UNC’s Mid Valley Senior Center Summer Party

United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) invites you to join us for our joyous and celebratory annual Summer Party on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 pm at our Mid Valley Senior Community Center at 310 Church Street in Jessup. New and old friends will come together to celebrate the warmth of summer and the very special 103rd birthday of Julia Mellody, a beloved member of our community. Mellody, an active participant at UNC’s Mid Valley Senior Community Center, is known for her love of parties and her favorite food, ravioli. Our special centenarian birthday cookout bash will be filled with joy, laughter, and live music. And, of course, a delicious cake! We invite you to celebrate summer and wish Julia many more happy and healthy years.

The Dime Bank Celebrates Employee Milestones

Every year, The Dime Bank hosts a dinner celebration to recognize and honor employees marking five-year career milestones with the organization. In 2024, nineteen employees were celebrated by The Dime Bank, one employee with an impressive 40 years!

The bank values these anniversary events as crucial for acknowledging and showing gratitude for the dedication and effort of its employees. It’s a special occasion to commemorate their accomplishments, milestones, and commitment to The Dime Bank.

President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “Our employees at The Dime Bank are truly appreciated as they contribute to making our bank unique. Their positivity, dedication, and loyalty ensure that our customers receive exceptional service. Each employee is highly valued and plays a crucial role in the success of The Dime Bank. We extend our gratitude to them for their dedication and hard work.”

Pictured at the dinner celebration with years of service in brackets:

Bottom left to right– Karen Brown (40); Michelle Urban (20), Lisa Steiner (20).

Top left to right– Raynell Lenz (10), Amy Caggiano (10), Justin Mikolaski (10), Lisa Cavage (10); Maurice Dennis (5), Linda Matylewicz (5), Kristina Rode (5), Erika Norman (5), Eva Pino (5), Emily Rice (5), Ferdinand Feola (5).

Not pictured: Barbara Marsicano (20), Gwynn Bartholomay (10), Donna Peters (5), Shiann Hook (5), Christopher Kearney (5).

UNC Holds Pine Brook NPP Community Celebration

United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) invites the public to our Pine Brook NPP Community Celebration. This event celebrates the significant contributions of our Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) investors: Cottera Energy, FNCB Bank, and Peoples Security Bank & Trust. The celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2024, from 2 PM to 4 PM, at the Capouse Corner Green Space, 1371 Capouse Avenue at New York Street in Scranton. The event will feature food, games, a plant giveaway, and fun activities for the community to enjoy. We ask attendees to bring a book to donate to the Little Free Library located in the space.

This celebration highlights the generous $50,000 annual contributions from Cottera Energy, FNCB Bank, and Peoples Security Bank & Trust through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP). These contributions, totaling a $900,000 investment over six years, are instrumental in our ongoing efforts to rebuild, restore, and revitalize the Pine Brook community, a designated Elm Street Community through the Pennsylvania Keystone Communities program.

Maternal & Family Health Services Hosts Inaugural Mother’s Day Celebrations

Maternal & Family Health Services, Inc. (MFHS) announces that its inaugural Mother’s Day celebrations will be held in Scranton on May 7th and Hazleton on May 9th. From MFHS, With Love will be a celebration of all the mothers in Northeast Pennsylvania and an opportunity to say thank you for all that they do for their families.

The two events will take place the week before Mother’s Day at the following locations:

Tuesday May 7th | 4 – 7 p.m.
MFHS Circle of Care & Voodoo Brewing Co.
820 South Washington Ave., Scranton, PA

Thursday, May 9th | 4 – 7 p.m.
Hazleton Art League
31 W. Broad St., Hazleton, PA

Both evenings will be open house style events that will feature a photo booth, flower cart, fragrance bar, activities for kids, food stations, and more. All proceeds raised from the events will support programming at MFHS for women, children, and families in need.

For over 50 years, MFHS has been supporting the health and nutrition of our community by delivering programs and services that meet critical needs and result in positive outcomes for mothers and children. These programs include: the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, The Nurse-Family Partnership Program, reproductive care, and the Healthy Beginnings Plus Maternity Program. Together these programs form a maternal health safety net that protects the health of pregnant individuals by connecting them to essential care and support services.

The public can RSVP online via the MFHS website: mfhs.org/mothers-day/ Tickets are $50 per adult. Each ticket includes up to two children 12 and under. Additional children under 12 are $10 each. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. 

Johnson College Hosts Debut Event for Ideal Saldi Hall

Johnson College celebrated the opening of its new gateway building, Ideal Saldi Hall, during a debut event at its Scranton campus on April 3, 2024.

Members of the Johnson College community and the Saldi family gathered for a glimpse at the newly constructed building that will serve as the official gateway to the College’s main campus. A program led by Johnson College’s President and CEO, Dr. Katie Leonard, marked the significance of the largest building project to date for Johnson College. She was proceeded during the program by Dave Boniello ’84, President of Simplex Industries; Matthew Michalek ’85, Vice President of Operations at L.R. Costanzo Co., Inc.; and Senator Marty Flynn, Pennsylvania 22nd Senatorial District.

Ideal Saldi Hall is one of four components of the College’s comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, “Innovation at Work.” The building honors the legacy of Ideal T. Saldi, a Johnson College alum from the class of 1949. He and his wife, Frances, contributed $1 million to the College’s capital campaign, which is the largest gift from a Johnson College alum to date and will have a lasting impact on the school and its students.

“At 19,000 sq. feet, this building provides a home to four labs, two general education classrooms, the most innovative and high-tech conference room in all of NEPA, and office space for staff that directly serve our students,” said Dr. Katie Leonard. Ideal Saldi Hall now houses student-facing departments including Enrollment, Financial Aid, and the Registrar, as well as programs including Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Biomedical Equipment Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, and Mechatronics Technology.

Construction of Ideal Saldi Hall began in 2022, following the public announcement of the capital campaign and the official reveal of the building, designed by WKL Architecture. Under the construction management of L.R. Costanzo Co., Inc., the building took shape quickly and was forged with the help of many of Johnson College’s industry partners and alumni.

The building now sits on the former site of Richmond Hall, a piece of the original Willian H Richmond estate given to the College’s founder, Orlando S. Johnson, to fulfil his dream of creating a trade school for women and men.

Mr. Boniello, who serves as the chairperson of the “Innovation at Work” capital campaign said, “Ideal Saldi Hall will provide the gateway into future decades of Johnson College students and will help to shape the future industry leaders, innovators, and workers that will not only make a difference in the area we live in but also the world.”

The event concluded with an official ribbon cutting for the building.

Johnson College and CAN DO Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate Grand Opening

In a joint celebration held today, September 27, CAN DO and Johnson College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ‘Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center’. This celebration comes after the two institutions announced their partnership to bring a technical school to the Greater Hazleton Area earlier this year.

The ‘Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center’ ribbon cutting event showcased the expansive 20,000 sq. ft. facility – which was once home to the former McCann School of Business and Technology. Guests were invited to tour the new school, including classrooms, lab spaces, and the campus resource center that is open to all students. Capriotti’s Catering and Little Treats and Cakes by Janna catered the event with light lunch fare and desserts.

Dr. Katie Leonard, President and CEO of Johnson College, and Joseph Lettiere, President and CEO of CAN DO, were both present and spoke about how this partnership is a monumental achievement for the Greater Hazleton Area, its residences, and its businesses.

Dr. Katie Leonard spoke of the importance of the College’s industry partners throughout her remarks. “I like to say that we are founded and grounded in industry”, she mentioned. “The industry partnerships we’ve fostered here in the Greater Hazleton region helped us identify the need for skilled technicians and technologists in the area and the need for us to create unique, hands-on, industry-driven experiences for students who want to work within those industries.”

During his remarks, CAN DO President and CEO, Joseph Lettiere, stated, “CAN DO’s partnership with Johnson College is monumental for the Greater Hazleton Area and its residents as a whole. Through the various programs available on this campus, our community will have direct access to the necessary training and education our industries are in need of…these programs truly move the needle for members of our community by providing industrial education that will ultimately lead to family- and life-sustaining careers.” 

Other key members of this partnership and esteemed dignitaries also in attendance included Charles Burkhardt, Chair of the CAN DO Board of Directors, Pat Dietz, Chair of the Johnson College Board of Directors, Pennsylvania State Senator David Argall, representing Pennsylvania’s 29th Senatorial District, and members from both CAN DO and Johnson College’s Board of Directors.

With its strategic positioning inside of the Humboldt Industrial Park, Johnson College’s Hazleton campus will provide students with advantageous proximity to nearly 70 industries currently employing more than 11,000 individuals. The campus is also now a central education hub for communities within lower Luzerne and surrounding counties.

While classes officially began on August 28, the new school offers a robust curriculum aimed to cater to the diverse academic and industry needs of the Greater Hazleton Area community. Notable program offerings include a 2-Year Associate Degree in Applied Science for Electrical Construction Technology and 1-Year Academic Certificate programs in Welding Technology, Industrial Technology, and Building and Property Maintenance. Additionally, the school offers continuing education certificate courses in Medical Assistant, Computer Support, and Security Specialist, as well as Class A CDL Driver Training.

For more information about these upcoming programs, visit johnson.edu/Hazleton.

Allied Services Celebrates Miracle Makers

Allied Services Integrated Health System recently honored the contributions and successes of employees from various divisions with their quarterly Miracle Maker breakfast. The gathering was held at the Convention Center at Mohegan, Pennsylvania, Plains, Pa.

“Today’s gathering, which celebrates the Miracle Makers across Allied Services, is a reminder of how blessed we are to work with so many compassionate and dedicated people, as well as validation of the critical care we provide in physical rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home health, residential care for those with mental health issues and hospice care at home and in our inpatient hospice units,” commented Atty. Bill Conaboy, President & CEO, Allied Services Integrated Health System

The Wright Center Celebrates Community Health Worker Awareness Week

One of the fastest-growing careers in health care has nothing to do with direct medical care.

Using their encyclopedic knowledge of local resources, community health workers (CHWs) help people meet various basic needs, including housing, utility bills, nutritious foods, clothing, insurance, transportation to and from medical appointments, and more.

“Community health workers, they’re pretty much the foundation,” said Amanda Vommaro, CCHW, director of patient-centered services and supervisor of the community health workers at The Wright Center for Community Health. “We make sure the patients are getting their social needs met so that they’re able to address their health.”

For example, a patient with financial difficulties may have to choose between buying food or medication, according to Vommaro. Connecting to a food pantry could help that patient afford the life-saving medication a doctor prescribes.

“If you don’t have your basic needs met, you’re not really able to do anything else,” she said about patients. “When they’re not buying medication and taking care of their health, that’s where we come in.”

As the health care world celebrates National Community Health Worker Awareness Week from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, the need for CHWs is greater than ever. Employment of community health workers across the United States is projected to grow 12% between 2021 and 2031 – much faster than the average for other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the demand for CHWs, according to Chelsea Wolff, a health educator with the Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Thousands of people lost their jobs and found themselves navigating an often-overwhelming system to apply for unemployment, food stamps, rent and mortgage relief, and other aid from government entities and local social service agencies. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan called for hiring 100,000 CHWs over 10 years starting in 2021 to support the prevention and control of COVID-19.

But many entities that employ CHWs are having trouble filling the jobs, including The Wright Center for Community Health. It’s partly because people are not familiar with the position.

“People are starting to know about it, but we have a long way to go,” Wolff acknowledged.

AHEC hopes to help fill the need locally through training courses, some of which are held virtually for community members. The center began offering CHW courses in 2009, Wolff said. Since then, demand has soared for these specialty workers.

The course covers the basics of what a CHW needs to know, from building an understanding of different cultures and health literacy to learning how to complete documentation and how to avoid job burnout.

CHWs live in the communities they serve, so they become experts in knowing what resources are available and how best to connect clients to them, Vommaro and Wolff said. The AHEC classes feature many guest speakers, so trainees can begin building a list of local resources that provide help.

“It’s helping to connect the dots and really building those contacts,” Wolff said.

Vommaro said clients are often more comfortable talking to CHWs because of their shared community roots. “It’s just a different level of comfort when you’re talking to a community health worker because sometimes we’ve been in the same situation they are in; we’re people who live in their community,” she said. “It’s a little less intimidating than talking to their doctor.”

For more information about the course, visit the AHEC’s website at NEPA-AHEC.org.  AHEC also offers monthly informational sessions about CHWs every second Monday of the month. To learn more, go to PACHW.org/upcoming-sessions.