The Scranton Counseling Center Launches Crisis Unit

The Scranton Counseling Center marked a significant milestone with the successful launch of its Crisis Receiving Stabilization Unit on January 5th, 2024. This facility represents a crucial advancement in mental health care for Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties, providing both overnight and crisis residential support for adults in a secure environment for up to 72 hours. The center specializes in delivering immediate crisis counseling and creating personalized safety plans, catering to adults from the mentioned counties. The emphasis on direct and personalized care reflects the center’s commitment to addressing mental health concerns promptly and effectively.

Importantly, the center adopts a no-appointment-necessary approach, eliminating barriers to access and ensuring individuals can seek immediate support during times of crisis. This proactive stance aligns with the center’s dedication to making mental health services readily available, underscoring the importance of timely assistance for those in need. The launch of this facility signifies not only a significant step forward in mental health care but also a tangible commitment to fostering a responsive and accessible support system within the community.

Scranton Counselor Center Receives Donations

Scranton Counseling Center recently received a $10,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support the Center’s ongoing employee training and professional development. From left: Pete Danchak, Regional President, PNC Bank; Angela Ferri, Assistant Vice President, PNC Bank; Dr. Sarah Wodder, President and CEO, Scranton Counseling Center; Douglas Hein, Director of Development, Scranton Counseling Center; and Kevin Rogers, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank.

Furthermore, The Moses Taylor Foundation has awarded Scranton Counseling Center a grant in the amount of $132,300 to help purchase seven Subaru Legacy sedans to be used by staff in the Center’s Blended Case Management Program. From left: Lisa Savero-Mooney, Moses Taylor Foundation Program Officer; Danielle Breslin, Moses Taylor Foundation President and CEO; Dr. Sarah Wodder, Scranton Counseling Center President and CEO; Douglas Hein, Scranton Counseling Center Director of Development; and Nick Deneen, Scranton Counseling Center Director of Case Management.

Scranton Counseling Center Receives Donation

Scranton Counseling Center recently received a $25,000 grant from The Margaret Briggs Foundation to help fund the Center’s blight remediation / parking lot construction capital project.  From left: Kevin Rogers, The Margaret Briggs Foundation; Dr. Sarah Wodder, President and CEO, Scranton Counseling Center; and Douglas Hein, Director of Development, Scranton Counseling Center.

New Hires and Promotions at Scranton Counseling Center


Melanie is the coordinator of intake and emergency services. She has been employed at Scranton Counseling Center since 2014. Prior to her position, Melanie worked as a case manager, and was part of Lackawanna County’s Mental Health Court Program. Additionally, she served as a crisis worker with the focus of helping those in urgent need throughout the area. Melanie believes in the leadership and the mission of Scranton Counseling Center to continue providing the utmost quality and compassionate care.

Katlyn graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work from Bloomsburg University in 2020. She has been employed at the center since 2020 in the crisis and intake department. Currently, Katlyn is the coordinator of crisis services. She is passionate about helping individuals maintain their independence and get connected to needed services.

New Hires

Connie comes to Scranton Counseling Center as Controller of Finance. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting from King’s College and brings with her over 14 years of experience which includes a combination of public and private industry accounting.

Doug has over 20 years of municipal and non-profit accounting and grant writing experience. He is responsible for grant writing, fund raising and community outreach for Scranton Counseling Center. Doug believes in building strong community partnerships and will work to promote the Center in Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties as well as the surrounding areas. He holds a BS in Accounting and a MBA in Business Management, both from Bloomsburg University.

Tammy serves as the Program Coordinator of Katie’s Place Clubhouse through Scranton Counseling Center. She has a strong background working within the mental health field, community support, and other social service organizations throughout the community. She is passionate about serving youth and adults in their pursuit of wellness and independence. 

Ashley has worked in the mental health field for 20 years with adults, adolescents and children across inpatient, outpatient and residential settings. She has training in trauma-informed care and utilizes a collaborative and compassionate approach to counseling in an effort to foster hope, healing and resilience. Ashley is passionate and committed to providing a safe, supportive and nurturing environment; one that fosters growth, healing and connection in the lives of the individuals we serve.

Northeastern PA Native Returns as New CEO of Scranton Counseling Center

After a national search, Scranton Counseling Center has selected Sarah Wodder, Psy.D. as the organization’s new President and CEO. Dr. Wodder, a northeastern Pennsylvania native, will be returning to the area to lead the community based, non-profit behavioral health organization.

Dr. Wodder most recently served as an Executive Director of Edison Court, Inc., a Doylestown, PA child and adolescent residential and outpatient treatment facility for those with behavioral health issues. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, and her Master of Science in Community Counseling from the University of Scranton. She was awarded her Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia. She will assume her new responsibilities on September first, relieving Sal Santoli, the interim CEO, who will remain in a senior management position with the Center.

“We are delighted to bring in Dr. Wodder to lead Scranton Counseling Center,” said Karen Clifford, chair of the CEO search committee. “Sarah’s commitment to quality, collaboration and team building, and her inclusive approach to partnership development will serve the Center and the community we serve well as we continue to grow and evolve in our new campus,” Karen concluded.

“Having grown up in the Scranton area with deep roots in this community, I am thrilled to be chosen to lead Scranton Counseling Center and its professional staff of behavioral health specialists,” related Sarah Wodder. “My previous outpatient and residential experiences will be valuable in leading the devoted team at the Center in providing exceptional service to those in need,” she added.

Dr. Wodder was selected after a four-month selection process that provided the search committee a significant number of regional and national applications for consideration. Philip Condron, the board chair of Scranton Counseling Center, relayed, “Dr. Wodder’s focus on our client services, staff training, and quality improvement enabled her to stand out among an outstanding list of applicants for the CEO position. Her background, experience and previous successes positioned her as our strong selection. We’re thrilled she accepted our offer.”

Scranton Counseling Center is a community based, private nonprofit behavioral health provider serving children, adolescents, adults and families with mental health and substance abuse issues in Lackawanna Susquehanna and surrounding counties. The center recently moved into a new $15 million campus of facilities on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Cherry Street in South Scranton.

Scranton Counseling Center Unveiled New $15 Million Headquarters in South Scranton

A seven-year vision to develop a new state-of-the-art campus for Scranton Counseling Center became a reality Thursday at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Cherry Street in south Scranton. The ribbon cutting for the new $15 million multi-building complex that provides counseling services to mostly uninsured and underinsured consumers suffering with behavioral health and substance use disorders was held in front of the new campus.

The historic site originally housed The Scranton Button Company, and later became the home of Capitol Records. The conversion to Scranton Counseling Center’s new headquarters preserved the main and adjoining buildings while modernizing the structures and significantly upgrading the service spaces, including everything from the windows to all building systems for the nonprofit’s thousands of annual consumers and staff.

The Counseling Center has moved from its previous cramped and outdated space on Adams Avenue – its home for over 3 decades – that was previously a Sears store. “This bright and modern new home is welcoming, inviting and functional,” relayed Dr. Edward F. Heffron, who retired as president and CEO of the Counseling Center last week. “This was a seven-year labor of love that has many supporters and facilitators to get us to today’s event,” he continued. “This opening is the goal that kept me energized and focused during that time. Once we opened the doors, I felt my mission had been completed.”

Jefferson-Werner LLC is the developer and Hemmler and Camayd the architects of the project that was aided with state and federal funding, including a $4 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital grant and $7 million in new markets tax credits. Grants from The Moses Taylor Foundation, The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Hawk Family Foundation, The Margaret Briggs Foundation, Peoples Security Bank and Trust, and Community Support Group added to the financing support of Commonwealth Cornerstone Group and PNC Bank.

A tribute wall planned for the first-floor hallway of the new facility recognizes the various individuals and groups who aided with the project. The tribune wall names the Scranton Counseling Center board members, the elected officials who supported the funding, the foundations and financial entities who are invested, and the architects, engineers and contractors who completed the work.

Developer Charles Jefferson said, “Some projects are more rewarding than others to complete. This campus renovation is a shining example of improving the needs of the marginalized individuals in our community, preserving and modernizing a historic building, revitalizing this section of south Scranton and connecting a wide and diverse stream of funding to make it happen… in a single focus.”

Scranton Counseling Center is a community-based private nonprofit behavioral health provider serving children, adolescents, adults and families with mental health and substance use disorder issues in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and surrounding counties. The Center is northeast Pennsylvania’s largest integrated provider with over seven decades of quality accessible services for those in need.

Scranton Counseling Center Executive Announces Retirement Plans

For over two decades as President and CEO, Edward F. Heffron, Ed.D. has overseen the operations of the Scranton Counseling Center, the largest, fully integrated, comprehensive behavioral healthcare center in northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Heffron has announced his retirement from Scranton Counseling Center effective March 31st this year.

In addition to managing Scranton Counseling Center since 1999, Dr. Heffron has also managed a specialized 54-bed personal care home and a large, freestanding outpatient psychiatric private practice, both under the umbrella of the Counseling Center. Those responsibilities encompass a workforce of over 250 employees and generate almost $18 million in annual revenue.

The Center is completing a $15 million state-of-the-art adaptive reuse and renovation of a historically significant 3-building complex in South Scranton that will become the new Scranton Counseling Center campus for behavioral health services in late March. The new headquarters will allow all the Center’s programs and services to be fully integrated into the new facility with sufficient space for future growth. The campus will provide easy access on a bus route, on-site parking for employees, consumers and their families, off-street passenger drop-off and pickup, and a new facility thoughtfully and specifically designed to best meet the needs of both consumers and staff.

“The new headquarters for Scranton Counseling Center has been a 5-year project of love,” Dr. Heffron explained. “Once we get the new campus open and start providing services, we will combine behavioral health, physical health and a pharmacy at one convenient location for our clients. Our staff will have the latest and most modern workplace, and our consumers will benefit from the bright, modern layout and uplifting environment.”

Dr. Heffron added, “This headquarters project has been an additional focus of our board and management team for quite some time. Completing it is the capstone event of my career.”

In addition to those significant achievements during Dr. Heffron’s 21-year leadership of Scranton Counseling Center, he has also

  • Formed The Assertive Community Treatment Team operational 24/7 serving individuals with serious and persistent metal illness who are high users of mental health services
  • Established a licensed Substance Use Disorder Program serving adolescents and adults
  • Launched an Intercept Model/Early Diversion Program to divert non-serious criminal offenders with mental health and/or substance use disorder issues to treatment, rather than incarceration
  • Established state certified, Peer and Recovery Specialist Services to engage individuals in recovery from mental illness in the community, and assist consumers experiencing substance use disorder issues 24/7 through the Geisinger CMC ER
  • Expanded 24-hour crisis emergency services to Susquehanna County and northern Lackawanna County
  • Initiated innovative school-based and community behavioral health services to 21 school buildings in five school districts
  • Became the first regional behavioral health provider to integrate physical health with behavioral health services
  • Implemented the only Decision Support Center in Lackawanna County to enable individuals to attain a greater role in their treatment and medication regime in collaboration with their therapist and medication prescriber

An Executive Search Committee will commence a review of internal candidates and external applicants for the President/CEO position. During the transition, Sal Santoli, MS, a long-term manager with over four decades of service with the Center, will oversee the SCC’s operations as Interim CEO as of April 1st. He will coordinate the efforts of the current Center management team of Wendy Reed, LCSW, COO, and Jeff Novak, MBA, the CFO.

Scranton Counseling Center is a community based, private nonprofit behavioral health provider serving children, adolescents, adults and families with mental health and substance use disorder issues in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and surrounding counties.

The Center is northeast Pennsylvania’s largest integrated provider with over seven decades of quality accessible services for those in need.