Crystal Window & Door Systems Expands Operations at Northeast PA Facility

National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems has expanded operations at its Northeast Pennsylvania facility outside of Scranton with the addition of several Crystal products to the lineup of products fabricated there. The expansion allows the company to keep up with demand and keep lead times short. Crystal Windows’ new construction Series 300 and Series 400 vinyl windows and the Series 1500 and Series 1600 vinyl sliding patio doors are all now fully assembled at the Scranton factory. These products join the Series 100 vinyl window line, popular with distributor stock programs, and the Series 1240 and 1280 aluminum patio doors already assembled there.

“Crystal Pennsylvania is continuing to grow despite the current industry challenges,” said Steve Chen, President of Crystal Windows. “With our 336,000 square foot facility, we’ve capitalized on the space to add product lines and allow other Crystal plants to focus production on new heavy commercial products for regional markets.”

Crystal Pennsylvania (Crystal PA) also has expanded its insulated glass unit (IGU) fabrication capabilities. The facility now can produce IGUs with several spacer systems, including GED Intercept and Edgetech SuperSpacer. Production of triple-pane IGUs has also ramped up significantly with increased market demand for greater energy efficiency. Crystal PA’s automated glass line features highly efficient GED and Billco advanced production equipment which can handle large glass panels.

Most of the products fabricated at Crystal PA are shipped directly to job sites and customers throughout the Northeast, MidAtlantic, Southeast, and central MidWest regions, including major developments in Crystal’s newest markets in Texas, saving shipping costs and time. Longer distance shipments are handled by Crystal’s logistics partner JB Hunt. Shipments in the northeast region are usually handled by Crystal’s own truck fleet.

Crystal plans to add more new equipment this year, including vinyl saws, welders, and comer cleaners with associated tooling to handle additional C1ystal products. Building improvements, a new rooftop sign, and enhancements to employee break areas are also in the works.

“The new equipment we have already added here recently has improved our operating efficiency and reduced lead times,” said Chen. ·”Further improvements this year will continue the trend, and it will allow us to satisfy demand even more effectively and improve deliveries to our customers.”

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.

New Blast Booth Expands Upon Tobyhanna’s Diverse Capabilities

As a part of Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD) continuous mission of providing top-of-the-line support and being the best value for the warfighter, a new blast booth was recently installed in the C4ISR Finishing Center to improve processes in the shop.

Artisans in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate previously used blasters that shot aluminum zirconium at the asset being worked on, however those that work in the new booth will use blasters that fire small pieces of plastic at the asset.

The use of this plastic media is an alternative to hand sanding sensitive assets, which is a very time intensive process. It also allows for more versatile capabilities when it comes to the removal of certain layers of an asset. Aluminum zirconium is an abrasive form of media, so much so that it goes as far as removing the plating off an asset when working with it. Conversely, the plastic media is much less abrasive and allows depot employees to just remove the coating, for example. Although the plastic media is very diverse in its capabilities, it doesn’t totally eliminate the need for aluminum zirconium as the latter substance is more effective when working with corroded assets and will still be heavily relied upon at the depot.

Supervisory Production Management Specialist Thomas Petroski said that this new capability is great not only for depot employees, but also for our customers and the warfighter.

“The use of plastic blasting media grants us with many advantages that were previously unavailable to us,” said Petroski. “It replaces a lot of sanding that is done by hand, it reduces the repair cycle time which saves our customers time and money and it also allows us to process some work faster than before so we can get these assets out on the battlefield quicker.”

Like the C4ISR Refinishing Center itself, the new blast booth is also Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified, which allows TYAD to play a significant part in being good stewards of the environment. The 25 by 40 foot blast bay has a reclamation system all across its floor. As the plastic media falls through the grates on the floor, the reclamation system separates it from the other coating residue that comes off an asset and cycles it back through to be blasted once again. The plastic media can be cycled about 10 times before it becomes so fine that is no longer useable.

This new blast booth provides Tobyhanna with expanded capabilities and is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028-2035, which has four focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2028 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense’s premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

Geisinger Health Plan Medicaid Coverage Expands Statewide

Geisinger Health Plan Medicaid coverage will be available to Medicaid-eligible recipients statewide beginning Sept. 1, 2022, as part of an expansion of HealthChoices, Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance managed care program.

“We’re excited to expand our services throughout Pennsylvania and make healthcare more affordable for eligible individuals,” said Kurt Wrobel, president of Geisinger Health Plan. “Our Medicaid plan, Geisinger Health Plan Family, helps ensure that people throughout the commonwealth have access to quality care.”

Geisinger Health Plan currently serves more than 200,000 Medicaid members. If you’re an eligible Medical Assistance recipient in Pennsylvania, GHP Family can provide comprehensive health insurance coverage. Many services are covered at no cost, including doctor’s visits, preventive services, diabetes care, prescription drugs and more. Coverage also includes valuable extras like health and wellness programs, mental health and substance abuse resources, online tools, and enhanced vision and dental benefits.

You must be enrolled in Medicaid with the Department of Human Services (DHS). You can then choose a plan and enroll online using the PA Enrollment Services website or by calling 800-440-3989 (TTY: 800-618-4225) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Learn more about Geisinger Health Plan Family Medicaid coverage at

Geisinger Plans Service Expansion in Tunkhannock

Geisinger recently acquired a property that will be the new site of Geisinger Tunkhannock and will allow for the relocation of existing services in the community, specialty expansion and future growth.

Located at 809 Hunter Highway (state Route 29) in Tunkhannock, across from Walmart, the new clinic will provide community members a more convenient care destination with easier access from the road and more available parking.

Primary care, women’s health, ear, nose and throat, hematology/oncology, pharmacy, laboratory, imaging, and ConvenientCare walk-in services, as well as outreach services in cardiology, neurology, general surgery and pulmonology will move to the new space.

Initial renovation of nearly 30,000 square feet is expected to begin in spring 2022 with completion expected by the end of 2022.

Hematology/oncology will be expanded in the new clinic, growing from three infusion chairs and two exam rooms to six infusion chairs and four exam rooms. Cardiology services will also be more available to residents of Wyoming County, increasing from two days per month to 12 days per month (three days per week).

“Our new Geisinger Tunkhannock clinic will be the next step forward in making better health easier for patients and members in Wyoming County,” said Kathy Lloyd, associate vice president of operations for the Geisinger Medicine Institute. “In this new space, we will continue providing the outstanding care and services we’ve offered the community for years with the room to expand and better coordinate primary and specialty care, if the need arises.”

Market research predicts Wyoming County’s 65 and older population will grow by 8 percent in the next five years. These individuals typically require a greater need for specialty services and more frequent visits to their primary care physicians to manage chronic conditions. This new location will make this type of care more accessible so patients can better manage their overall health and, ideally, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

LCEEC Announces Expansion of Conservation & Natural Resource Certificate Program

The Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center (LCEEC) has announced the expansion of its popular Conservation and Natural Resource (CNR) certificate program. Now, students can take the program at their Environmental Education Center in Covington Township or at their Towanda or Sunbury locations. The program is currently accepting applications for the fall semester and is set to begin in August 2021.

During this 15-week accelerated program, students will complete five undergraduate-level field biology courses at the LCEEC located on 211-acres of diverse habitat in Covington Township, Pa.

The curriculum focuses on the conservation and interpretation of our natural environment. The program includes instruction in environmental interpretation, wildlife management, freshwater ecosystems, dendrology, and ornithology.  Students will also experience both classroom and hands-on field training throughout the program.

The CNR certificate is appropriate for anyone seeking a career as a park ranger or in a related field. Students may also take individual courses. Courses are transferable into two or four-year degree programs. Upon graduation, students will receive a CNR certificate and transcripts of their undergraduate coursework.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2021 semester and financial aid is available. The CNR program is also approved for WIOA funding for displaced workers or individuals with high financial need. Please call PA Career Link for Lackawanna County to verify WIOA funding eligibility.

For more information about the program, please visit or contact Sharon Yanik-Craig at or call (570) 842-1506.

Lackawanna College Awarded $300K Grant to Expand NEPA Healthcare Workforce

Lackawanna College has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the NEPA Healthcare Foundation to help grow and retain northeastern Pennsylvania’s healthcare workforce through new and existing health sciences programs.

“This regional initiative deepens our relationships with NEPA health facilities, with a focus on providing an awareness of healthcare career opportunities and ensuring that Lackawanna College Health Sciences students continue to receive the high-quality education and licensure required to enter the field,” said Kelly Musti, Lackawanna College Dean of Health Sciences. “This grant will enable us to reach students at the beginning of their higher education journey, enhance our existing programs and establish additional programs in the areas that we serve.”

Lackawanna College will use the funding to launch the Healthcare Career Exploration Partnership in collaboration with local school districts, which will introduce students at the middle and high school levels to career opportunities in multiple healthcare disciplines. The main goal of this program will be to encourage qualified students to enroll into health sciences programs immediately after high school, ultimately increasing and diversifying the number of healthcare professionals trained and retained in NEPA.

Funds will also be used to support Lackawanna College’s existing health sciences programs and help establish Certified Clinical Medical Assistant programs at two of its locations.

“Through the Careers in Care initiative, the NEPA Health Care Foundation strives to make an impact to address the strains that the regional healthcare workforce is facing,” said James Clemente, NEPA Health Care Foundation Board Chair. “Introducing various healthcare fields to students at a younger age will ultimately help to increase the number of trained healthcare professionals in NEPA.”