Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Announces Staff Promotion

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s President, Karen Saunders, recently announced a staff promotion of Ms. Karen Ryczak from Director-Surveillance & Navigation Programs to Vice President- Programs & Surveillance.

 Karen Ryczak, RN, of Archbald, has over 30 years of experience in oncology and will provide organizational supervision and management of Community and Patient Services programs in her new role.  In addition, she will continue to manage the Cancer Surveillance Program, including providing an annual report on cancer to the community.  Ryczak, who attended the University of Scranton and is a graduate of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing has been an employee of the Cancer Institute since 2000. 

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute to Benefit from Basketball Tournament

Judi H Rock On committee member and son of Judi A. Perry Hartridge, Johnny Hartridge, is hosting a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament for grades 6-8 on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. at Holy Rosary Gym. The gym is located at 316 Williams St., Scranton. Team registration is $40 which includes a t-shirt for each player. There will be food available for purchase and raffle baskets. The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.  

For more team registration forms and event information, contact Johnny Hartridge at (570) 904-7604 or email him at Team registration is due by Friday, May 19.  

This event is in Memory of Judi A. Perry Hartridge. Judi Perry Hartridge, passed away from cancer in 2007. To honor her memory and love of music, her family and friends formed a committee – Judi H Rock On, to raise funds to fight the disease that claimed her life. Judi’s family held seven Judi H Rock On musical fundraisers. This event is the first sports related fundraiser in her memory.  

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives Donations

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute received a donation of $3,005 from AllOne Charities from their annual online Give Day campaign in December 2022. This event helps to boost fundraising efforts as the national day of giving by matching the first $1,000 raised. Additionally, AllOne Charities partnered with Coterra Energy to offer additional funds to organizations entitled Random Acts of Kindness. The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute was a recipient of $1,000 through this bonus. The Cancer Institute raised $4,005 total through the giving day.  Over $171,000 was raised through AllOne Charities Give Day for 49 local nonprofit organizations in NEPA. AllOne Charities Give Day occurs each year on Giving Tuesday as a local online fundraising event. The Cancer Institute has been participating since inception of this campaign in 2020.

NRCI Receives Donation from Toyota of Scranton

Toyota of Scranton has committed to support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute as a $1,000 Circle of Faith sponsor for the 20th annual CASUAL (Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) Day.  

CASUAL Day, set for Thursday, March 30, 2023, is a dress down day to raise awareness for colorectal cancer in northeast Pennsylvania.  On this day, participants dress casual while wearing specially designed socks and t-shirts.  

The focus of this awareness campaign is to have a casual conversation about colon cancer. All proceeds from the event stay in NEPA and go towards the Cancer Institute efforts to raise awareness and to support colorectal cancer prevention, early detection education and screenings.

For more information about CASUAL Day and how you can participate, please call the Cancer Institute at (570) 904-8808 or visit   

NRCI Announce New Ambassadors

The Board of Ambassadors announce Julie Eisenman, Edward Cosgrove and Atty Charles Volpe as new ambassadors to help support the Spirit of Hope Celebration that benefits the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s Community-Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program.  

Julie Eisenman is the current CEO and General Manager of WNEP-TV. She is responsible for overseeing the station’s content, sales, brand, and operations across all platforms, as well as defining and executing the station’s vision and strategy. Prior to WNEP-TV, Julie worked at WLTX, TEGNA’s CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina. In April 2020 while at WLTX, Eisenman was asked to serve in an additional role as content manager for VERIFY, TEGNA stations’ initiative to combat misinformation and disinformation. In August of 2020, Eisenman was promoted to director of content at WLTX and took on additional responsibility as a mentor for new news leaders within the TEGNA organization.  She is a Clarion University of Pennsylvania graduate with a degree in communications.  

Edward Cosgrove is an Outpatient Family Therapist at The Scranton Counseling Center. He also maintains a private practice with Dr. Tiffany Griffiths and Associates in Dunmore. Edward lives in Scranton and joins the Board of Ambassadors to honor the memory of his parents, Joanne and Edward Cosgrove. 

Attorney Charles J. Volpe is the President of Excalibur Insurance Management Services, LLC. which serves as the Attorney-in-Fact for H.A.R.I.E.. a large governmental insurer that provides coverage for 350 municipalities in Pennsylvania. Atty Volpe received his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Scranton in 1981. He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh in 1985. Atty Volpe resides in Waverly Township, PA with his wife Ellen and has three children and five grandchildren. 

Cancer Institute Names Chair for 30th Annual Cancer Survivors Day

Michele Frigoletto, has been named chair for the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s 30th Annual Cancer Survivors Day- Honoring, Remembering, Sharing.  

Michele (Mick) Frigoletto is a fourth-generation barber and owner of Mick’s Barbershop on Main Street in Honesdale. Using her professional skills, Mick created a fundraiser in 2011 to benefit NRCI called Buzz Off Cancer. Attendees get their hair, beards, mustaches, and undercuts buzzed for a donation. Since inception, Buzz Off Cancer has raised over $30,000. Mick is also a five-year breast cancer survivor. She loves being able to give back to her community to support local events and causes.  Mick lives in Cherry Ridge Township with her husband, Michael. She is a mother to Alexandra, Evan, Braden and Nathaniel and a grandmother to Waylon, Magnus, and Winifred. 

Cancer Survivors Day is a dual-location event set for Saturday, September 17 at McDade Park in Scranton and Saturday, September 24 at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre. The event registration begins at 10:00 a.m. and the program begins at 10:30 a.m.  It’s free of charge although pre-registration is encouraged. The events feature the Circle of Survivors, an activity during which every person in attendance can say a few words about their experience with cancer. Conversation and light refreshments provide an additional opportunity for connection and support. Cancer survivors, their families, and friends, as well as caregivers and healthcare professionals are invited to attend. For more information, go to or call the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at (570) 904-8808.

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives Donation

Riverside School District hosted their own colon cancer awareness t-shirt fundraiser in March to sell to students, teachers, and families in the school district as a way to support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s colon cancer education and awareness campaign, C.A.S.U.A.L. ( Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) Day.  

The fundraiser was led by a Riverside School District Mother, Kim Owens. Kim has been a longtime supporter of C.A.S.U.A.L. Day as her husband Dennis passed away from colon cancer at a young age. She started her own C.A.S.U.A.L. Day team to honor him. The school designed and sold their own colon cancer awareness t-shirt and donated the proceeds to support the work of the Cancer Institute. Several families in the Riverside school district have been affected by colon cancer.  

Proceeds from C.A.S.U.A.L. Day benefit the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute efforts to raise colorectal cancer awareness and support colorectal cancer screenings for low income, un/underinsured individuals. 

Spirit of Hope Celebration Raises $56,982 for Northeast Regional Cancer Institute

Front row, seated from left to right: Marta Gomes, Traci Fosnot, Leo Vergnetti, Board of Ambassadors Chairman, Karen M. Saunders, President, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Robin Long and Jo Ann Romano Hallesky.
Second row, standing from left to right: Vanessa Vergnetti-Thomas,Joe Van Wie, Nevin Gerber, Dino Campitelli, Richard P. Conaboy Jr. (2021 Tribute to Courage Honoree), William Davis, Kristie Hynoski, Clarence Baltrusaitis, Meghan Gagorik, and Amanda E. Marchegiani, Community Relations Coordinator, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.

The Spirit of Hope Celebration Board of Ambassadors and Associate Board of Ambassadors presented the Cancer Institute with a $56,982 check from their 2021 Spirit of Hope event.  

“On behalf of the Ambassadors who truly exhibit the ‘Spirit of Hope’ we are thrilled to present you with these funds to help individuals receive early detection and free screenings,” said Leo Vergnetti, Chairman of the Board of Ambassadors. 

The Board of Ambassadors, a group of community volunteers, hosted the ninth annual Spirit of Hope Celebration in November 2021 at Mohegan Sun Pocono. More than 300 people were in attendance. The event featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, and a live and silent auction. Richard P. Conaboy Jr. was the Tribute to Courage Honoree.  

Proceeds from the event benefited the Cancer Institute’s Community-Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program. This program helps low income and un/underinsured individuals in northeast Pennsylvania get their recommended colorectal, breast, cervical, and lung cancer screenings. 

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives Donation

The Plains Township Police Department collaborated with Futuristic Innovative Graphics in Kingston to specially design t-shirts as a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in October 2021. They raised $1,462.66 to support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, a local organization focused on easing the burden of cancer in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was important to the organizers to keep the proceeds local. This is the second year of this fundraiser.

Community members were able to purchase t-shirts online through Futuristic Innovative Graphics website. The fundraiser was promoted on social media through the police department, graphics company and the Cancer Institute’s designated pages. The Plains Township Police Department plan to host this fundraiser again in fall 2022.  

Northeast Cancer Institute Releases Latest Local Cancer Surveillance Report

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, a local community-based nonprofit organization, has released the latest report on cancer, “Cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania: Incidence and Mortality for Common Cancers”.  The report is available at:  

This unique, locally focused report was compiled by Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Surveillance, Karen Ryczak, RN and Medical Director, Samuel Lesko, MD, MPH. The report documents that both incidence and mortality rates for cancer are significantly higher in NEPA than the U.S. It also identifies those cancer sites for which there is a disparity in either incidence or mortality. In NEPA, we continue to see statistically significantly higher incidence rates for lung and other tobacco related cancers, in both men and women, compared to the U.S. Of note, lung cancer screening is available and has shown to reduce mortality from this cancer.  The use of lung cancer screening is slowly increasing but remains low.  Individuals with a smoking history should discuss lung cancer screening eligibility, benefits and risks with their primary care provider. 

The goal in sharing these data is to raise awareness across the community and to promote collaborative efforts to reduce the risk of select cancers through healthy lifestyle choices and adherence to proper screening guidelines. The report offers important insight for Northeastern Pennsylvania residents, health professionals, and government leaders. 

For additional information or if you would like a hard copy of the full report, please feel free to contact the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at (570) 904-8808 or