The Rotary Club of Scranton Hosts World Polio Day

The Rotary Club of Scranton will hold an evening panel discussion on World Polio Day, this Tuesday, October 24, 2023. The event will be held at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) located at 525 Pine Street, Scranton. The panel discussion will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with the last half hour reserved for public questions. Panelists will include world, national and regional leaders from the fields of healthcare, higher education and government. Serving on the panel is Michael K. McGovern who, as Chair of the Rotary International PolioPlus Committee, is at the forefront of the battle to eradicate polio throughout the world. Topics of discussion will include pandemic preparedness, immunization/vaccine accessibility, critical first response issues and current global polio eradication efforts. 

Joseph A. Riccardo, Jr., Foundation Chair of the Rotary Club of Scranton joined Scranton Rotary a few years ago and is very proud of Rotary’s international mission to eradicate polio. 

“Similar to 1980 when smallpox was finally eradicated, I have a desire to be part of what would be only the second time in history to accomplish something of this magnitude. I am honored to be a part of a great mission, working with wonderfully driven people who are all pressing toward a common goal for the human race, in making this world a healthier, better place. So much has already been done toward this goal. I believe we are at the last mile of making this a reality. I like that Rotary is working together on an international level to eradicate polio. We are people of action,” he said. 

In addition to the evening panel discussion, Joseph initiated bringing two hundred high school students to the medical school on World Polio Day as part of a young leaders public health summit.

“Our goal is for this to not be limited to polio, but rather to involve motivated high school students who are interested in STEM topics to create a young leaders’ laboratory of sorts. The students will be presented with issues of local and global impact, to engage in problem-solving discussions and model exercises that place them in the roles of public health officials, private researchers and community leaders. We hope it is a call to action within the community,” said Joseph. 

Contact Joe A. Riccardo, Jr., at 570-904-0166 or by email at for more information about World Polio Day.