Library organizes read-a-thon

Get ready, get set, READ!

The Valley Community Library will be holding its inaugural Readathon next month. Adults, children and families can all join in by setting a reading goal, finding sponsors and read, read, read between March 1-7.

The week-long event is a great way to motivate yourself or your children to read while you’re raising funds for the library. Any reading material counts — from novels to newspapers, audiobooks

to graphic novels and anything else you can think of. Stop by the library at

739 River St, Peckville, to pick up your

registration packet or call 570-489-1765 for more information.

Lackawanna Heritage Valley offering grants

Lackawanna Heritage Valley has announced the start of a new spring cycle of partnership grant funding, open for application through March 6 at noon.

The program is open to members of nonprofit and civic organizations, municipal and governmental agencies and educational institutions with proposals for projects designed to enhance the quality of life within the Lackawanna Heritage Valley. Successful grant applicants will receive up to $5,000 each to conserve, preserve and educate the public about Northeastern Pennsylvania’s historic, cultural, economic and natural resources.

Lackawanna Heritage Valley, designated as both a national and state heritage area, has provided more than $3 million in funding assistance to community organizations through its Partnership Grants Program since its inception. Given the dire funding constraints and lack of community programming brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the organization feels this round of grants is perhaps one of its most crucial.

Justin Topa, community engagement and programs manager, hopes that Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s spring grant program will continue the organization’s work toward stimulating the region’s economy, enhancing tourism initiatives, strengthening community organizations and increasing the quality of life for area residents.

“We are proud to support our creative local partners who help us to tell the region’s story and to preserve and conserve our natural resources,” Topa said in a press release. “With each successful grant cycle, we invest in our history, our resources and the families in our communities.”

For general information about the heritage area, or for grant program guidelines and applications, visit www.LHVA.org or call Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s office at 570-963-6730.

Staffers appointed as Wright Center board directors

Three integral employees of The Wright Center for Community Health recently were appointed board directors for The Wright Center for Patient and Community Engagement.

Each brings unique backgrounds in patient care or health information technology to the governance table. The Wright Center for Patient and Community Engagement enhances The Wright Center for Community Health’s ability to determine outreach priorities as it continues to meet the health care needs of the most vulnerable in the community. Board members provide oversight, direction and support for Wright Center team members and their efforts, offering their unique perspectives on community needs, resources and connections, to develop and maintain active, collaborative relationships with patients and the community at large.

Kari Machelli, R.N., serves as director of care and case management services for The Wright Center for Community Health. In this leadership role, she oversees the Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence case managers, certified recovery specialists and community health workers. Machelli has been with The Wright Center for more than 20 years, starting as an RN care manager. She earned her nursing degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Danielle Hennessey is electronic medical records and health informatics manager for The Wright Center. She joined the organization in 2019 as an EMR application support and trainer for the Mid Valley Practice and Ryan White HIV Clinic, and was integral in building the interface that allowed for the exchange of data between two separate electronic health records systems. Hennessey graduated from Valley View High School and attended Lackawanna College and Marywood University. She has a background in information technology, having worked for TMG Health for four years prior to joining The Wright Center.

Cheri Lewis-Aulisio is a licensed medical social worker for The Wright Center for Community Health. She earned her bachelo’s and maste’s degrees in social work from Marywood University. Cheri has a background working with diverse patient populations and has practiced in various clinical settings, including nursing homes, in-patient physician rehabilitation facilities and acute hospital-based settings.

She has experience in behavioral health services and has worked with homeless women and children and Children and Youth Services. She also is part of the National Association of Community Health Center’s PRAPARE Tiger Team, which trains health centers to be better equipped to address social determinants of health and improve health equity.

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