Allied Services Integrated Health System
Julie Buratti Brislin, MBA, NHA, PCA joined the health system as the administrator for the Center City Skilled Nursing Facility located at 80 E. Northampton St. Brislin received her degree in business administration from Drexel University followed by her Master in Business Administration degree from Northeastern University. Brislin holds certifications as both a nursing home administrator and personal care administrator and brings more than 12 years of experience to her new leadership role in Wilkes-Barre.
Nicole Fueshko, RN, BSN was hired as the director of nursing for the Center City Skilled Nursing Facility. Fueshko received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Scranton. With more than 25 years experience in long-term care and director roles, Fueshko brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position.
Thomas Kravulski, MS, CCC-SLP, joined the health system as director of rehabilitation at the Center City Skilled Nursing Facility. Kravulski earned his Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders from Penn State University and a master’s in speech-language pathology from Towson University. In addition to his role as director, Kravulski also serves as a speech-language pathologist where he addresses concerns with speech, language, cognition and swallowing disorders.
Rebecca McMahon, MS, OTR/L, was hired as director of rehabilitation at the Meade Street Skilled Nursing Facility in Wilkes-Barre. McMahon earned her Master of Science in occupational therapy from Misericordia University. Along with being an occupational therapist, in her role as director, McMahon will work closely with the interdisciplinary team assisting with developing goals and discharge planning for short-term residents, and maintenance, quality of life and care-planning for long-term residents.
Association of Fundraising Professionals
The organization’s Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter awarded Lauren Pluskey McLain, MBA with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award.
McLain has more than 16 years of professional fundraising and nonprofit leadership experience. She has raised millions of dollars in this region to support higher education, the arts and now health care. She has been involved with the NEPA chapter for 16 years, serving in several leadership roles including president. She’s now the chapter’s membership chair.
In September 2022, McLain became the senior director of corporate and foundation relations at the Geisinger Health Foundation. In this role, she’s helping create a new corporate and foundation giving program to support the mission of Geisinger. She is responsible for the cultivation and solicitation of national, regional and local foundations and corporate entities.
The NEPA chapter awarded Maryla Peters Scranton with the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.
Scranton has been an inspiring activist, employee and volunteer for numerous community, regional, state and national nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years.
Scranton has exhibited significant generosity in charitable giving, provided insightful leadership and directed by example. She has planned, executed and consulted on comprehensive annual and capital campaigns that resulted in millions of dollars raised.
She began volunteering early on while completing her advanced education at Penn State University. These combined interests and accomplishments led to a long and successful career as a fundraising executive and consultant for nonprofit entities.
They were both honored at the Philanthropy Day Luncheon.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The organization has announced the appointment of Joshua Bradley to regional manager, Upper Susquehanna.
As regional manager, Bradley will lead entrepreneurial and advanced manufacturing activities in the Upper Susquehanna region of Pennsylvania, including the counties of Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan and Tioga. He will develop and implement programs and projects to facilitate economic development efforts on behalf of Ben Franklin Northeast and in support of other partners regionally. Additionally, he will manage and develop the incubator program at Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center.
Bradley’s career previously focused on commercial lending and business development.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Properties
Realtor Kathy Casarin has been appointed to the North Scranton Rotary Board of Directors.
City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation
The department, operator of Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport, has announced Jacqueline Lewis as its new deputy director of external affairs, a newly created role that reports to Chief Administrative Officer Delicsha Wilds and is a member of the airports’ senior management.
An attorney and strategist, Lewis earned her JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law and has served as a member of the Army Reserves. She has 25 years of experience in legal analysis, problem solving, relationship-building and administration. She formerly led the LEADERSHIP Philadelphia Keepers program. Previously, she served as surety counsel at Zurich and Reliance Insurance companies, troubleshooting complex construction and performance bond disputes with a team of lawyers, engineers and accountants.
Ray Roundtree has been named senior vice president of the corporation’s Keystone Region, overseeing the organization’s operational, strategic and financial performance across areas serving western, central and northeast Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia and the Maryland panhandle. The region is headquartered in Pittsburgh, where Roundtree is based.
Roundtree joined the company in 2000 as director of business operations for Chester and Lancaster counties and has since served in several financial management leadership roles during his 22 years at the company. He most recently served as vice president of finance for the corporation’s Beltway Region, which is based in Baltimore.
Comitz Law Firm LLC
Attorney Ashley Zingaretti has received the 2023 NAOPIA Award, naming her as one of the “Top 10 under 40” in the State of Pennsylvania. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys is an organization devoted to recognizing top personal injury attorneys nationwide.
Zingaretti is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. She is also admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is involved in local, state and national organizations, including the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Lackawanna Bar Association and the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association.
Three area residents have accepted professional positions with the local software development company.
Tariq Digan is the company’s newest client care specialist. In this role, Digan will work with the firm’s software clients, assisting them with configuring their software, training end users and addressing any issues that may arise. Digan, who resides in Milton, holds a Bachelor of Science in information technology degree from Central Penn College. He served in the United States Navy as an aviation ordinance man and was previously employed as a sales associate at GameStop.
Angelina Medashefski, who resides in Berwick, has accepted a position as a sales and marketing professional. In this role, she will represent the company’s utility billing and citizen engagement software to municipalities around the country. Medashefski is a Bloomsburg University graduate with a degree in accounting. She previously worked as a personal banker at Citizens Bank and has held sales and management positions with companies in the cellphone industry.
Max Bradley also joined the company as a sales and marketing professional. Bradley, a Bloomsburg resident, will also represent the company’s utility billing and citizen engagement software. He was previously general manager of Brookside Pups and Stuff’s Williamsport location where he was the firm’s top sales person.
Elan Gardens Senior Living
Cindy Mauriello has been hired as director of admissions and marketing at Elan Gardens Senior Living, A Jewish Senior Life Community.
In her role, Mauriello will be a community liaison and develop outreach programs and activities. She will also oversee the often-challenging admissions process.
She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York, with a degree in business and a minor in marketing.
Mauriello began her health care career in 2006 at the Berwick Hospital Center as the Business Development professional and spent the past 16 years working with Commonwealth Health System in various roles, including sales and business development.
Eye Care Specialists
Retina specialist Anthony Andrews, M.S., M.D., has joined the team of fellowship trained ophthalmologists.
Andrews received a BS and MS in molecular biochemistry and biophysics at Yale University and medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a vitreoretinal medical and surgical fellowship along with a vitreoretinal research fellowship at Yale University. He has been practicing ophthalmology since 1999, primarily in New York.
Andrews specializes in disease of the retina and vitreous, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, retinal laser treatment and retinal vascular disease.
The office’s highly trained ophthalmologists specialize in advanced cataract surgery, laser vision correction, dry eye management, macular degeneration, diabetic eye care, disease of the retina, glaucoma management and surgery, cornea disease and oculoplastic surgery.
The health network has recognized 10 employees who go above and beyond in their dedication to patients at work and in the community with the Caring Award and nursing scholarship in honor of Susan M. Robel.
Created to honor the legacy of Sue Robel, the former chief nursing officer and co-chief patient experience officer, the two awards are presented annually to recognize network employees’ commitment to providing the highest level of patient care and serving others in their roles at work and in the community.
The Caring Award recognizes Geisinger employees who are dedicated to caring for others in the workplace and beyond. Like Robel, who defined collegiality and was an exemplary colleague to all, these people demonstrate a steadfast commitment to serving others and are incredible advocates in our communities. They inspire others with their compassion, thoughtfulness and selflessness. Nominated by their peers and selected by the award committee, winners receive $500 in cash and $500 to donate to their charity of choice.
The 2022 Caring Award winners are: Emma Caruthers-Swortz, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center; Kathleen Hurley, Orthopaedics Acute Care Center, Geisinger Healthplex Woodbine; Kristyn Lutecki, LPN, CommunityCare Kistler Clinic, Wilkes-Barre; Christine Rusonis, Community Medicine, Geisinger Dallas; and Ann Webster, RN, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
The nursing scholarship program in honor of Robel recognizes employees enrolled in nursing school who go above and beyond in providing patient care. They show a continued commitment to meeting the highest standards of bedside care and treat patients with the utmost compassion and kindness. Each scholarship recipient receives $1,000 toward their tuition, funded by the Alice E. Steele Endowment.
The nursing scholarship winners are: Kim Arnold, RN, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center; Courtney Devine, RN, Geisinger Medical Center; Jessica Schatz, RN, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital; Lesa Treaster, RN, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital; and Maria Viesewski, RN, Geisinger Community Medical Center.
Gerald A. Solfanelli
Psychologist Jerry Solfanelli recently transitioned his Dunmore office to mostly telehealth after nearly 30 years of conducting a full-time traditional private practice locally. Formerly serving as director of Keystone College’s Counseling Center, Solfanelli also has been a regular contributor of his professional opinion to this newspaper.
During this transition, Solfanelli is in the midst of working upon his first self-help book titled, “Pursuit of Emotional Wealth: Rediscovering the Heartfelt Passion of Your Genuine Desires.”
In addition to telehealth, Solfanelli will continue to maintain some limited in-person office hours. Tele-health appointments can be arranged by calling his office or through his affiliation with the online behavioral health platform, Teladoc Health.
James Pierson, J.D., CPA, dean of the College of Business, recently published the article, “Curbing Predatory Lending,” in the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine, Vol. 48, No. 2.
In the article, Pierson defines the practice of predatory lending, the interest rate cap proposals and advancements that are happening throughout the country, and the integration of technology into offerings by financial service companies and the consumer protection challenges the new products may present.
In addition to his role at Misericordia, Pierson serves as a co-chairperson of the Economic Justice Committee, of the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Section.
NEPA Youth Shelter
Danielle Weinschenk joined the board of directors effective Feb. 1.
Weinschenk is a lead public affairs specialist at Tobyhanna Army Depot and is involved with many of the depot’s community engagement efforts. She also serves on the board for Cinderella’s Closet of NEPA and is heavily involved with Leadership Lackawanna as a Core Class project adviser, as well as the executive vice chair of the its board of directors. Leadership Lackawanna honored Weinschenk as Class Leader of the year in 2021 and Alumni Leader of the Year in 2022.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from Penn State and a master’s degree in human relations and organization development with a concentration in positive organization development from Champlain College.
Novak Strategic Advisors
Former state Rep. Mike Peifer has joined the firm as a senior adviser. Peifer most recently served in the State House of Representatives, representing the 139th Legislative District, which consists of parts of Pike and Wayne counties, for eight terms.
Throughout his tenure in the state Legislature, Peifer garnered a reputation for thoroughly understanding the state’s complex fiscal issues. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chair of the House Finance Committee, he was intricately involved in the commonwealth budget process, as well as updates and changes to Pennsylvania’s Tax Code.
Additionally, for the past six years, Peifer has served as chair of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
Penn State Scranton
Attorney Christyan A. Telech was recently appointed to serve as a member of the campus Advisory Board. An associate attorney at Steven & Lee in the firm’s health care department and a 2015 graduate of Penn State, Telech has experience representing both health care and traditional commercial clients in a range of transactional and governance matters. The advisory board advises and assists the chancellor, relative to the functioning of the Scranton campus as an essential part of the university. Board members support the campus and serve as a liaison with the community and advocate for Penn State University in the community.
The industry-leading commercial and industrial construction firm with offices in Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley, announced the addition of John M. Murphy, who has been added to the team as chief estimator.
With over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, including roles as director of estimating, preconstruction manager, project manager, project executive, VP of operations as well as business development, Murphy’s longstanding success in leadership roles throughout all phases of construction as well as his experience with a wide range of markets gives him a unique perspective and view to support the owners and partners Penntex serves.
Powell, Zero, Mundy
Attorney Bruce S. Zero of Moscow has been reappointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as a member of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security Board and has also been designated vice chair for a term of three years commencing April 1.
The fund is overseen by a seven-member volunteer board appointed by the Supreme Court, including five lawyers and two non-lawyers. Each member may serve up to two three-year terms.
Zero, a partner at the law firm, has 38 years of extensive civil litigation and trial experience in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York in the areas of motor vehicle and truck accidents, product liability, medical malpractice and workplace injuries.
Telespond Senior Services
Ali Boyle has joined the organization as the new director of day care, in home and respite services. Boyle’s responsibilities will include running the day center on Saginaw Street in Scranton. Ali formerly worked as a hiring and compliance manager for Griswold Home Care in Kingston, a nationwide home care agency.
Boyle previously served as a medical secretary at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, and at the Luzerne County Children’s Service Center.
Boyle began her journey caring for aging and physically limited individuals in 2010, but her passion for this profession began in early childhood.
The Wright Center
Maggie Dempsey, R.N., BSN, MSN, of Dunmore, has joined the Wright Center for Community Health as a certified registered nurse practitioner at the Mid Valley Practice in Jermyn. She will see patients of all ages.
Dempsey received a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Drexel University and Master of Science in nursing degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She formerly worked as a registered nurse at medical centers in Philadelphia and Scranton.
She holds a certification as a family nurse practitioner from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, as well as certifications in basic, coronary and advanced life support from the American Heart Association.
Maria Kolcharno, LSW, director of addiction services and leader of the Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program at the Wright Center for Community Health, recently outlined the novel program to participants at the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Virtual Meeting.
Kolcharno addressed the importance of collaborative relationships for making referrals and establishing communication pathways between OB/GYN and medication-assisted treatment providers to coordinate patient care for mothers with substance use disorder.
During the event’s breakout session, Kolcharno provided workflow charts to assist organizations looking to replicate the relationships and processes the Healthy MOMS program has established with maternity care times and medical Centers of Excellence.
Linda Thomas-Hemak, M.D., FAAP, FACP, president and chief executive officer of the Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, recently participated with a select group of national primary care experts in a conversation with the head of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
During the 1½-hour virtual event, the physicians and other panelists shared their perspectives from the field about the future of primary health care in America with Carole Johnson, HRSA administrator, and other high-ranking officials within HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A first-generation physician and native of Northeast Pennsylvania, Thomas-Hemak completed Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital’s combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency.
Christen Marante, BSN, RN, of Roaring Brook Twp., has been hired as associate vice president of the Value-Based Performance Program at the Wright Center for Community Health.
As a key member of the nonprofit enterprise’s finance department, Marante will focus on developing and maintaining excellent relations with payors, including commercial insurance carriers. This responsibility includes implementing pricing strategies and communicating payor participant requirements to the Wright Center’s clinicians and other stakeholders.
Marante had previously worked at the Wright Center from 2019-21 as its Luzerne County practice manager.
United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties
Matt Ceruti of Old Forge joined the organization as its vice president of resource development and campaign.
Ceruti has over a decade of development and fundraising experience. Beginning as campaign manager for the United Way of Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre, he worked with local businesses and organizations to strengthen workplace and corporate giving. During his tenure at the organization, he was elevated to director of campaign operations, and in that role, he helped implement an online giving platform and led digital data management efforts to increase organizational efficiencies. Ceruti then accepted an opportunity as director of development at Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania with a focus on diversifying funding streams during a time of organizational transformation.
University of Scranton
Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, Ph.D., as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective immediately. Maldonado was serving as Scranton’s interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for the 2022-2023 academic year.
A member of the President’s Cabinet, the provost serves as the chief academic officer for the university and has overall responsibility for its education and research programs. The provost is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for the academic division’s budget, undergraduate and graduate programs, teaching, research, the library and the faculty. In addition, the provost works with deans and faculty to develop advancements to the curriculum and oversee the academic programming of the university’s three colleges.
Maldonado joined the university in 2020 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Vincent “Vinny” G. O’Bell has been promoted to executive vice president and chief lending officer.
O’Bell joined the bank in 2016 as a senior vice president, commercial loan officer and team leader. He holds a degree in banking and finance from Lackawanna Jr. College and is a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking. O’Bell was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bankers Association (“PBA”) in 2019 for his 40 years of service.
O’Bell is involved with his community and serves as a Scranton Lackawanna Health and Welfare Board Chairman, a Paul Harris Fellow for the Rotary Club of Scranton, treasurer and board member for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce. He resides in Jessup.
Kristen E. Lancia, CFMP, has been promoted to vice president and marketing manager.
Lancia began her career with Wayne Bank in 2012 and most recently served as the bank’s marketing officer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in design and merchandising with a writing concentration from Drexel University and holds a Certified Financial Marketing Professional designation from the American Bankers Association. Lancia is currently pursuing a Google Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Professional Certificate and resides in Scranton.
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers
Lauren LaFlair, MA, office supervisor at the Carbondale Family Health Center, was named the health system’s (WMCHC) 2022 Employee of the Year. Recipients are selected by the leadership team based on nominations submitted by managers across the health centers and support departments. The honor was announced at the organization’s annual awards dinner held Jan. 21. Attributes LaFlair was cited for included powering through significant facility challenges to maintain daily operations, going above and beyond to meet patients’ personal needs, and assisting clinical and clerical staff to ensure workflow not only within the Carbondale office but also neighboring CHC sites struggling with staffing issues.
The Board of Directors has appointed Teresa “Terri” Lacey, RN, BSN, CPHQ, to the position of chief executive officer. The change in leadership follows the retirement of Frederick Jackson, who led the Federally Qualified Health Center as executive director for the past nearly 16 years.
In her more than 30-year health care career in Northeast Pennsylvania, Lacey held various leadership positions encompassing behavioral health, emergency services, inpatient care, home health and quality improvement.
She most recently served as the executive director of the Behavioral Health Initiative at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton for six years.
Lorraine Lamm, CNM, has joined the health system’s team of women’s health care providers. Lamm sees prenatal and gynecology patients at the Women’s Health Center’s Dingmans Ferry office in Pike County. She facilitates births at Wayne Memorial Hospital’s New Beginnings Birthing Suites in Honesdale.
Lamm has been a midwife since 2015. She most recently practiced at Long Island New York facilities — Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Center in Queens and Yonkers Community Health Center.
Lamm earned a Master of Science degree in midwifery from the State University of New York at Downstate, Brooklyn, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the College of New Rochelle, New York.
Nurse practitioner Janet Armstrong, MSN, FNP-C, FNP-BC joined the Pike Family Health Center. Armstrong provides outpatient primary care at the practice located at 750 Route 739 in Lords Valley.
Armstrong was a registered nurse for 12 years before completing a Master of Science degree in Nursing from Chamberlain University, Chicago, to become a family nurse practitioner. She is certified by both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Armstrong is one of three advanced practice providers at the Pike Family Health Center working with board-certified family physician Traceyan Mendez, M.D.
Weichert, Realtors — Hibble & Associates
Jessica Alexis Curley has joined the real estate firm’s Clarks Summit office. Curley joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents at the company, who bring many years of combined real estate expertise to their clients.
The firm is an independently owned and operated affiliate of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.
WILK News Radio
The Pittston radio station, 103.1FM/910/990/1300AM, an Audacy Station, has brought on Rob O’Donnell as their Afternoon Drive on-air host with “The Rob O’Donnell Show,” which airs weekdays 3 to 6 p.m.
O’Donnell, a former New York Police Department detective and 30-year public safety professional, has been a law enforcement/public safety analyst on radio and TV markets across the nation, often seen on Fox News, Newsmax TV and OANN, as well as radio markets in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Minnesota and Texas.
A resident of NEPA for 19 years, O’Donnell brings a wealth of perspective and personal experience, while balancing it with almost two decades of everyday Pennsylvania life.
“The Rob O’Donnell Show” can be heard locally on terrestrial radio or anywhere on the Audacy app.
In recognition of her excellence in clinical practice, Kathleen Hirthler, associate professor of nursing, is being honored by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners as the 2023 recipient of the AANP State Award for Excellence in Pennsylvania. Each year, nurse practitioners across the nation are nominated by their colleagues to receive this prestigious award.
This is the second time a Passan School of Nursing faculty member has been recognized with the award. Eugene Lucas, associate professor of nursing, was a recipient in 2017.
Hirthler joined the university in 2010 and served in a variety of roles in the Passan School of Nursing, including as chair of graduate nursing programs. Hirthler lives in Shavertown.
TO SUBMIT an item to Personnel File, email it, with a high-quality head shot if desired, to firstname.lastname@example.org