Allied Services Celebrates Hospice Star Volunteer of 2023

Allied Services Hospice & Palliative Care has named Charlene Cardwell of Mill City, PA, the Hospice Star Volunteer of 2023 in a heartwarming celebration of dedication and service. This inaugural award, marking the first of what will become an annual tradition, was presented at the Volunteer Recognition Celebration held at Arcaro and Genell in Old Forge.

Charlene, whose journey with hospice care began in a deeply personal manner following the loss of her husband who was a patient of the health system’s hospice service, has been a beacon of support and compassion for nearly two years. Her firsthand experience with the care and support provided by the hospice inspired her to give back, leading her to become an administrative volunteer.

Her commitment to the organization goes beyond typical volunteer duties. Charlene has been instrumental in supporting our veterans through organizing recognition packages as a token of gratitude for their service. In a touching display of her dedication, she also personally crocheted red, white, and blue afghans for the veterans in our inpatient hospice units, providing comfort and warmth in their moments of need.

The celebration featured guest speaker Christopher Calvey Jr. from Jennings Calvey Funeral & Cremation Services, who highlighted the profound impact of volunteers like Charlene on the community and the individuals they serve.

Charlene’s exemplary service not only enhances the lives of those she directly touches but also uplifts the entire hospice community. Her ability to turn personal grief into a powerful force for good is a profound inspiration, embodying the true spirit of volunteerism and setting a high standard for future recipients of this honor. Allied Services Hospice & Palliative Care is proud to recognize Charlene Cardwell as the 2023 Hospice Star Volunteer, thanking her for her unwavering dedication, compassion, and commitment to making a difference.

Tobyhanna Army Depot to Host Industry Day

Tobyhanna Army Depot will host an in-person Industry Day event on Thursday, August 24 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The event will include briefings on depot partnership and contracting opportunities as well as tours of Tobyhanna’s industrial operations.
Nearly 150 industry representatives, prospective vendors, and businesses with a focus on service and supply related industries will attend. The goal of the event is to increase awareness of Tobyhanna’s capabilities and educate potential partners of business opportunities that exist at the depot.
Media representatives covering the event must pre-register with the Public Affairs Office by calling (570) 615-5864 no later than 3 p.m. on August 23.

The Ritz Celebrates 115th Anniversary

The Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center, at the heart of downtown Scranton, opened over a century ago – Labor Day – and was first known as “The Poli,” NEPA’s premier vaudeville theater which hosted the best performers of all time – Harry Houdini, W.C. Fields, Mae West, Ray Bolger, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Fannie Brice, Will Rogers & many more! This incredible building with its rich history is entering its 115th anniversary in September and is currently the home of the Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CaPAA) of NEPA – a vibrant arts program for kids, teens and adults serving over 300 students from all over NEPA.

Students come to the Ritz for a variety of classes in theatre, music, and dance in addition to over two dozen productions throughout the year including The Ritz Mainstage Players, a semi-professional audition-based company offering full musicals and plays for all ages.  We are so thrilled that performers of all ages can still experience the magic of this classic vaudeville theater nearly 115 years after Sylvester Poli first opened the doors on Wyoming Avenue. The Ritz Theater’s legacy continues to shine brightly in downtown Scranton!

This family-owned operation has become a cornerstone of NEPA’s arts community and is committed to building a positive, safe, and welcoming atmosphere for friends, families, and neighbors to celebrate the arts for generations to come. 

Come and Celebrate with a slice of Birthday Cake!!

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary

In 1981, three local hospitals merged to create one hospital that would modernize the delivery of health care in northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2021, that hospital, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, is celebrating four decades of dedicated service to the community.

Originally NPW Medical Center, a consolidation of Nanticoke, Pittston and Wyoming Valley hospitals, the health care facility was renamed Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center shortly after opening, as Geisinger joined the collaboration after Nanticoke’s withdrawal.

What began as a standalone community hospital on East Mountain is now a regional medical center and destination for care with a mission to make better health easier for patients and members in Luzerne County and beyond.

Recently, Geisinger Wyoming Valley received 5-Star status from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the highest quality and patient safety score bestowed by the organization, putting the medical center among the top 14 percent of hospitals in the country.

“As the only CMS 5-Star hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania, we are proud to provide care of unsurpassed quality to residents of the region,” said Karlyn Paglia, M.D., chief medical officer at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. “With a full spectrum of services available to our patients and members, we look forward to caring for our community for many more years to come.”

Complemented by a network of primary care and outpatient specialty clinics that provide world-class care close to home for residents of the region, Geisinger Wyoming Valley is as community-focused as ever, continually building upon and improving programs and services for northeastern Pennsylvanians.

In 1992, the hospital added the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center, which is now home to a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained cancer specialists and advanced treatment options like CyberKnife targeted radiation therapy, which was only previously available in major metropolitan areas like Philadelphia and New York. An $80 million renovation of Geisinger Wyoming Valley and the Henry Cancer Center began in spring 2020, which will double the center’s capacity for infusion services, create an 18-bed inpatient unit for treatment of complex blood cancers, and make more appointments available to patients.

In 2001, Geisinger Wyoming Valley established the Richard and Marion Pearsall Heart Hospital, which is recognized by the American Heart Association for its ability to treat the most severe heart attacks and offers advanced treatment in cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiac surgery. In 2008, the then-new Critical Care Building became home to the Emergency Department and Level II Trauma Center. And in 2011, the Tambur Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened. Still the only NICU in Luzerne County, the Level III unit cares for infants as young as 28 weeks gestation.

Throughout the decades, program expansions and advancements in care have been designed to offer everything a patient might need in northeastern Pennsylvania. Those strides have continued in recent years.

Since April 2019, Geisinger Wyoming Valley has received Magnet® Recognition, the highest national honor for nursing excellence, and become a Comprehensive Stroke Center, a hospital capable of treating the most complex types of stokes and neurovascular complications. The stroke program is the most advanced in the region, even treating patients who are flown in from New York.

The medical center’s CMS 5-Star ranking is the latest in these quality-of-care achievements and is a testament to the hard work providers put in daily to care for their friends and neighbors.

Noreen Diaco took her first full-time job at NPW in July 1981, and 40 years later, she’s celebrating her work anniversary along with Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Now an executive assistant to Dr. Paglia and other leaders, she remembers her experience as one of strong community.

“I grew up with Geisinger Wyoming Valley,” Diaco said. “The people I’ve met and worked with have become family to me. Through the 40 years, I have watched NPW change names and develop from a small-town hospital to a well-known institution. Through all the changes, the small-town, personalized service can still be felt.”

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Confers Awards

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education proudly celebrated the accomplishments of its 2021 graduating class of residents and fellows on Friday, June 18. During a virtual commencement, tribute was given to 81 graduates for their resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and their dedication to the medical profession as practitioners who are helping to address the shortage of primary care physicians in locations across the nation, including Northeast Pennsylvania.

Certain graduates, faculty members and community partners were recognized for their outstanding commitment to and success within the program. The ceremony for the 43rd graduating class, including award presentations, can be viewed at A full list of awardees appears below.

Career geriatrician Edward Dzielak, D.O., an alumnus of The Wright Center who recently set aside his retirement to serve as Program Director of our new Geriatrics Fellowship, was honored with the prestigious Bost Award. Named in honor of the late Dr. Charles Bost, an original founder of The Wright Center’s residency programs, the award is given to a community leader who most demonstrates inspiration, guidance and support for The Wright Center’s mission.

Several first-time awards, including one bearing the name of Jermyn resident Gerard Geoffroy, chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors, also were presented. The inaugural Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award was bestowed on geriatrics fellow Nirali Patel, M.D. Dr. Patel intends to stay on as a faculty physician at The Wright Center, delivering care to older residents in Northeast Pennsylvania and training others to do the same in this or similar settings.

The first Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri Outstanding Psychiatry Resident Award was presented to Alex Slaby, M.D. Dr. Slaby plans to practice in the Lehigh Valley.

The inaugural Dr. Stephen J. Pancoast Compassion, Kindness, Service and Humility Award — which honors the legacy of Dr. Pancoast, who recently retired after serving as an integral member of The Wright Center’s Ryan White HIV care team for more than 20 years — was presented to The Wright Center’s first gastroenterology fellowship graduate, Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.

Also, The Wright Center “Values in Action” Spirit Award annually recognizes the members of one residency program and one fellowship program; this year’s recipients were the National Family Medicine Residency and the Gastroenterology Fellowship.

Other awards included:
Teacher of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Douglas Klamp, M.D.; co-Teachers of the Year (Family Medicine Residency) – Alexies Samonte, M.D., and Jason Scotti, M.D.; Faculty of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Anam Whyne, D.O.; Teacher of the Year (Psychiatry Residency) – Sanjay Chandragiri, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Cardiology Fellowship) – Samir B. Pancholy, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Gastroenterology Fellowship) – Aman Ali, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Geriatrics Fellowship) – Edward Dzielak, D.O.

The Robert E. Wright Award (for Internal Medicine) – Mousa Thalji, M.D.; the Moses Taylor Hospital Golden Stethoscope (for Internal Medicine) – Mousa Thalji, M.D.; Outstanding Fellow (Cardiology) – Gaurav Patel, M.B.B.S.; Outstanding Fellow (Gastroenterology) – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Outstanding Fellow (Geriatrics) – Nirali Patel, M.D.; Intern of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Usman Manzoor, M.D.; Intern of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Carl Supnet, D.O.; Interns of the Year (Regional Family Medicine) – Mohamed El Ayashy, M.D., and Supriana Bhandol, M.D.; Intern of the Year (Psychiatry) – Erica Schmidt, M.D.

Chief Fellow (Cardiology) – Gaurav Patel, M.B.B.S.; Chief Fellow (Gastroenterology) – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Chief Fellow (Geriatrics) – Nirali Patel, M.D.; Chief Residents (Internal Medicine) – Frank Frasca, D.O., Gowtham Gannamani, M.D., Daniel C. Kazmierski, M.D., Mousa Thalji, M.D., and Korinn Vandervall, D.O.; Chief Residents (National Family Medicine) – Dallin Erickson, D.O., Esther Quintero, D.O., Loc Nguyen, D.O., David Eki, D.O., Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O., and Sun-jae Kim, D.O.; Chief Residents (Psychiatry) – Shevani Ganesh, M.D., and Casey Lenderman, D.O.; Chief Residents (Regional Family Medicine) – Ebi Rowshanshad, D.O., and Lee Wagner, M.D.

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Award – Lee Wagner, M.D. (Regional Family Medicine); Outstanding Resident Award (National Family Medicine) – Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O.; COPC Project Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – David Eki, D.O., and Afia Ukor Albin, D.O.; Practice Improvement Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – Xuan-Loc V. Nguyen, D.O., and Brandon John Miller, D.O.; AFMRD Family Medicine Resident Award for Advocacy (National Family Medicine Residency) – Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O.; Founding Member Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – Eleni O’Donovan, M.D.

Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri Outstanding Psychiatry Resident Award – Alex Slaby, M.D.; Dr. Stephen J. Pancoast Compassion, Kindness, Service and Humility Award – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award – Nirali Patel, M.D.; The Wright Center “Values in Action” Spirit Award – National Family Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology Fellowship; Bost Award – Edward Dzielak, D.O.

The virtual commencement recognized the accomplishments of all 81 graduating student learners, 10 of whom will stay in Northeast Pennsylvania to continue practicing medicine. The doctors studied in The Wright Center’s internal medicine, regional family medicine, national family medicine and psychiatry residencies as well as its cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology and geriatrics fellowships.

HNB Montdale and Forest City Offices Celebrate 25 Year Anniversary

As The Honesdale National Bank celebrates 185 years of service this year, June 17 marks the Bank’s 25Year Anniversary of the opening of its Forest City and Montdale and Office Locations.

HNB President & CEO, David Raven, stated, “HNB has been proud to serve the Forest City and Montdale areas and be partners in their rich sense of community and livelihood,” he said.  “Our aim is to support and provide the resources that support the needs and goals of their residents and businesses well into the future.”

The Bank acquired these offices from a local competitor in 1996,  enabling it the ability to provide improved access to the benefits of HNB’s community banking service philosophy and commitment to the local area. The locations offer full banking services under the direction of Melissa Rushworth is AVP, Branch Manager at the Forest City Office and Paulette Straka is AVP, Branch Manager/Loan Officer of the Montdale Office.

Forest City Staff

The Honesdale National Bank Forest City Office is located at 619 Main Street Forest City, PA. The Montdale Office is located at 13 Chapman Lake Road Scott Township, PA.

Montdale Staff

The Honesdale National Bank, established in 1836, holds the distinction of being the area’s oldest independent community bank headquartered in Northeastern PA, with offices in Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.  The Honesdale National Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth solutions. HNB is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender with NMLS ID # 446237. Visit for more information.

The Wright Center Celebrates 81 Graduates, Addressing Regional and National Need for Physicians

Eighty-one medical residents and fellows are completing their training this year at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, with many members of the Class of 2021 choosing to remain in Northeast Pennsylvania for further studies or to enter practice here and care for patients.

The Wright Center’s newest cohort of highly skilled, compassionate caregivers – whose training overlapped with the outbreak of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic – will help to address the nation’s physician workforce shortages and improve access to care. Sixteen graduates plan to continue their careers in Pennsylvania, 10 of them in this region.

The Wright Center celebrated its graduates’ accomplishments with a virtual commencement on Friday, June 18. The event can be viewed online at

Established locally in 1976, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education has since blossomed into the nation’s largest Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, a critical part of the country’s workforce pipeline needed to fill an urgent need for more primary care physicians. Unlike traditional residency programs based out of hospitals, the THCGME program provides training sites in community-based settings and serves to inspire physicians to work in rural and other medically underserved communities 

For graduates of The Wright Center’s pioneering regional and national programs, this week’s commencement marked the completion of a three-year, or longer, graduate medication education training period during which they treated patients under the guidance of faculty physicians and simultaneously honed their skills to become highly competent, licensed caregivers.

Notably, the Class of 2021 includes the first physicians to have successfully finished The Wright Center’s three newest programs: its psychiatry residency and its gastroenterology and geriatrics fellowship programs. The graduation ceremony also recognized physicians who completed The Wright Center’s longer-established residencies – internal medicine, regional family medicine and national family medicine – and its cardiovascular disease fellowship program.

The graduating class includes Clarks Summit native Daniel Kazmierski, M.D., chief resident of the internal medicine program. Internal medicine residency graduates who plan to stay in Northeast Pennsylvania to practice medicine or continue their studies include: Anjalika Gupta, M.D., who will begin an addiction medicine fellowship at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre; Abdul Haseeb, M.D., Husnain Shaukat, M.D., and Mousa Thalji, M.D., all of whom will join Geisinger Wyoming Valley as hospitalists; and Rahool, M.D., and Umesh Singla, M.D., both of whom will stay with The Wright Center to join the geriatric fellowship program.

Family medicine graduates who plan to stay in NEPA include chief resident Ebi Rowshanshad, D.O., who will join Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale; and Steven Archambault, D.O., who will remain with The Wright Center as faculty. Geriatric fellowship graduates Nirali Patel, M.D., and Naeem Ijaz, M.D., will also stay on as faculty physicians with The Wright Center.

The commencement was held virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online event featured remarks and congratulations from Gerard Geoffroy, Chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors; Harold Baillie, Ph.D., Chair of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Board of Directors; and William Waters, Ph.D., Vice Chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors and Co-Chair of The Wright Center for Patient and Community Engagement; graduates and program directors as well as executive leadership, including President/CEO Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth; and Designated Institutional Official Dr. Jumee Barooah.

“I’ve been awed to observe firsthand as each of our residents and fellows faced hardship with humility, calmed concerns with compassion, and grounded the practice of medicine in grace,” Dr. Barooah said during her remarks. “Resilience has been the defining trait of our graduates, and it is a characteristic that will continue to serve them well throughout their lives and careers. They have served as brothers and sisters in arms on the front lines of healthcare, and have all solidified their place in The Wright Center’s history and family.”

“The pandemic brought an unexpected final act to these years of residency: a wake-up call to the profession and indeed to the world, that the object of your practice is not limited to your individual patients, but to them, their families, their communities, and ultimately, the world,” Dr. Baillie said to graduates. “You rose to that challenge in extraordinary ways, going beyond your training to care for the community: providing vaccinations, being alert to the ailments of your patients, and assisting the community in holding back the tsunami of the virus.”

One Point Celebrates Fortieth Anniversary

One Point, a printing and office supply company located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is celebrating its fortieth year in business. Since the business was founded in 1980, it has experienced significant change and has supported its community through philanthropy and volunteerism.

In 1980, Chief Executive Officer Patrick McMahon cofounded Forms Plus, Inc. with his partner Alan Cunningham.  At the time it was a forms and printing company. Since then, Forms Plus grew both organically and through the acquisition of companies whose services and products would advance strategic growth. After the acquisition of the Luzerne County office supply company, Deemers, in 2005, Forms Plus re-branded as One Point, Inc.

Under Mr. McMahon’s leadership, One Point has added promotional products, online company stores, print on demand, direct mail programs, commercial furniture and Jansan products. Most recently, in response to COVID-19 concerns, the company expanded its product offerings to include health and safety products.

In 1997, the One Point of Light charitable committee was formed. Since then, One Point has contributed to its community through volunteer hours and philanthropic giving. 

Patrick McMahon, the company’s chief executive officer, commended his employees on reaching the 40-year milestone. “Our employees are dedicated to customer service and high standards of excellence in everything they do,” he said. “It’s their hard work that has made our company’s strategic vision a reality. I speak for myself and for all of them when I say that we look forward to serving our clients for the next 40 years.”

In 2019, Patrick’s son, Adam, joined the organization after spending seven years as a commercial lender in the Arlington, Va. market.  Adam’s current position is general manager of the commercial furniture division, Corporate Environments, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pa.  Adam becomes the third generation working in this industry as his grandfather, Henry McMahon, started Anthracite Business forms in 1955.