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Christina Appleman, Dr. Mary Callahan, Dr. Carlos Perez receive the Marks Award

DANVILLE, PA -- Christina Appleman, CRNP, gynecology/obstetrics, Geisinger Medical Center (GMC); Mary Callahan, M.D., a family medicine physician at Geisinger-Gray's Woods; and Carlos Perez, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist, are the 2016 Marks Award recipients at Geisinger Health System. The award is given annually to the care providers who have the system's highest patient satisfaction ratings during the year.

The award recipients had perfect or near perfect ratings according to Press Ganey's Medical Practice Survey for the 2015 fiscal year. They received their awards at February's system leadership meeting on Feb. 15.

The Marks Award was established in 2002 to honor Victor J. Marks, M.D., a Geisinger dermatologist and MOHS surgeon who served as the system's interim CEO from 2000 to 2001. It celebrates Dr. Marks' commitment to making the patient the primary focus of the organization.

"In keeping with Dr. Mark's unwavering commitment to patients, the Marks Award honors physicians identified by patients as being the 'best of our best,'" said Greg Burke, M.D., an internal medicine physician who is one of Geisinger's chief patient experience officers. "These awards acknowledge those who not only meet patients' expectations - but also exceed them."

Employed by Geisinger for 14 years, Appleman is a menopausal counselor for patients in GMC's Healthy Aging Clinic. She uses the principle "every patient, every time" to best serve patients. It's apparently resonating well with her patients.

"Christina Appleman is the most compassionate and caring provider I have dealt with at Geisinger," wrote one patient about Appleman through the Press Ganey surveys. "She listens to what you have to say and answers your questions and concerns. She does not rush you. You are a person to her, not just a number."

Dr. Callahan has been with Geisinger for 27 years serving patients in the State College area. She strives to provide caring and compassionate care daily, saying "I try to treat patients like I'd want a member of my family to be treated." Her patients appreciate her approach.

"I have a great relationship with Dr. Callahan," wrote a patient about Dr. Callahan through the Press Ganey surveys. "She is always very caring, concerned, and makes it easy to communicate."

Now with Geisinger for 19 years, Dr. Perez sees pediatric patients across the system. He focuses on the human side of his patients and says "all physicians possess the gifts to provide patients the best care possible." Parents of his patients believe that's just what he's done.

"Dr. Perez is one of the best physicians at Geisinger," wrote a patient's parent through the Press Ganey surveys. "He is very concerned for the well-being of his patients. He is a physician that will go above and beyond for your child."

Awards were also given to Geisinger care providers ranking in the top 90th percentile or better on patient satisfaction ratings for the past fiscal year. They included the following from across the system:

1. Outpatient Specialty

  • Mouhammed O. Abuattieh, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology, Geisinger Wyoming Valley (GWV)
  • Barry G. Bernstein, DPM, CWS, FACFAS, Podiatry, East Mountain Specialty Clinic
  • Kendra F. Boell, DO, Family Medicine, GMC
  • Greg F. Burke, MD, FACP, Internal Medicine, GMC
  • Joyce A. Burnside, MD, FACC, Cardiology, GMC
  • Christine E. Cabell, MD, Dermatology, East Mountain Specialty Clinic
  • Christopher T. Cessna, DO, Ophthalmology, Gray's Woods
  • Kathryn A. DeHart, MD, FAAP, Pediatrics, Knapper Clinic
  • Joseph G. DeSantis, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgery, GMC
  • Maurice L. Earley, OD, Ophthalmology, GMC
  • Lindsey S. Eisler, MD, Otolaryngology, GMC
  • Marcel M. Favetta, MD, Gynecology/Obstetrics, East Mountain Specialty Clinic
  • Henry F. Fesniak, MD, Cardiovascular Disease, GMC
  • David E. Fisk, MD, Pulmonary Disease, GMC
  • Jennifer S. Gell, MD, FACOG, Reproductive Endo/Infertility, Valley Surgery Center
  • Thomas J. Gergel, MD, Radiation Oncology, GMC
  • Nathalie M. Guibord, MD, Ophthalmology, Berwick CPS
  • Michael J. Halupa, DDS, Dental, GMC
  • Sheldon D. Henry, MD, FACC, Cardiology, Gray's Woods
  • Christopher R. Holtz, DO, Urgent Care, Geisinger South Wilkes Barre (GSWB)
  • M. Amanda Jacobs, MD, Dermatology, Scenery Park CPS
  • Rowena M. Jimenez, MD, Infectious Diseases, GWV
  • David J. Kolessar, MD, FAAOS, Orthopedic Surgery, Geisinger Specialty Clinic
  • Stacey A. Klepeiss, MD, Dermatology, Scenery Park CPS
  • Benjamin R. Kuhn, DO, FAAP, Pediatric Gastroenterology, GMC
  • Rosemary Leeming, MD, FACS, General Surgery, GMC
  • Karen J. Lurito, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, Geisinger Wyoming Valley
  • Victor James Marks, MD, Dermatology, GMC
  • O. Fred Miller, III, MD, FAAD, Dermatology, Geisinger-Woodbine
  • Alexander P. Moya, MD, Plastic Surgery, GMC
  • Scott M. Myers, MD, FAAP, Child Neurology, ADMI
  • John D. Nash, MD, Gynecology/Obstetrics, GMC
  • Eric D. Newman, MD, FACP, Rheumatology, GMC
  • Elizabeth L. Noble, MD, Dermatology, GMC
  • Robert G. Notz, MD, Ophthalmology, GMC
  • Mayur A. Patel, MD, Medical Oncology, Geisinger Medical Oncology-Selinsgrove
  • Dwaraki B. Penugonda, MD, Pediatrics, Forty Fort Clinic
  • Mary G. Petrick, MD, Dermatology, Geisinger-Woodbine
  • Carlos R. Perez, MD, Pediatric Pulmonology, GMC
  • David D.K. Rolston, MD, Internal Medicine, GMC
  • Maria A.O. Samonte, MD, Pediatrics, Mountain Top
  • Jason Scotti, MD, Family/Sports Medicine, Geisinger Specialty Clinic
  • Keith E. Shalongo, OD, Ophthalmology, GMC
  • Matthew J. Shellenberger, DO, Gastroenterology, GMC
  • Deepak Singh, MD, Cardiovascular Surgery, GWV
  • Ashlee L. Smith, DO, Gynecological Oncology, GMC
  • Dennis R. Smith, MD, Cardiovascular Disease, Geisinger Cardiology-Lewisburg
  • Randle H. Storm, MD, FHRS, Cardiovascular Disease, GMC
  • Militza E. Suarez-Favetta, MD, Infectious Diseases, GWV
  • Dennis Torretti, MD, FACP, Rheumatology, GMC
  • Virginia M. Wray, DO, GI/Nutrition, Lewistown Hospital
  • Kathya M. Zinszer, DPM, Podiatry, Geisinger-Woodbine

2. Community Practice Service Line

  • Stacey L. Blazina, DO, Pediatrics, Moshannon Valley CPS
  • Mary F. Callahan, MD, Family Medicine, Gray's Woods
  • Aliasgar Z. Chittalia, MD, Internal Medicine, SWB, Community Practice
  • Amy V. Everett, DO, Pediatrics, Geisinger-Bloomsburg Pediatrics
  • John C. Gardner, MD, FAAFP, Family Medicine, Tunkhannock
  • Patricia B. Kane, DO, Pediatrics, Geisinger-Pottsville
  • Terrah M. Keck-Kester, MD, Pediatrics, Geisinger-Bloomsburg Pediatrics
  • Michael A. Kovalick, DO, Family Medicine, Geisinger Dallas
  • Robert A. Meloy, MD, Family Medicine, Geisinger-Bloomsburg Internal Medicine
  • Sharon M. O'Brien, DO, Family Medicine, Gray's Woods
  • Brett R. Oesterling, MD, Family Medicine, Bellefonte CPS
  • Jon J. Olenginski, DO, Internal Medicine, Nanticoke Clinic, CPSL
  • Frank C. Olshemski, MD, Family Medicine, Family Practice, North Washington
  • Michael J. Rogan, MD, Internal Medicine, Lake Scranton, CPS
  • Benedict B. Sales, MD, Family Medicine, Pittston CPS
  • Tapash K. Sengupta, MD, Pediatrics, Geisinger-Bloomsburg Pediatrics

3. Advanced Practitioners

  • Christina Jo Appleman, CRNP, Gynecology/Obstetrics, GMC
  • Stephanie A. Beamer, CRNP, Gynecology/Obstetrics, Lewistown CPS
  • Jennifer L. Beams, PA-C, Urgent Care, Careworks
  • Holly Billet, CRNP, Pediatric Gastroenterology, GMC
  • Alicia L. Bray, PA-C, Urgent Care, Lewistown CPS
  • Stephanie D. Dunk, PA-C, Dermatology, Lewistown CPS
  • Natalie M. Hart, PA-C, Plastic Surgery, Outpatient Specialty
  • Dianne C. Hickok, CRNP, Urgent Care, Careworks, Clarks Summit
  • Megan J. Kelly, PA-C, Urgent Care, Pittston CPS
  • Fred D. Kovalchick, PA-C, Family Medicine, Nicholson CPS
  • Sara M. Ombongi, PA-C, Plastic Surgery, GMC
  • Gerald F. Lacey, PA-C, AACC, FHRS, Cardiovascular Disease, GWV
  • Barbara L. Leauber, PA-C, MS, Child Neurology, ADMI
  • Eileen M. Maney, PA-C, General Surgery, Gray's Woods
  • Deanna R. Martin, PA-C, Pediatrics, Gray's Woods
  • Heather A.S. O'Brien, PA-C, Urgent Care, Careworks
  • Danielle M. Pardee, PA-C, Urgent Care, Careworks
  • Amy J. Patynski, PA-C, Orthopedic Surgery (Spine Injury), GMC
  • Charlea N. Pedro, CRNP, Urgent Care, Tunkhannock CPS
  • Jennifer L. Penland, PA-C, Urgent Care, Careworks State College
  • Kimberly A. Reed, PA-C, Gastroenterology, GWV
  • Dana L. Rubin, PA-C, Plastic Surgery, GMC
  • Allen D. Sabatino, CRNP, Urgent Care, Mountaintop
  • Elizabeth K. Scott, CRNP, Cardiovascular Disease, GMC
  • Evon C. Switala, PA-C, Internal Medicine, Moshannon Valley CPS
  • Michelle J. Thal, PA-C, Allergy & Immunology, Scenery Park CPS
  • Jennifer A. Torello-Denion, PA-C, Urgent Care, Careworks
  • Stacey A. Trovitch, CRNP, Pediatric Endocrinology, GMC
  • Sharon Wachob, CNM, Gynecology/Obstetrics, GMC
  • Diane A. Whitcomb, CRNP, Urgent Care, Mount Pocono Medical Building

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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