Leadership Central Penn Goes For a Check-Up

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by USG, Bloomsburg University, Kawneer and SEKISUI SPI.

Leadership Central Penn reached its last class of the year, and it found itself visiting Geisinger and the Ronald McDonald House of Danville.  The topics for the day included current healthcare issues facing Geisinger and patients in the region, the history of Geisinger and what the healthcare market looks like with the changes in government regulation. 

The day kicked off with an introduction and welcome by Deb Templeton and Bob Davies at the Foss Home.  The class learned a little about the history of Geisinger, and how this renowned healthcare organization ended up in Danville. There is a lot of folklore about this story, but the facts are as advertised: Abigail Geisinger wanted the best for the area in healthcare. Being one of the only people in the area with a car at the time, she got to see the needs and suffering of people around the region, as the car was used as an ambulance. This ignited the passion that propelled her to “make it the best” hospital possible. 

Of course, many know that Geisinger is an integrated system with 13 hospitals, a drug and alcohol treatment center, 200 clinics and 33,000 employees. All of these facilities increase demand for electricity, which is being met by coal, natural gas and nuclear power. However, Mike Gerrity told the group about another way to meet this demand — innovation.  Geisinger has substantially lowered its energy demand over the years through green and LEED certified buildings, solar power, lighting retrofits, a cogeneration plant, and the steam turbine chiller project. Geisinger’s energy costs through these efforts have resulted in a drop from $4-$6 per square foot, for the average hospital, to $1.19 per square foot. It has saved 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually due to cogeneration, two million kilowatts of energy are saved with the chiller project and more energy is saved everyday with the previous stated efforts. All of this makes the air we breathe healthier, our water cleaner and our health better. 

The next presenters, Rachel Manotti and Sam Balukoff, provided data and the opportunity to discuss the healthcare market and the current issues in our area. The data helped frame the needs in our area related to healthcare, so that we had a local understanding of why decisions on the provider and insurer side are made. The class also got to question some of the care decisions as community members. The hot topic was the opiod epidemic and how Geisinger is dealing with this. What was shared is that the patient’s needs and the standard of care are always the focus for the system. However, there is also government regulation that can cause slowdowns in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. One error or change can easily require pages and pages of process implementation, which even the electronic health record can’t correct from an efficiency point of view.

After a lunch break, the class boarded the tour bus with Bob Davies for some more history and a Danville driving tour of Geisinger’s facilities. The tour showcased the growth over time of the fields that are now pediatric clinics and outpatient facilities at Woodbine Lane, the vast fleet of helicopters that transfer critical patients in and out of Geisinger, and even the old limestone pillars, long thought lost, from the original hospital entrance. Many take for granted the opportunities offered by Geisinger as an employer, health care innovator and leader, and local provider of care. After experiencing the intimate experience, this class won’t soon forget the value that Geisinger offers to our region.

Once the class wrapped up at Geisinger, it was off to the Ronald McDonald House for a discussion on pediatric advocacy with Dr. Amanda Beach, pediatric resident. Dr. Beach made an impassioned presentation on the needs of children. The most impactful on the group was the need for better mental health screening and access. The class learned of the changes from the American Academy of Pediatrics to assist pediatricians in doing mental health assessments and short term interventions to assist the children in their care. However, even in our area, sometime kids that need mental health services are delayed due to a lack of access from limited providers locally and nationally. 

The final opportunity for the day was a discussion about the families served by the Ronald McDonald House and the new Ronald McDonald Family room located within the Janet Weis Children’s hospital. These facilities allow families to be close to their children when they travel here for their care. The house has a slogan, “we keep families with sick children together.” The tour allowed the class to see the facilities of the house that allow families to have some “home” comforts while helping their children deal with their health concerns. The home has served 380,000 guests from 65 of 67 counties in PA, 34 states and 27 countries since 1981.

Promote Your Business to New Bloomsburg University Students

Local businesses are being invited to sponsor prizes for the Husky Prize Patrol during the summer orientation experiences for new Bloomsburg University freshmen, new transfer students, and their families. The Husky Prize Patrol is a spirit-based set of contests designed to generate enthusiasm around the new students’ life as a Husky.  The University is interested in partnering with local businesses as a means of introducing the new students and families to not only the campus community, but also the local Bloomsburg community.

For every prize donated, the business name, services, and location will be introduced to 600-800 new students and families daily. With six orientation dates, the University is asking for a minimum donation of six prizes, or multiples of six, to have consistency with the spirit competitions day-to-day. Anyone with questions can contact Kayla May, assistant director of New Student Orientation, at 570-389-4659 or email. If you do wish to participate, prizes are needed in hand by Friday, June 8, and can be picked up or mailed to Bloomsburg University, 400 East Second Street, 112 Elwell Hall, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301.

2017-18 Leadership Central Penn Class to Hold Graduation May 17 at Pine Barn Inn

Chamber members and the public are invited to attend the Leadership Central Penn graduation luncheon as the LCP class of 2018 completes the Chamber’s annual community leadership program for working professionals, which is run by the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber

Date: May 17, 2018
Location: Pine Barn Inn, Danville
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The year’s keynote speaker is Ed Edwards, former president of the Columbia Montour Chamber, who retired in 2010. A full buffet lunch will be served and the cost is $25 per person. See the menu, register and pay online, or by calling 570-784-2522. 

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by Kawneer, SEKISUI SPI, Bloomsburg University and USG. Members of the Leadership Central Penn Class of 2018 include:

The 2017-18 class at its first meeting/retreat back in September.

Matt Beltz
Columbia Montour Chamber

Tamara Collae
PPL Electric Utilities

Stephanie Gryboski

Vanessa Hales

Sharon Haverlak

Brandi Hoffman
Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Jordan Ikeler
First Keystone Community Bank

Amanda Jarski
First Keystone Community Bank

Michael Maylath
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Eric McCabe
Bloomsburg University

Scott Near

Jalon Orzolek

Brandon Stauffer
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Teresa Peters
For the Cause

Brian Rakauskas
Girton Manufacturing

Adam Robinson

Candy Ryan
Bloomsburg University

Carol Walters
Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Rhonda Wieners
The Hope Center

McKayla Zimmerman
First Columbia Bank & Trust


Bloomsburg University Dog Pound Competition Encourages Young Entrepreneurs

Nathaniel Treichler of Northampton, 1st place winner at BU’s Dog Pound

Students from Bloomsburg University and high schools from across the state recently participated in a “Shark-Tank” style business competition on campus. Ideas ranged from regenerating human limbs to an app to help drivers find parking to running a café. The 2nd Husky Dog Pound competition was held April 26 at the Zeigler College of Business.

The University student portion of the competition consisted of several rounds of judging, starting with video presentations, followed by in-person presentations and judging. High school students had three minutes to present their ideas before three-person panels which included Chamber representatives Karen Wood, Board Chair (Service 1st Federal Credit Union); Fred Gaffney, President, and Jeff Emanuel, Director of the Chamber Foundation. The team of Tanner Vandermark and Connor Eyerly from Central Columbia High School finished third with their Rapido Pasta idea. Sawyer Kemp from Berwick High School placed eighth.

Tristan Peace of Watsontown, 2nd place at BU’s Dog Pound

The top B.U. student finishers received cash awards plus a one-year membership in the Chamber and access to the Chamber’s low-interest loan program. First place was Nathaniel Treichler from Northampton for Sleazy Greetings. Nathaniel also won the inaugural competition last year. Second place went to Tristan Peace from Watsontown with Creative Way Films. The team of Jimel Calliste and Dorron Hunt from Bloomsburg finished third with People’s Top Choice Transportation.

“As part of the Chamber’s purpose is to encourage new business development, we were pleased to be a part of the Husky Dog Pound which encourages entrepreneurism,” said Gaffney. Look for these students at upcoming Business After Hours.


Jimel Calliste and Dorron Hunt from Bloomsburg, 3rd place at BU’s Dog Pound

In Mission to Build a Stronger Economy, Local Chambers Lead the Way

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

When the Pennsylvania Chamber was founded over a century ago, it recruited one of the rising stars in the chamber world from Massachusetts – Daniel Casey – to visit locales across the Commonwealth and impress upon business owners the value of having their own local chamber of commerce. Newspaper columns from the era raved about the inspirational messaging in Casey’s speeches. To a crowd in Tyrone, Pa. in November 1919, Casey asked them to “Look at any municipality that is thriving and you will find that it is thriving because there is some dynamic power behind it. The Chamber of Commerce is that dynamic power.” The power behind Casey’s words, as described in this article that highlighted Casey’s influence in the PA Chamber’s earlier years, was that he recognized the extent to which employers were interested in public policy, and the impact their interest had on economic growth.

Nearly 100 years later, the PA Chamber still understands the power behind engaging local chambers in the ongoing effort to promote this economic growth. Also of importance is the real-world experience they bring as we work with them to craft the public policies we advocate for every day in the halls of the state Capitol. The majority of the almost 10,0000 members the PA Chamber represents are small business owners who belong to local chambers, and those chambers are acutely aware of the challenges they face operating in Pennsylvania.

“What are you hearing from your members?” is a question that comes up at nearly all of the meetings we have with our local chamber partners throughout the year, and at events where we present updates on the PA Chamber’s legislative priorities. We’re also proud of our ongoing partnership with the PA Association of Chamber Professionals in hosting Chamber Day at the State Capitol. Of course, our local chamber partners don’t have just this one day a year to weigh in on the issues that matter to them the most – we keep the line of communication open 365 days a year so you can always reach out, stay informed and rally alongside us when we need you to.

The most recent example in which we’ve enlisted the backing of local chambers was in garnering support for an important prescription drug bill. Senate Bill 936 – which was a leading PA Chamber priority this session – aimed to implement a prescription drug formulary within Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system and would have been a critical piece of the puzzle in addressing the state’s ongoing opioid and prescription drug abuse crisis as it relates to injured workers. In dozens of communications to state lawmakers, the PA Chamber listed more than 70 local chambers across Pennsylvania as being in favor of the bill because it would help to mitigate an epidemic that has hit every corner of the state. The term “all politics is local” is truly driven home when discussing the power of local chambers’ support for an initiative such as S.B. 936, because of the impact it has on lawmakers when they realize how the collective business community in their district has weighed in on the issue. It was the extensive support of these local chambers, as well as medical, business and local government groups across the state that helped to get the bill through the state legislature. Unfortunately, despite the aggressive push we made to get S.B. 936 to the finish line, Gov. Wolf ultimately vetoed the bill on April 27 in favor of a series of executive actions that we believe are woefully inadequate to address a crisis of this magnitude. You can read more about our reaction to the veto in this press release.

Despite the disappointing outcome on S.B. 936, the PA Chamber’s shared mission with our local chamber partners – to guide Pennsylvania toward a stronger economy – will continue unabated. We remain focused on working together toward other important workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation reforms. There are other pro-business topics of importance to focus on that Daniel Casey so eloquently referenced in his speeches so long ago – like establishing a competitive tax climate; reducing regulatory red tape; advancing a fair and efficient legal system; among many other issues on which we’ll be enlisting your expertise, opinions and support. Thank you for all you have done to create a pro-business Pennsylvania thus far and we look forward to the number of ways we can work together in the future.