Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Raffle Supports Medical Student Scholarships

Tickets for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Super 50/50 Raffle are available now through Nov. 29 in support of medical student scholarships.

The medical school’s Student Scholarship Fund helps recruit medical students with diverse backgrounds and financial means, so they can train to be the care providers of tomorrow.

Raffle tickets cost $100 each, and only 1,000 will be sold. Multiple people can purchase one or more tickets and split the costs (and hopefully, the winnings).

The drawing will take place on Nov. 29 at 1 p.m., and the winner does not have to be present. Tickets can be purchased in person using cash or check only at these locations:

  • Geisinger Health Foundation offices, 529 Mill St., Danville, 3rd floor
  • Executive suite at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 529 Pine St., Scranton

In accordance with PA State Games of Chance regulations, no credit cards will be accepted. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting and following the mailing instructions at the top of the purchase form.

SGOC License #202310

SGOC Permit #202328

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Hosts Carnival-themed Fundraiser

An adults-only night at the carnival will support student scholarships for Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Moonlight on the Midway will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave. The event will feature classic carnival fare, a beer and wine selection, and beloved childhood amusement games with bigger, better prizes.

Culinary Creations by Metz will staff concession stations offering elevated dishes inspired by traditional carnival food. Entertainment will include sideshow performances, and a silent auction will feature items from local businesses.

Tickets cost $125 and can be purchased at Attendees must be 21 and older, and attire is casual. Sponsorship and one-time donation opportunities are also available on the event page.

For more information, please contact Foundation Events at or 570-214-0400.

Upcoming Healthcare Panel Discussion

The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Myers, Brier & Kelly, LLP, and Maternal and Family Health Services, Inc. invite you to the 2023 HealthCare Panel Discussion.

Rep. Joanna McClinton, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will engage in a dynamic and informed dialogue with Dr. Julie Byerley, the Dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and Maria Montoro Edwards, Ph.D., President of Maternal and Family Health, which serves over 90,000 citizens annually in 17 counties.

The panel will discuss workforce challenges and maternal family health issues. The panel will be moderated by WVIA’s Tracey Matisak.

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Raises Money for Students

Braving the weather for a good cause,golfers enjoyed camaraderie and a round at one of northeastern Pennsylvania’s most scenic courses on June 12 while donating to bolster the future of health care in the region.

The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Golf Classic, sponsored by PNC Bank, was held at Glenmaura National Golf Club and raised money to support medical student scholarships.

“We’re grateful to everyone who participated in the Golf Classic or donated to the Student Scholarship Fund, and to PNC Bank, whose sponsorship helped make this event possible,” said Julie Byerley, M.D., M.P.H, president of Geisinger College of Health Sciences, dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and executive vice president and chief academic officer of Geisinger. “Their generosity lays a foundation for our future medical students, physicians and the continued care of the communities we serve.”

With an aging population in the region and a national physician shortage, recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds and financial means is critical to providing care locally and nationally. Geisinger’s Student Scholarship Fund helps educate and train doctors who can help close the physician gap, some of whom will serve northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Geisinger to Host Education Event: Medical Marijuana in PA

As part of its ongoing series of community health education programs, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine will host “Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania” on Thursday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the school’s Medical Sciences Building at 525 Pine Street.

This session will inform the public on:

  • Identify evidence for benefits of medical marijuana use
  • The risks of medical marijuana use
  • How physicians certify patients for medical marijuana use

Victor O. Kolade, MD, MS, clinical professor of medicine, will discuss the latest research on medical marijuana and explore data regarding its efficacy for certain health conditions. There will also be time for questions.

Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Kolade is an internist at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

See for details:

To register visit

The Chamber Celebrates its 154th Annual Dinner

Keynote Speaker Harold Ford Jr used the Chamber’s mission statement to make a connection with personal, professional, and community relationships

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce held its 154th Annual Dinner, presented by PNC Bank, on Thursday, May 24, at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center in downtown Scranton. With over 400 in attendance, special guests included U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak, and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti. The Keynote Speaker was former Congressman, television personality, Executive Vice President, and Regional President of New York City for PNC Bank, Harold Ford, Jr.

The Chamber’s President, Bob Durkin, stated, “The Chamber Annual Dinner was a chance to celebrate the hard work of so many volunteers, partners, and public officials who lent their support to the business community of northeastern Pennsylvania over this past year. And we were equally pleased to have had a guest of the stature of Harold Ford sharing his experiences and thoughts on the important economic and political issues of the day.”

The event included a networking dinner followed by the Chamber program where newly elected board chair, Attorney Jerry Musheno offered remarks and honored former board chair, Deborah Kolsovsky.

Kolsovsky has been a part of The Chamber community since 2012 and held numerous leadership roles within the board and chamber affiliates. She is the executive vice president at PNC Bank and has been a forward thinker in her leadership to The Chamber over the years. Attorney Musheno began his duties as board chair this May.

Special remarks were given by Dr. Julie Byerley from Geisinger, followed by Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber. Durkin presented a year-in-review presentation, which displayed The Chamber, its partners, and volunteers’ success over the last year. A few notable points are that The Chamber has a membership of 1,500 plus businesses and organizations; 2300 attendees to all its events; $43 million in community investment; eight graduates from the first TechCelerator program in Lackawanna County; $1.2 million deployed through loans to small businesses; 100 high school students in attendance at the Workforce Summit; and $68,000 community investment through Leadership Lackawanna.

Following the year in review, Durkin highlighted two Chamber employees retiring in 2023: Karen Durkin, a chamber operations assistant who has served the organization for 17 years, and Virginia Goodrich, an executive assistant who has served the organization for 58 years this June. Goodrich is reportedly the longest-serving employee of a chamber of commerce in the United States.  

Pete Danchak, northeast PA regional president of PNC Bank, offered remarks and introduced Harold Ford Jr, the keynote speaker. Following opening remarks, Ford. was joined by Durkin on the stage for a line of questions and answers about the current political climate, the debt ceiling, banking, and the federal reserve, and the idea of attracting, sustaining, and growing personally, professionally, and as a community.

Chamber board chair Musheno concluded the evening with remarks in anticipation of another successful year in 2023-2024. “With programming planned out, the volunteers and staff of The Chamber are ready to make an even greater impact as we work to attract, sustain, and grow businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania,” says Attorney Jerry Musheno, board chair of The Chamber.

View the online photo album from the 154th Annual Dinner.

Photo from Left to Right: Pete Danchak, Harold Ford, Jr, Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, and Bob Durkin

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit

8 Years of EMPOWERING Women Regionally

Scranton, PA—The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its eighth annual EMPOWER NEPA Women’s Leadership Conference on Thursday, April 13, at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. A full-day conference, EMPOWER featured nationally recognized keynote speakers, Melissa Gilbert and Robyn Hatcher and 32 regional breakout session speakers. Over 800 attendees participated in the conference.   

Robyn Hatcher, international speaker and communications professional, said in her breakfast keynote, “Fake it till you make it; I hate that phrase; instead, you should Own it While You Hone it.” Hatcher continues, “We were all born with the gifts, the talents, the abilities to make that powerful impact; we just need to own your values.”

Themed “Fearless Together,” EMPOWER is the premier Women’s Leadership Conference in NEPA. It highlights the ability all women have to create positive change in their communities and in their own lives – both professionally and personally – while recognizing the extraordinary power that exists when women come together to support each other.

Presenting Sponsor, Dr. Julie Byerley from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

EMPOWER’s lunch keynote speaker, Melissa Gilbert, known for her iconic role in the classic TV series, “Little House on the Prairie,” shared, “I was very excited to hear about [the conference], and to speak [.] Whatever I can do to empower young and older women. My primary focus is bringing awareness to nurturing and empowering women over 50.”

EMPOWER 2023 included a Wellness Studio that allowed conference attendees to attend yoga, Zumba, stretching, and other fitness experiences throughout the day. In addition, there was a Wellness Marketplace and a Vendor Marketplace where attendees could network or engage with vendors who were selling products or services.

The conference concluded with a networking reception.

On the right is Melissa Gilbert, Lunch Keynote Speaker, and on the left is Robyn Hatcher, Breakfast Keynote Speaker

The 32 regional speakers included Kate Sholonski, Guzal Mustafina, Dr. Christine Kiesinger, Elizabeth Keiper, Deborah Kolsovsky, Susan Unvarsky, Jasmine Willois, Laura Ducceschi, Karolyn Demarco, Mandie Hendricks, Kimberlee Greenleaf, Megan Stone, Noelle Krempasky, Holly Pilcavage, Alex Grover, Dr. Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez, Maria Traino, Danielle Weinschenk, Kim Drumgo, Dr. Katie Leonard, Nicole Strauser, Jill Valentini, Susan Kelly, June Webre, Elizabeth Nagy, and Marlyn Kissner. While Wellness Instructors included Chelsea Manganaro, Talia Walsh, Jackie Kerekes, Edna Cementina, Christie Estadt, and Michael Normandia.

Empower 2024 will be held on April 25, 2024.

The featured image is the EMPOWER Lunch Sponsor, PNC Bank, local team: from the left, Jennifer Stull, Joyce Petrenchak, Lauren Allen, Angela Mariotti, Melissa Gilbert, Kathy Dunsmuir, Debbie Kolsovsky, Nicole Costanzo, Elise Hill.

Check out the EMPOWER 2023 Photo Album

Watch EMPOWER 2023 Keynote, Breakout, and Panel Sessions Videos

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit

Geisinger Community School of Medicine Virtual Event Raises Money for Student Scholarships

The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSoM) Black Ties for White Coats event was held virtually this fall and raised in excess of $260,000 in commitments.

Proceeds from the Gala support student scholarships and, this year, the creation of the Dean Steven J. Scheinman Endowment for Student Scholarships, in honor of Dr. Scheinman who is retiring at the end of December after serving for nine years as GCSoM’s dean.

“Finances are the number one barrier to medical school education and these funds will help break down those barriers for GCSoM students and build up the medical care we offer to our community and beyond,” said Virginia McGregor, chair of GCSoM’s Board of Directors.

In addition, the Gala honors community members, and past students and faculty who have made an impact on and spread the school’s values to the greater community. The 2021 honorees are highlighted with videos on the Gala’s event website, Rachel Brutico-Giannotti, MD and her husband Dr. Vincent Giannotti, MD received the Founders honor. The pair met at the school in 2011 and both continue to practice medicine with Geisinger in northeast Pennsylvania.

Na Tosha Gaston, MD, PhD, FAAN received the Innovation award. Dr. Gaston has served as the assistant dean for equity and inclusion and as an associate professor of research and medicine at GCSoM. Alana Roberts, regional affairs director of PPL Foundation accepted the Well-being honor on behalf of the foundation. PPL is a long-time supporter of GCSoM and is committed to education in science, technology, engineering and math.

Charles J. Bannon, MD, and his son Joseph “Jay” Bannon, MD, FACS, received the community honor for their longtime commitment to the school. Dr. Charles Bannon was one of the Founders of the school while Dr. Jay Bannon has served the school in many roles during his career.

Dr. Scheinman gave a special thanks to the donors and sponsors for the event.

“I am sincerely grateful to our donors and sponsors for your dedication and commitment to our students year after year and for supporting this year’s virtual celebration,” he said. “It is wonderful that we can offer generous financial assistance from philanthropy, and for that, we cannot thank you enough.”

There is still time to contribute to the Dean Scheinman Scholarship Endowment to recognize his years of service to the school and honor his retirement. Visit the Gala site ( for more information and to view the Gala program book and videos from all of the honorees.

New President and Dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Dr. Julie Byerly, M.D., M.P.H

Geisinger announced that Julie Byerley, M.D., M.P.H., will serve as the new president and dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM), executive vice president and chief academic officer, effective January 1, 2022. She succeeds Steven Scheinman, M.D., who has served as the president and dean of the college since 2012. Scheinman is set to retire at the end of this year.

“I am thrilled to announce Julie Byerley as our school’s next president and dean,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., president and CEO of Geisinger. “In addition to being a highly respected leader in education and her many career accomplishments, Dr. Byerley’s passion for academic excellence, research, and teaching will be critical to helping us realize our vision: to make better health easier for the communities we serve. We couldn’t be more excited to have her join our team and lead GCSOM into the future.”

“We’re confident Dr. Byerley will work to assure the quality of GCSOM’s educational programs and accreditation that will not only ground students with the very best in healthcare education, research and innovation, but will instill her passion for patient outcomes that will ultimately benefit our communities for generations to follow,” said Virginia McGregor, chair of the GCSOM board. “We want to thank Dr. Scheinman for his leadership throughout the years and vision in growing GCSOM from a small community institution into the nationally respected medical school it is today. We look forward to working with Dr. Byerley to continue this tradition of excellence at GCSOM and to build upon the foundation that Dr. Scheinman helped us establish.”

“I’m honored and ecstatic to be joining as the new president and dean of GCSOM and Geisinger’s chief academic officer,” said Dr. Byerley. “The school has a well-known national reputation for being innovative, community centric and patient focused while providing hands-on education and training that prepares students for careers in healthcare. And our research institution has long been recognized as one of the most groundbreaking teams in medicine utilizing population and patient-based data. I am eager to serve and work closely with students, staff, researchers and faculty to further the success of the school, our research environment and all of the academic and training programs that we offer to make better health easier for everyone our students, alumni and researchers will impact throughout their careers.”

As the new dean, Byerley will provide visionary leadership for GCSOM, assuring excellence, innovation, and a focus on learners, patients, and the promotion of health. She will continue to establish GCSOM as a leader in the industry and model the community service mission of the organization.

In addition to her GCSOM responsibilities, as chief academic officer, Dr. Byerley will leverage her experience from a world-class academic and research institution at the University of North Carolina (UNC) to also oversee the management of educational experiences for learners throughout Geisinger, including graduate medical education, nursing, pharmacy, advanced practitioners and other health professions.

She will also be responsible for overseeing Geisinger’s world-renowned research environment that includes more than 50 full-time research faculty and more than 30 clinician investigators responsible for groundbreaking medical advancements like the MyCode Precision Health Initiative and more. Geisinger’s areas of research expertise span precision health, genomics, informatics, data science, implementation science, outcomes research, health services research, bioethics and participation in hundreds of clinical trials each year.

Byerley has been with the UNC School of Medicine since 2002, serving recently as vice dean for academic affairs where she oversaw the school’s educational enterprise and the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development. Since January 2021 she has served as interim dean of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.

Byerley earned her bachelor’s degree in physics and a teaching certificate from Rhodes College and attended medical school at Duke University. She completed her pediatrics residency and chief residency at UNC-Chapel Hill where she also earned a master’s degree in public health with a focus on maternal and child health.