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On October 14, The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation (NEPA HCF) announced a $3.2 million grant to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. The grant will be awarded over an 11-year period and will fund four-year scholarships for incoming students from northeastern Pennsylvania who are enrolled in Geisinger Commonwealth’s MD program.

Candidates will be screened through Geisinger Commonwealth’s admissions process, beginning with the 2015 - 2016 academic year. These need-based scholarships, up to $40,000 per year, will be awarded to students with prior community service from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties who want to practice medicine in northeastern Pennsylvania.

James Clemente, chair of the board of directors of NEPA HCF, said, “There is a synergy of goals between Geisinger Commonwealth and NEPA HCF in that we are both committed to working towards reducing the physician shortage in our region. The Foundation’s board of governors feels that supporting Geisinger Commonwealth will have a positive impact on community health in northeastern Pennsylvania for many years to come.”

Steven J. Scheinman, MD, president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth, said, “I applaud and thank NEPA HCF for this very significant commitment to our students and the health of the region. It will make a substantial difference for at least 20 medical students over the next decade. These scholarships will help us recruit bright students from this region who are economically disadvantaged but aspire to be doctors. Our mission and the goals of the Foundation in creating these scholarships are completely congruent.”

Pictured in photo: First row, from left: Steven J. Scheinman, MD, president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth; James Clemente, NEPA HCF board chairman. Second ow: Marise Garofalo, vice president for Institutional Advancement; Linda Berardi-Demo, EdD, associate dean for Admissions & Student Affairs; Natalie Gelb, NEPA HCF board; Kerry O’Grady, NEPA HCF board; Michele McGowan, NEPA HCF board; Laura Ducceschi, president & CEO Scranton Area Foundation/ NEPA HCF administrator; Andrea Mulrine, director of corporate and foundation relations. Third row: Robert Naismith, PhD, Geisinger Commonwealth board; Robert Wright, MD, Geisinger Commonwealth board; Jeremiah Eagen, MD, NEPA HCF board; Honorable Terrence Nealon, NEPA HCF board. Fourth row: Robert Knowles, NEPA HCF board; Jim Mileski, NEPA HCF board; Christopher Dressel, MD, NEPA HCF board.