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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Northeast region workers prepare for college and job advancement

PITTSTON, Pa. – Twelve frontline Geisinger employees who are advancing their life-management and career-planning skills graduated from the technology-based School at Work (SAW) program yesterday, April 23, 2019, at the Geisinger CenterPoint office located at 300 Keystone Ave.

Over six months, the entry-level adult learners attended evening classes and received mentoring combined with online healthcare-specific coursework and career-development activities. 

As a result, engaged employees achieve personal goals of advancement, and Geisinger fills clinical, clerical and support positions from within. Additionally, the newly vacated entry-level positions will be filled with local talent, supporting the economic vitality of the community.  

“The goal of the SAW program is to motivate our employees to pursue career growth by finding the healthcare areas they are interested in and then determining what they need to do to achieve it,” SAW Coach and HR Generalist Lisa Runco said. “There are so many opportunities for career growth within Geisinger, and this program gives employees that boost of confidence to move forward and pursue it. It’s very rewarding to be a part of this journey with the students and then to see how much they have grown.”

From this graduating class in the Northeast, one student will explore higher education; two students were promoted to new roles while enrolled in the program; and the others will see the benefit of applying for new positions in the hospital within the year.     

Environmental Services Data Analyst Teressa Sweet will begin classes in May at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke to pursue a business degree. 

“The SAW class gave me the confidence to pursue a college degree, and Geisinger gave me the tools I needed to get there,” Sweet said. “Geisinger’s commitment to caring isn’t just for its patients; it’s also for its employees.”

Nationwide, more than 14,000 healthcare employees have used SAW to prepare for college enrollment and professional advancement. Since the program launched in 2016, three SAW students in Geisinger’s Northeast region have enrolled in college, and nine program participants were promoted. 

Northeast graduates

  • Sharon Chiverella, Patient Access Representative, SR. — Geisinger Kistler Clinic, Wilkes-Barre
  • Theresa Jarski, Unit Desk Clerk — Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre 
  • Linda Griffith, Patient Access Representative — East Mountain Specialty Clinic, Wilkes-Barre
  • Laurie Kenyon, Patient Access Representative — Geisinger Mt. Pleasant, Scranton
  • Gwynne Long, Medical Assistant — Geisinger Precision Health Center, Forty Fort
  • Melissa Matosky, Patient Access Representative, SR. — Geisinger – Orthopaedics Wilkes-Barre
  • Tina Middleton, Environmental Services Technician, Certified — Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre
  • Sheila Nothoff, Lead Caterer — Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre 
  • Ripal Patel, Certified Medical Assistant — Geisinger Kingston
  • Mary Philbin, Unit Desk Clerk/Nursing Assistant — Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton
  • Sharon Thrash, Environmental Services Technician, Certified — Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre
  • Teressa Sweet, Environmental Services Data Analyst — Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre


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.

Geisinger's northeast region SAW graduates.
Members of the 2019 SAW program graduating class gather with program and system leadership Tuesday at the SAW graduation ceremony at Geisinger CenterPoint in Pittston. 
Dr. Jaewon Ryu speaking to the SAW graduates.
Geisinger Interim President and CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu greets members of the 2019 School at Work program during the SAW graduation ceremony Tuesday at Geisinger CenterPoint in Pittston. 
Teressa Sweet speaks at the SAW graduation.
2019 SAW graduate Teressa Sweet addresses her classmates during the SAW graduation ceremony Tuesday at Geisinger CenterPoint in Pittston. Sweet plans to enroll in higher education classes beginning in May at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke. 

For media inquires:

R. Matthew Mattei
Senior Communications Specialist

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