Member News- March 31, 2021

Brothers Establish Scholarship Fund for Central Columbia Students

The Community Giving Foundation: Bloomsburg is pleased to announce the creation of a new scholarship fund to support Central Columbia graduating seniors. The Lynch Brothers Scholarship Fund was established by Pat and Bill Lynch, both proud graduates of Central Columbia and recipients of the school’s Social Studies Award. The brothers were able to turn their interest in social studies into rewarding and meaningful careers, and hope this scholarship opportunity will do the same for current students.

Pat Lynch turned his interests into a thriving career in education, teaching World Cultures at North Allegheny Intermediate High School near Pittsburgh for 31 years. His classes emphasized the discussion of current events and the analysis of editorial cartoons, and he created a program which allowed tenth grade students to participate in campaign work for candidates in local, state, and national offices. After participating in a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship trip to Nigeria, Mr. Lynch started a pen pal program to allow his students to interact with Nigerian students.

Bill Lynch spent his entire professional career in public service after graduating from law school. He first served as a Senior Staff Counsel for both the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives non-partisan committee staff for over 20 years. He was appointed by two WA State Governors to the WA Environmental Hearings Office, where he served for 11 years (four years as Chairman), and later appointed by a third Governor as Chairman of the WA Energy Facility Siting Council. Mr. Lynch wrote landmark legislation in many areas in Washington State, including consumer protection, salmon recovery, housing, and labor relations. He authored numerous environmental decisions, transformed the decision writing process of the EHO, and co-authored a decision directing local governments to infiltrate stormwater into the ground to remove pollutants—a decision that was the first of its kind in the nation. Mr. Lynch has also volunteered with numerous community groups including the Thurston County Housing Authority, where he served as a board member for 20 years.

“Understanding our country’s history, the workings of the government, the achievements of our country’s many peoples and our interactions with others nations is vital to an informed citizenry and a healthy democracy,” explained the Lynch brothers. “We hope that the yearly awarding of this scholarship to the top male and female social studies students will help promote the value of becoming active, well-informed citizens.

The brothers appreciate the social studies teachers they had while at Central Columbia, complementing the school’s unique combination of social studies courses. Bill Lynch particularly credits Duane Ford as a major contributor to his success in life. The Lynch Brothers Scholarship Fund will continue to carry on a legacy of learning, something the school’s current teachers are thankful for.“At Central Columbia, we are committed to providing a diverse curriculum in social studies to all students. The scholarship that the Lynch brothers are providing honors that commitment and the students who value these opportunities. We cannot thank the Lynch brothers enough for this generous donation to Central Columbia and our students,” remarked Jason Hippenstiel, high school teacher.

Contributions can be made to the Lynch Brothers Scholarship Fund online at csgiving.org (click Donate and search “Lynch”), or mail to the Community Giving Foundation, Attn: Lynch Brothers Scholarship Fund, 725 West Front Street, Berwick PA 18603.

Bloomsburg is an affiliate of the Community Giving Foundation, which manages nearly 300 charitable funds and makes grant investments throughout the region to improve the quality of life in the Central Susquehanna area. For more information, visit csgiving.org or call the Foundation at 570-752-3930.


Geisinger partners with Acadia Healthcare to expand behavioral health services

Geisinger and Acadia Healthcare Company have formed a joint venture to address the urgent need for expanded, high-quality inpatient behavioral health services in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. As part of the joint venture, two new freestanding inpatient behavioral health facilities will be constructed in Moosic and Danville with plans to serve adult and pediatric patients beginning in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Geisinger, which serves more than 1 million people across 45 counties in Pennsylvania, has partnered with Acadia Healthcare, the nation’s largest stand-alone behavioral healthcare company, to establish these new 96-bed, 73,000-square-foot facilities. Geisinger chose Acadia Healthcare as its partner based on their shared commitment to quality care, strong clinical outcomes, and successful track record of collaborating with numerous premier health systems. Geisinger and Acadia will be investing a combined close to $80 million into these two facilities that together are expected to create approximately 200 new jobs by 2024.

Both the Danville and Moosic locations are easily accessible from the entire central and northeastern Pennsylvania regions, and are near Geisinger hospitals in Danville, Scranton and Plains Township. Construction is scheduled to begin in Moosic in Fall 2021 and in Danville in 2022. The partnership will provide an opportunity for Geisinger to consolidate inpatient behavioral health programs from Geisinger Medical Center, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital and Geisinger Community Medical Center into these new facilities, which will allow an opportunity for these vacated units to be repurposed for additional capacity, including expanded private room availability.

A recently released 2020 Mental Health America Report estimates that 47 million Americans now struggle with mental health challenges, an increase of 4 million people since the 2018 report, which mirrors trends locally in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Upon completion, the two new inpatient behavioral health facilities will address current and future demand for adult, pediatric and adolescent patients who struggle with acute symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This vast array of acute behavioral health services provides a level of care previously not seen in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, especially for children and adolescents.


NEPIRC to Offer Legal Aspects of COVID-19 Vaccination for Employers Webinar Part 2

Since Part 1 of this webinar aired in February, there have been many developments and updates regarding COVID-19 vaccination that have been reported. During Part 2 of this no-cost webinar series, Attorney James Devine will cover these developments in detail for small to mid-sized manufacturers. The webinar will be held on May 5th from 10:00-11:30 am.

Webinar format:
• Presentation of COVID-19 vaccination developments and updates
•Q&A

If you have a question you’d like to ensure is covered during this event, please submit it to [email protected] by Friday, April 23rd.  We will once again prepare a complete Q&A document after the webinar airs that will be available for download on the NEPIRC website.

Register here.