Scranton, Hazleton students to benefit from grant to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine program

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A $75,000 grant will expand the reach of an enrichment program for health careers, supporting and encouraging low-income and first-generation-to-college students from Scranton and Hazleton as they pursue successful careers in the field.

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) recently received the grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will expand the school’s Regional Education Academy for Careers in Health – Higher Education Initiative (REACH-HEI) by supporting programs for students in both the Hazleton and Scranton school districts.

REACH-HEI is an out-of-school time program that provides academic enrichment opportunities and enables students in northeastern Pennsylvania to succeed in health-related professions. A longitudinal program helping high school and undergraduate students, REACH-HEI has a proven track record of success, with hundreds of its program participants successfully completing their high school goals and fulfilling their college dreams. The first cohort of high school students graduates in 2017 from universities and colleges. Some are joining their Geisinger Commonwealth REACH-HEI family as students in the school’s doctor of medicine (MD) and master of biomedical science (MBS) programs.

“PPL’s generous grant will allow Geisinger Commonwealth to help more young people realize their dreams and reach their full potential,” said Ida Castro, JD, Geisinger Commonwealth’s vice president for government & community relations and chief diversity officer. “I am grateful for their support and look forward to welcoming new students to our one-of-a-kind program.”

The PPL Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process.

This year, the PPL Foundation received nearly 100 applications requesting more than $5 million during this highly competitive grant cycle. Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was one of 14 organizations selected for a grant.

“The REACH-HEI program is a great example of a community initiative that strengthens our workforce in a critical industry and creates opportunities for young people who might not otherwise have them,” said Alana Roberts, regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities. “We’re pleased to support REACH-HEI as the program works to make a real and lasting difference —in the lives of students, the lives of their future patients, and our communities.”

PPL_REACH_HEI web

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) recently received a $75,000 grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will be used to expand the school’s Regional Education Academy for Careers in Health–Higher Education Initiative (REACH-HEI). Seen at the presentation, surrounded by REACH-HEI students, are from left: Maureen Murtha, Geisinger Commonwealth REACH-HEI program director, holding check on left; Alana Roberts, regional affairs director for PPL, holding center of check; Ida Castro, JD, Geisinger Commonwealth’s vice president for government & community relations and chief diversity officer, holding check on right; and, to the right of Ms. Castro, Jane Kanyock, Geisinger Commonwealth’s director of corporate and foundation relations.

TCMC Media Contact:

Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director of Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities.