Surgeon General of the United States to Deliver Keynote Address at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) announced that Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States, will deliver the keynote address at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s 12th annual commencement ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 5 at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Murthy,” said Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, GCSOM’s president and dean. “He has used his far-reaching platform as Surgeon General to advocate for population health issues that Geisinger has made central to our mission, like greater access to care, addressing loneliness, and healthcare worker well-being. We look forward his remarks as we celebrate the graduation of our twelfth class of physicians, now totaling more than one thousand doctors, from our medical school.”

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, president and CEO of Geisinger, noted that Dr. Murthy has long championed a comprehensive approach to medicine that prioritizes mental health and wellness. “As a national leader in value-based care, Geisinger is proud that Dr. Murthy will encourage our graduates to pursue our shared vision of medicine. He knows well what Geisinger means when we say our mission is to make better health easier and I know he will inspire the class of 2024 to dedicate their careers to doing just that.” 

Dr. Murthy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States. As the nation’s top doctor, Dr. Vivek Murthy helps to advance the health and well-being of all Americans and has worked to address critical public health issues. He has issued Surgeon General Advisories on the youth mental health crisis and social media’s impact on youth mental health, the epidemic of loneliness and isolation, and on burnout in the health worker community. Dr. Murthy also issued a Surgeon General’s Framework on mental health in the workplace and he is the first Surgeon General to host a podcast, House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy, where he invites guests and listeners to explore how we can all build more connected and meaningful lives. 

As Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy oversees more than 6,000 dedicated public health officers serving underserved and vulnerable populations. 

Dr. Murthy previously served as the 19th Surgeon General under President Obama. Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard, his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, and his master’s in business administration from the Yale School of Management. 

Educational Leader Thomas P. Foley Will Speak at Marywood’s Commencement

A leader in education, workforce development, volunteer service, and public policy over the last four decades, Thomas P. Foley, J.D., current president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), an association of more than 90 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, will address graduates at Marywood University’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2022, 1 p.m., at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

One of 12 siblings and the grandson of Irish immigrants, Foley is a first-generation college graduate, who merited scholarships from Dartmouth College, University College in Dublin, Ireland, and Yale Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctorate. While on leave from Yale, he spent two years as a full-time volunteer with the Nobel Prize winning Peace People in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the height of that country’s Troubles. He co-founded the non-partisan Committee on the Administration of Justice and continued to volunteer, work, and write on those issues for the next 30 years.

He was the youngest Secretary of Labor and Industry in Pennsylvania history, serving under Governor Robert P. Casey. After that, he joined the U.S. Labor Department, leading efforts on lifelong learning and workplace safety and earning the Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Public Service. As President of the United Way of Pennsylvania, Foley was a key leader in efforts that resulted in the first statewide public investment in preschool education. Currently, he is co-chair of the Governor’s Early Learning Investment Committee.

For nearly a decade before he became president of AICUP, Foley was the president of Mount Aloysius College, Cresson, PA, named by the White House as one of four “Engines of Opportunity” in the nation for its work with low-income students.

Additionally, his professional background includes service in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, where he worked for Congressman James Shannon and then-Senator Joseph Biden. He did intensive work in Washington, D.C., on issues involving peace and justice in Northern Ireland and Central America, and he has written on a wide range of public policy topics, including issues on justice, foreign policy, preschool education, sports, workforce development, and Irish history.

Honored for his work in a broad range of fields, Foley was named a Top 100 Irish American in both education and law (one of only two to receive both honors), is the recipient of the Centennial Medal for Service, the Liberty Bell Award, numerous humanitarian awards, and serves as an honorary member of the Philadelphia Fire Department.