim Fellowship.


But it is The Underground Railroad that catapulted Whitehead into the ranks of leading American authors.

The book follows a young African-American woman named Cora in her flight from slavery. Whitehead created a physical railroad that runs in underground tunnels as a metaphor that moves Cora on a journey with stops that illuminate the story of the slave-era South as it was experienced by the victims of slavery.

It was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction by the American Library Association. It was also a New York Times #1 Bestseller.

“We are delighted to be able to announce that Colson Whitehead will deliver the American Masters Lecture in 2018,” said Mary Garm, library system administrator.

“His books tell stories that are uniquely American in a voice that is strong and courageous,” she added. “He is also a wonderful speaker. He will add to the rich tradition that has been established here for offering people in our community the opportunity to hear some of the best minds in America.”

Whitehead’s other novels are: The Intuitionist, a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award; John Henry Days, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; Apex Hides the Hurt; Sag Harbor; and Zone One.

His non-fiction books are The Colossus of New York, a history of that city; and The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death, a book about the World Series of Poker, which Whitehead, a non-gambler, competed in to fulfill a magazine writing assignment.

He has also written non-fiction articles for a number of leading periodicals including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Granta, and Harper’s.

A New York City native, he attended Trinity School in Manhattan and graduated from Harvard University.

In addition to his writing, he has taught at Princeton University, New York University, the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Wesleyan University, and been writer-in-residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.

Previous American Masters Lecture speakers have included historians Douglas Brinkley and James McPherson, author, journalist and film maker Sebastian Junger, author, actress, social critic and humorist Fran Lebowitz, theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku, undersea explorer and Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard, and legendary Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith.

Last year’s speaker was Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine and author of Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction, a book that explores why some ideas take off, while others disappear.

According to Mrs. Garm, tickets for the event will be free.

Rep. Boback Announces November Outreach Hours


HARRISBURG – Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) today announced her outreach events for November. Representatives from several different organizations will offer assistance at her district offices throughout the month. Please note these events are weather permitting.

“My staff and I are here to help with state-related issues,” said Boback. “I offer these monthly outreach hours to ensure residents of the 117th District have access to the great opportunities for veterans’ assistance, help with federal issues, information about starting a small business, and more.”


  • On Wednesday, Nov. 7, an American Legion representative will hold office hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tunkhannock district office, 133 W. Tioga St., Suite 4, Tunkhannock. Area veterans may seek assistance and information pertaining to specific benefits and programs. Additional meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of every month. Please call the office (570) 836-4777 to make an appointment.
  • On Tuesday, Nov. 13, veterans outreach hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dallas district office, 105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas. A claims consultant from the Wilkes-Barre VFW will be on hand to address questions and concerns of local veterans and their families.
  • On Nov. 20, a representative from the Center for Independent Living will be available for appointments at the Tunkhannock district office. Please call (570) 836-4777 to make an appointment.
  • On Monday, Nov. 22, the Mobile Vet Center will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ace Hardware-Brady and Cavany Store parking lot in Eaton Township. Some of the services available for veterans and their dependents include individual, group, family and bereavement counseling; medical referrals; assistance in applying for Veterans Affairs benefits; employment counseling; guidance and referrals; and alcohol and drug assessments.
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 28, a representative from the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center will visit the Tunkhannock district office from 10 a.m. to noon. The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center provides educational programs and no-cost, confidential consulting services to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business.

For more legislative information, visit Boback’s website at

Misericordia University Center for Bioethics adds Holocaust to name, mission


DALLAS TWP., Pa. – Misericordia University is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Medicine and Health, with a look back at its accomplishments, and the announcement of a new name as it moves forward in its mission “to foster a deepened understanding of medical practices and their ethical ramifications for society.”

Misericordia University announced the renaming of the Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust during a World Bioethics Day lecture by Ira Bedzow, Ph.D. Participating in the special presentation, from left, are David Rehm, vice president of Academic Affairs, Misericordia University; Amanda Caleb, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program, Misericordia University; Stacy Gallin, D.M.H., director, Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust, Misericordia University; Ira Bedzow, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and director of the Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Program, New York Medical College, and President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., Misericordia University.

During a World Bioethics Day lecture by noted bioethicist Ira Bedzow, Ph.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, David Rehm, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs, announced the name of the center has been changed to The Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust at Misericordia University.

“The Holocaust reveals an extraordinary low point in human history, in its denial of dignity to human beings and its medically sanctioned genocide. This approach to medicine can never happen again,” Dr. Rehm said during the announcement. “Tonight, we rename Misericordia’s center the Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust. This revised name will help keep us in mind of what we as humans are capable. It will remind us of the great benefits and the challenges associated with medical practices. And, it will reveal Misericordia University as the only university in the country to focus specifically on the ramifications of the Holocaust for bioethics, health care practice and policy, and human dignity. We must keep this historical moment in mind as we reflect upon and pursue greater dignity for all humans,” Dr. Rehm added.

“In our first year, the center has received support and affirmation from people in 16 countries as we spread the word for the need to understand and promote bioethical decisions,” Stacy Gallin, D.M.H., director of the center, said following the public announcement. “It is impossible not to look at the Holocaust as a time in history where the world failed to take action. The new name better represents the work the Center for Human Dignity has been doing and will help us as we develop programming in the future. While there are academic centers that focus on Holocaust and genocide studies, there are none that focus on the Holocaust as a unique example of medically sanctioned genocide and explore what that means for bioethics, health care policy and human rights endeavors in modern society.”

The center will continue to build on the teachings offered in the university’s history and religious studies departments, as well as the Medical and Health Humanities Program, to fulfill the mission of integrating the concept of human dignity into the entire educational curriculum, according to Dr. Gallin.

As co-chair of the Department of Bioethics and the Holocaust of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Chair of Bioethics in Haifa, Israel, Dr. Gallin brings international recognition to the Misericordia University Center for Human Dignity. “This is the first center in education to be devoted to bioethics, health and the Holocaust, and what is even more amazing to me, is that it is located at a Catholic university,” said Gallin. “It makes perfect sense if you know the heart of Misericordia University – and its commitment to the tenets of Mercy, Service, Justice and Hospitality, on which it was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924.”

In addition to hosting numerous programs throughout its first year, the center introduced an online “Pledge for Human Dignity in Health Care” in January 2018. The ongoing pledge enables health care professionals and concerned citizens to take action and actively commit to uphold the values of dignity, equality and justice within health care. More than 600 people from around the world have signed the pledge to date, including Holocaust survivor Eva Moses Kor, who spoke at Misericordia University in September 2017.

The center’s Advisory Council has scheduled the second annual Pledge to Preserve Human Dignity in Health Care program for Jan. 28, 2019, to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. The keynote speaker is psychiatry Professor J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., who is on the faculty of the Center for Bioethics of Harvard Medical School and is co-founder and co-director of the Human Rights and Asylum Clinic, and Cambridge Health Alliance. In an evening lecture, he will present the talk, “The Case for Keeping Our Borders Open to Immigrants,” in which he will focus on understanding data about immigrants in the United States regarding the likelihood of committing crimes and employment status, and understanding national law and international covenants pertaining to immigration, asylum, and human rights.

For more information about The Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust at Misericordia University and details on the Jan. 28 lecture, please contact Stacy Gallin at or visit Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 45 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes MU as a 2018 Best Northeastern College and MONEY Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges” list.