Scranton Area Community Foundation to Host 4th NEPA Learning Conference

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, through its Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, will host its fourth NEPA Learning Conference on September 20 – 22, 2023. This event will offer nonprofit organizations and nonprofit professionals across the region the opportunity to receive in-depth training from local and nationally-recognized presenters. The event will take place at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center (100 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA).

Ruchika Tulshyan, best-selling author of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work, will be the keynote speaker.Tulshyan is also the founder of Candour, an inclusion strategy practice. A former international business journal, Tulshyan is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Harvard Business Review and a recognized media commentator on workplace culture.

Attendees will experience three transformative days of networking and interactive sessions while gaining the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the challenges and maximize the impact of their nonprofit organization. They will learn from over 45 local and national experts in a variety of fields, exploring the powers of collaboration and advocacy. A crowd of roughly 200 representatives from nonprofit organizations is expected to attend this event.

While attendance is geared toward nonprofit professionals and board members serving on local nonprofit organization boards, registration is open to the public. Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1. Attendees can register through the conference website at

               “Through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, we prioritize the importance of enhancing organizational capacity building and view it as transformative to the region as a whole,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “We are grateful for so many of our partnering foundations right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania supporting our efforts to bring this learning conference to the nonprofit community of our region.”

Sponsors of the event include the Moses Taylor Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The William C. McGowan Charitable Fund, The Hawk Foundation, Wayne County Community Foundation, Fidelity Bank Wealth Management, McGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, Center City Print, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Children’s Service Center, and KMMK Communications.

For more information on the 2023 NEPA Learning Conference, please visit or contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.  

Marywood University to Host Virtual Conference with Photographer

Marywood University’s art department will host a virtual talk with internationally renowned documentary photographer Jordi Barreras, titled “Already but not yet: A Photographic Analysis of Social Isolation in Contemporary Society,” based upon the artist’s highly acclaimed recent book by the same name. The work examines—through photography—social isolation in contemporary society and the spreading influence of corporations throughout our lives.

The virtual talk is free and open to the public and will be held on Zoom on Friday, March 3, from 3-4 p.m. EST [8-9 p.m. GMT]. Those interested are asked to pre-register at, and a link will be provided one day prior to the event. This talk is being held in conjunction with a photography course at Marywood, Photography as a Means of Self Expression, in which students make their own photo books.

Barreras is a London-based documentary photographer. He became a photojournalist in 2002, working for some of the most important newspapers in Spain. Barreras ultimately decided to abandon photojournalism due to what he deemed “its sensationalist nature and lack of political critique.” His work then began to be more critical and reflexive, seeking the connections between documentary and conceptual photography. He holds an M.A. degree from Birbeck University of London, is a photojournalism postgraduate of the University of Barcelona, and a graduate of the general photography course at Grisart School, Barcelona. His book has been featured in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Barreras is currently working on a new project on the relationship between architecture and power in several European capitals.

To register for the virtual talk with Jordi Barreras, pre-register at: The Zoom link will be provided to registrants a day before the event.

Marion Munley Speaks at Conference

Munley Law is pleased to announce that Marion Munley spoke at the Sidney T. Marable Arizona Association for Justice Annual Conference – 2022. She spoke on the topic, “Persuading the Butchers, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers: Using Liability and Lay Witnesses to Prove Damage.”
A champion of victims’ rights and the civil justice system for over 25 years, Marion is known for her compassionate approach to representing the catastrophically injured and her tireless devotion to her clients and their families. Triple Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial, Civil Practice, and Truck Law, Marion has earned an AV-Preeminent designation from Martindale-Hubbell, the industry’s highest ethical and client satisfaction rating.

A leader in the legal community, Marion is an active member of the American Association for Justince (AAJ) and currently serves on the AAJ Board of Governors and on its Executive Committee. She was the first woman to become Chair of the AAJ Trucking Litigation Group in 2018 and is a past chair of the AAJ’s Women Trial Lawyers Caucus. Marion is the second woman in Pennsylvania to become Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Among her other professional affiliations are the American Board of Trial Advocates, the International Society of Barristers, and the Summit Council, an exclusive group of todays top civil justice attorneys committed to the highest levels of trial advocacy, to obtaining justice for individuals and families who have been hurt by corporate wrongdoing, and to the protection of the civil justice system.

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2012, Marion has been named the 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Last year, she was recognized as Best Lawyers® 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury-Plaintiffs for the Allentown metro area. Marion has also been selected to the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for the last 18 years and has been consistently recognized as one of the “top 50 Women Lawyers in Pennsylvania” in Super Lawyers Magazine. A graduate of Temple University School of Law (J.D., 1986), Marion received her undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton in 1983.

The Wright Center News

The Wright Centers Expand Presence in Luzerne County

The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education will increase access to high-quality, comprehensive, affordable primary health services and health care career development opportunities through relocation and expansion of their Kingston primary care and workforce development center into downtown Wilkes-Barre.

The Wright Center for Community Health recently completed the purchase and is repurposing a 34,460-square-foot building at 169 N. Pennsylvania Ave. The more than 3-acre site enables the nonprofit community health center to expand opportunities for regional residents to receive integrated, whole-person primary health care at one convenient location. The new primary care clinic will educate primary care physicians, medical students, and interprofessional health students from regionally and nationally affiliated academic institutions. The center will open Monday, Jan. 9, at 8 a.m.

“We are honored to have this opportunity in Luzerne County to expand the delivery of our mission to improve the health and welfare of the communities we serve through inclusive and responsive health services and the sustainable renewal of an inspired and competent workforce that is privileged to serve,” said Linda Thomas-Hemak, M.D., FACP, FAAP, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education. “We are grateful for and inspired by Gov. Tom Wolf’s validating, generous Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program award.

“We are also grateful to and inspired by our supportive governmental and legislative leaders, Sordoni Construction, and all of our partners who made this development project in Wilkes-Barre possible. We look forward to giving back through the regional and local community benefit impact we deliver,” Dr. Thomas-Hemak added. “Together, we are building a preferred future in which everyone will benefit from a health system that prioritizes equity, quality, and affordability of comprehensive primary health care services and career opportunities.

“Our deep investment into Wilkes-Barre will enable The Wright Center to grow our operations and our collaborative, interprofessional relationships to ensure everyone in the service area has equitable access to whole-person primary health services, regardless of their ZIP code, insurance status, or ability to pay. We are equally committed to pipeline, community-driven partnerships to open up dream mapping about health care career opportunities, so the demographics of our future health care workforce can better and more inclusively reflect the demographics of our regional community,” she added.        

In 2019, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated The Wright Center for Community Health as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, providing resources that allow the nonprofit organization to further assist medically underserved rural and urban communities and vulnerable populations, including people who are underinsured and uninsured. With a sliding-fee discount program available, The Wright Center reduces barriers to care by ensuring health care is affordable for everyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay. The Wright Center’s network of clinics in Northeast Pennsylvania primarily serves patients from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

The Wright Center is no stranger to Luzerne County. The enterprise has operated teaching health centers in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston for many years and partnered on several public health initiatives with community resource agencies. The Wright Center for Community Health has utilized its 34-foot mobile medical unit, better known as Driving Better Health, to further address barriers to quality care in several underserved communities, partnering with social service organizations and school districts in lower Luzerne County to deliver routine vaccinations, COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and testing to where people live, work, and study.

The first phase of the new clinical, educational and administrative center in Wilkes-Barre will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on holidays that occur Monday through Saturday.

The center has ample, off-street parking and is within walking distance of downtown Wilkes-Barre, the James F. Conahan Intermodal Transportation Center, and public transportation bus stops. It will offer family-friendly primary medical, behavioral, and addiction and recovery services across the lifespan, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Ultimately, its integrated services will offer patients the convenience of going to a single location to access full-service primary medical, dental, behavioral health, addiction and recovery services, and other supportive programs.

Over the next several months, The Wright Center will hopefully be adding more than 25 medical examination rooms, 30 behavioral health rooms, and 10 dental operators to increase access. The new facility will also include state-of-the-art conference and learning rooms, complete with audio-visual technology, computers, and more for provider care teams and learners, as well as dedicated space for partnering community resource agencies. The full project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

To make an appointment at The Wright Center for Community Health Wilkes-Barre Practice, call 570-491-0126 or go to

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Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, center, discusses how the new Wright Center for Community Health Wilkes-Barre Practice will improve the health and well-being of residents in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County.

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New COVID-19 Vaccine Available at The Wright Center

Children and infants as young as 6 months old can now receive the updated coronavirus vaccines at several of The Wright Center for Community Health’s primary care practices, increasing their defense against sickness during the upcoming holiday season and new year.

Nationally, health officials have in recent weeks reported a surge of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly known as RSV. Hospitals in some areas have returned to operating at or near capacity levels due to the sharp rise in seasonal illnesses. Meanwhile, certain cold medications are in short supply, and officials in several large U.S. cities are again urging indoor masking.

Lackawanna and Luzerne counties were classified as “low” for community spread of COVID-19 as of Dec. 8. New cases, though, had trended higher in the weeks since Thanksgiving. And, Susquehanna County’s community level is currently “high,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 “As winter’s official start draws near, and more activities are conducted indoors, we hope to see more families taking the opportunity to safeguard their health, especially now that adults, children, and even many infants are eligible to get the most up-to-date vaccines,” said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health.

Vaccines are the most powerful tool against the highly contagious virus, with demonstrated effectiveness during the pandemic in reducing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The updated boosters, also called bivalent vaccines, offer protection against the original strain of COVID-19 as well as the now-prevalent omicron sub-variants that account for most new infections in the United States.

The Moderna-made pediatric booster is available for individuals ages 6 months through 5 years. Children are eligible for the Moderna booster two months after completing their final primary series dose. Similarly, the Pfizer bivalent vaccine has been approved for children ages 6 months through 4 years old; it will be given as a third primary dose.

People can schedule appointments by visiting The Wright Center’s website at and using the express online scheduling service or by calling 570.230.0019. Locations currently offering the updated pediatric boosters include the Kingston Practice, the Mid Valley Practice in Jermyn, and the Scranton Practice. A patient may choose to receive the booster shot with or without a vital sign assessment and/or primary care office visit, for which out-of-pocket expenses might be billed by the patient’s health insurance provider.

Adults and children 6 months and older also are encouraged to get an annual flu shot. All available flu vaccines in the U.S. for the 2022-23 season are the quadrivalent variety, meaning they are designed to protect against four different flu viruses. Appointments to receive the flu vaccine can be made at any of The Wright Center’s locations in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The Wright Center for Community Health, headquartered in Scranton, is a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike that operates eight primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties.

The Wright Center provides comprehensive primary and preventive health services – including medical, dental, behavioral health, addiction and recovery, and infectious disease services – that cover the lifespan from pediatrics to geriatrics. The Wright Center’s sliding-fee discount program ensures health care is affordable for everyone in need. No patient is turned away due to an inability to pay.

The Wright Center Presents Healthy MOMS Program to Participants at Conference

Maria Kolcharno, LSW, director of addiction services, and Marcella Garvin, Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program lead case manager, at The Wright Center for Community Health, recently collaborated on the presentation, “Healthy MOMS: It Takes a Village,” at the Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s National Family Week Conference at Mohegan Pennsylvania.

The presentation provided a forum to discuss the variety of services available in the region and the best practices to advocate and link mothers with substance use disorder to supportive programs for them and their young children.

“The presentation focused on the strong foundation we are building of healthy mothers in our community. It’s a collaborative effort among many organizations across nine counties,” said Kolcharno, who also addressed basic facts about addiction, and how mothers can connect with the program and how they gain independent through their own recovery.

The Wright Center for Community Health, for example, recently collaborated with Maternal and Family Health Services to share a lactation specialist who serves as a mother’s coach after the child is born. “This population wouldn’t normally get a lactation coach,” said Kolcharno, who is a key leader of the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program. “A lot of insurance companies will not cover this service. By offering it, we are seeing healthier babies and mothers.”

The Healthy MOMS program is part of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Opioid Use Disorder Center. It 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. The program strives to break the stigma associated with addiction while building patients’ self-esteem during and after their pregnancies, ideally engaging them in recovery support services. Currently there are 149 mothers active in the program, with 204 babies born through the program. Since its founding, more than 300 mothers have participated in the program.

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.

New Pediatrician joins The Wright Center for Community Health Scranton Practice

Dr. Prachi Agarwal, a board-certified pediatrician, will join The Wright Center for Community Health Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., beginning in January.

The Wright Center for Community Health provides primary and specialty care for children of all ages, from newborn check-ups and well visits to vaccinations, school physicals, and overall anticipatory guidance through a child’s developmental stages.

Dr. Agarwal earned her medical degree at KLE University, Belgaum, India. She completed her pediatric training and graduated with excellence from Rutgers Health/Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and possesses certifications from the Brazelton Touchpoint Parenting Program and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program.

The Wright Center was designated a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike in 2019. It offers high-quality, affordable integrated health care at its network of primary care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania, providing patients with the convenience of going to one location to access medical, dental, and behavioral and mental health care, plus addiction treatment and other supportive services. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Agarwal at the Scranton Practice, go to to use the express online scheduling system or call 570-941-0630.

‘Pathways to PennDOT’ Conference

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that it will host a one-day conference, Pathways to PennDOT, designed to connect small, minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) with potential contracting opportunities at the department.

The conference will be held at the Best Western Premier Hotel and Conference Center Union Deposit at 800 East Park Drive in Harrisburg on Tuesday, October 18. Doors open at 7:30 AM, and the conference will be held from 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Registration is free.

“Small and diverse business are central to our communities, and our economy,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “I’m thrilled to host this conference and to help facilitate connecting these critical businesses to opportunities with PennDOT.”

The conference is open to DBE firms, primes, contractors and industry leaders, and will cover such topics as DBE certification, the PennDOT prequalification process, branding strategies, and a panel discussion on best practices from current DBE’s, among other sessions. Additionally, firms can learn how to participate in PennDOT’s Mentor-Protégé program, which connects DBEs with prime contractors to gain and expand experience in the industry.

To learn more about Pathways to PennDOT or to register for the conference, visit PennDOT’s website. Pre-registration closes on October 7.

The Wright Center News

The Wright Center’s Dr. Mark Madhok Presents Study at a National Conference

Mark Madhok, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, recently made an oral presentation at the Digestive Disease Week: Discover. Comprehend. Advance. meeting in San Diego, California.

Digestive Disease Week is the world’s premier meeting for physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. It enables them to explore exciting new developments with leaders in their specialty field.

He presented, “Overall Polyp Detection Rate (PDR) from Screening, Surveillance and Diagnostic Colonoscopies Shows Excellent Equivalency with Screening PDR: A Study from the National Institutes of Health Repository of 298,920 Colonoscopies.”

Madhok’s research study identified the issue that lower-quality colonoscopies are linked to a higher incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer. The quality of colonoscopy varies widely among physicians performing colonoscopies and the Adenoma Detection Rate (ADR), which is the percentage of times a gastroenterologist detects a precancerous polyp during a colonoscopy. The 298,920 colonoscopies studied were performed by 421 gastroenterologists at 83 sites. Four groups of polyp detection rates were studied for each endoscopist: Screening PDR, Surveillance PDR, Diagnostic PDR and Overall (combined) PDR.

The study concluded the Overall PDR shows a high level of agreement with all three methods of polyp detection rates (screening, surveillance and diagnostic), regardless of the number of procedures performed by the colonoscopist. In addition, there is no difference in the ratio of benign tumors to cancerous polyps for the first and middle parts of the colon compared to the lower part of the colon by all 421 doctors in the study.

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education offers residencies in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Internal Medicine, Regional Family Medicine, National Family Medicine and Psychiatry, as well as fellowships in the specialty fields of Cardiovascular Disease, Geriatrics and Gastroenterology.

A board-certified internal medicine physician, Madhok also is a primary care and internal medicine physician at The Wright Center’s Scranton and Scranton Counseling Center practices. In addition, he is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and an adjunct clinical associate professor of medicine at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

For more information about The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, please go to or call 570-230-0019.

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Presents Scholarly Work at the Beyond Flexner 2022 Conference

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education recently made seven scholarly presentations at the annual Beyond Flexner Conference, “Moving the Dial on Social Mission: Ensuring Health Professions Education Meets the Challenges of Today,” in Phoenix, Arizona.

The interprofessional forum focuses on advancing health equity and social justice through health professions education. The annual conference brings together leaders in change to share new strategies and tools, identify and address challenges, and organize to advocate for meaningful change.

Meaghan P. Ruddy, senior vice president of academic affairs, enterprise assessment and advancement, and chief research and development officer, made the oral presentation, “An Addiction Medicine Fellowship’s Innovative Approach to Patient Care.” Co-authors included Drs. Karen E. Arscott, a primary care physician, addiction medicine specialist and internal medicine faculty; Jumee Barooah, designated institutional official; and Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO.

Dr. Isaac Navarro, faculty physician in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency, offered the oral presentation, “Developing and Implementing an Advanced Education General Dental Residency Program during a Pandemic.” The presentation’s co-authors included Drs. Barooah and Thomas, and Ruddy.

The oral presentation, “Transformation Opioid Use Disorder Recovery in a Teaching Health Center: Healthy MOMS,” was presented by Ruddy. Co-authors included Maria Kolcharno, director of addiction services; and Drs. Lekha Yadukumar, an internal medicine resident, and Thomas-Hemak.

Drs. Barooah and Erica Schmidt, a psychiatry resident physician, made the oral presentation, “A Northeast Pennsylvania-Based Psychiatry Residency’s Innovative Training Program.” The presentation’s co-authors included Drs. Vinod Sharma, associate Psychiatry Residency director and psychiatrist; Barooah and Thomas-Hemak.

The workshop, “Teaching Health Center Programming Toolbox: Tools for Community Health Centers to plan for Physician Workforce Development,” was presented by Drs. Douglas Spegman, chief clinical officer of El Rio Health in Arizona; and Thomas-Hemak, and Ruddy.

Drs. Lawrence LeBeau, program director of the National Family Residency; Barooah and Thomas-Hemak, and Ruddy presented the research poster, “Development and Outcomes of a National Graduate Medical Education Safety-Net Consortium.”

The poster presentation, “Community Health Center-Based Training and Practice: Developing Master Adaptive Learners Through Integrate Care Quality Improvement,” was delivered by Drs.

Ray Wagner, assistant professor and regional director of medical education El Rio Health, and Valerie Sheridan, dean, A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA); and Lisa Tshuma, assistant professor, ATSU-SOMA; Sue Dolence, a licensed clinical social worker, El Rio Health; Anna Tanguma-Gallegos, data informatics specialist, ATSU-SOMA; and Ruddy.

University of Scranton to Host Conference on Ethics and Excellence in Public Service

The University of Scranton will host the Inaugural Conference on Ethics and Excellence in Public Service for public officials, leaders of nonprofit organizations and students on April 9 on campus. The half-day, in-person conference begins at 8 a.m. with registration and refreshments and will take place on the fifth floor of Brennan Hall.

The annual conference is a key initiative of the University’s recently launched Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service (CEEPS) with the goal of helping to provide a foundation for ethical governance in Northeastern Pennsylvania by developing and nurturing a community of scholars, public officials and citizens dedicated to improving and protecting democracy at the state and local level.

“We expect that the conference will help connect state and local governing officials to one another and make them aware of the opportunities and training offered by the Center,” said JoyAnna Hopper, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and co-director of CEEPS. “Additionally, we expect that the Conference will offer scholars interested in promoting and protecting democracy through the study of ethics at the state- and local-level an opportunity to present and share research. That research can be disseminated through the Center and shared with community members and state and local governments.”

Dr. Hopper also sees the conference as a way to introduce University students to issues concerning ethics and government effectiveness and further engage them in career opportunities in the public and government service sector. University students will participate in a panel discussion about their efforts in 2020 to increase voter registration among young adults.

Additional topics covered in panel discussions at the conference include “Local Government Ethics Boards and Codes;” “Grant writing: Best Practices for Local Governments;” and “Legislative Pay, Per Diems, and Ethics.”

The conference will conclude with a luncheon keynote address by author Craig Wheeland, Ph.D., a noted scholar in the area of public administration and senior vice president for academics and professor of public administration at Villanova University. Dr. Wheeland has published numerous articles and has also published two books on the topics of local government and urban politics. His research on city management has received external funding from organizations such as the American Political Science Association.

Additional information and a schedule of speakers can be seen on the Conference on Ethics and Excellence in Public Service webpage.

Registration is required to attend and fees vary for the conference. Reservations and additional information is also available online. A $15 registration fee includes all meals and materials for the day.  If you are unable to pay the $15 registration fee, there is an option on the registration form that will allow you to register and attend without paying the fee. The conference is free for students.

The University of Scranton health and safety protocols in place on April 9 outlined in the Royals Back Together plan must be followed by conference attendees.

For additional information, email or contact Sharon Olechna, administrative assistant for the Political Science Department, at 570-941-6326 or by email at

Young Professionals Conference Call for Speakers

We want YOU to present to our area’s emerging leaders at our 4th Young Professionals Conference on March 23rd, 2022, which is presented in partnership with the United Way of Wyoming Valley and our regional chambers. Because this conference is virtual just like the 2021 Young Professionals Conference, please note that you will be asked to film your segment a few weeks before the actual conference date. This day-long conference is aimed at developing our area’s talented professionals ages., featuring amazing speakers in our region between the ages of 20-45.

Presentations will be part of a break-out session format and will be 30 minutes in length. We are inviting proposals for presentations related to the topics below, but are open to new session topic ideas as well!

1. Wellness
2. Entrepreneurship
3. Personal Finance
4. Leadership Development
5. Innovation
6. Goal Setting

Complete the RFP form before the close of business on February 10th. For any questions, please email

Karen Darby – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Wealth Management Advisor, Jacobi Capital Management

Presentation: Take Up Space

In this session, Karen focuses on you and how you show up in the room. Are you present and part of the conversation? As women we need to get out of our own way and go after what we want. Join Karen to learn about the past, evaluate today, and create our tomorrow with all our voices. Your voice is special and deserves to be heard.


Karen joined Jacobi Capital Management in 2021 following an eight-year career in the financial services industry. Her natural interest in helping people led her to pursue a career as a financial advisor. Karen started her career as a financial advisor at MassMutual Eastern Pennsylvania focusing on helping families that have a loved one with special needs plan for their futures.

Karen works with individuals, families and business owners who are often too busy and overwhelmed with all the decisions that go into building and preserving wealth. She is passionate about educating her clients and being a resource for them. As a single mother to 2 young boys she understands the challenges her clients face especially during a time of transition. When working with her clients she takes them through a simple process to uncover their goals and help them automate their savings so they can focus on what’s important to them.

Karen is very involved in her community and enjoys donating her time to various causes and nonprofits. She is a member of the Pittston Rotary Club and the 2020 Women on Boards Wilmington Leadership Committee. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, and her favorite, Friday date nights with her sons, Levi and Tyler.

Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Psychiatry Residency Presenting at Conference

Two scholarly research teams at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education have had their abstracts accepted for presentation at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Drs. Angelina Singh and Erica Schmidt, resident physicians in the four-year psychiatry residency, and Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri, program director of the psychiatry residency and a psychiatrist at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Scranton Practice, co-authored the scholarly paper, “Catatonia Presenting as Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features: The Case for Increasing the Use of the Lorazepam Challenge.”

The team’s case report demonstrates the importance and challenges of recognizing and treating catatonia, such as schizophrenia, in severely depressed patients with psychotic features, including delusions, hallucinations and paranoia.

Drs. Bilal Khan and Nathan Hoff , resident physicians in the psychiatry residency, co-authored the paper, “Serotonin Syndrome in a 50-Year-Old Female,” with Bretty Aziz, a fourth-year medical student at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Chandragiri.

The case report illustrates the potential for severe side effects that may result from interactions between multiple serotonergic agents in patients with serotonin syndrome.

The American Psychiatric Association was founded in 1844. It is the oldest medical association in the United States and the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. The annual meeting in May, with the theme, “Social Determinants of Mental Health,” is the largest conference in the world for psychiatrists and mental health professionals.

For more information about The Wright Center for Community Health, call 570-343-2383 or go to