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Like most people with happy childhoods, Jodi Lenko, MD has fond memories of spending time with her father. It’s the setting that makes her recollections unique. “I was around medicine all the time as a child,” she said. “I even went with my dad to the hospital when he made rounds.” Those early experiences with their father, Michael Washinsky, DO, sparked an interest in medicine for both her and her brother, Michael, Jr. “My dad is a big reason I became a doctor,” she said. She and her brother both became physicians and, while her brother chose to settle in Colorado, Dr. Lenko came home to Hazleton to join her father in his practice.

After graduating from MMI Prep in Freeland, Dr. Lenko went to Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, graduating with a degree in microbiology. From Penn State, Dr. Lenko went to Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, the city where she met her husband, a businessman, whom she married when she graduated. The couple decided to stay in Philadelphia for Dr. Lenko’s residency for family reasons. Her husband was making frequent trips to his Lake Ariel home to be with his father, who was battling cancer. Accordingly, Dr. Lenko’s residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania was not only prestigious, it was practical as well.

“Family concerns also drove us home,” Dr. Lenko said about her return to Hazleton. “We love the area and we wanted children and to raise them near our families, plus I get the joy of working with my father.”

Taking on Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students at her medical practice has also been a gratifying experience. “It stimulates my own knowledge,” Dr. Lenko said. “The physiology behind the medicine, the basic science… it comes back to you when you teach.”

Dr. Lenko said between her children, her family and her students, her life is full. “I love what I do, otherwise I couldn’t be away from my two small daughters. And I love working with my father — he still works full time and together we take care of more than 6,000 patients. We are pretty similar temperamentally, and I have learned a lot from him. We work well together.”
Jodi Lenko