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.”


About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation. The school also has over 440 graduate medical students in 24 residency programs and 19 accredited fellowships. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. For more information, visit www.geisinger.edu/gcsom, or connect with us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.


About Geisinger
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Geisinger Commonwealth surrounded by REACH-HEI members
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.

For GCSOM media inquiries

Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director of Media and Public Relations
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Office: 570-504-9687
On call: 570-687-9703