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DANVILLE, Pa. – Four Geisinger providers were honored among the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED) Top Physicians Under 40 for 2021.  

Family medicine physician Jason Dinko, M.D., cytopathologist Renee Frank, M.D., palliative medicine specialist Lauren Nicholls, M.D., and clinical informatics fellow Raghuveer Puttagunta, M.D., were nominated by their colleagues and selected by a committee of PAMED’s member physicians. 

The awards are bestowed yearly to talented, early-career physicians who are already performing at a high level throughout the commonwealth. 

Dr. Dinko is a board-certified physician specializing in family medicine. He is the site leader for the family medicine practice at Geisinger Healthplex Woodbine in Danville, where he leads a group of eight providers and mentors local medical students. Dr. Dinko has been recognized for his leadership by example and his continual effort toward excellence in care. He grew up in White Haven and graduated from The Commonwealth Medical College (now Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine) in 2014. After completing his residency in Washington, Pa., Dr. Dinko returned to central Pennsylvania to serve communities near his hometown.

Dr. Renee Frank is a cytopathologist who works in laboratory medicine at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. Since joining Geisinger, the Dupont native has served on tumor boards and lectured and mentored medical students. She was recently promoted to assistant chair of education for laboratory medicine, where she serves on numerous medical school and hospital committees to optimize medical student education, bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical practice and explore new curriculum opportunities. Dr. Frank was described by her nominator as embodying the “spirit of a doctor’s doctor.”

Dr. Lauren Nicholls is a dually trained palliative care and family medicine physician focused on improving quality of life for her patients. A Scranton native, she practices at Geisinger Community Medical Center and specializes in adult, perinatal and pediatric palliative medicine. She provides compassionate care for patients with terminal illnesses, attending to their emotional and physical well-being while managing their symptoms. Dr. Nicholls also provides guidance and support to patient families, and she has a clinical interest in end-of-life care. She has published several works on end-of-life symptom management and communication. Dr. Nicholls has been recognized for going above and beyond to engage patients and families during their most difficult times. 

Dr. Raghuveer Puttagunta is a board-certified physician in internal medicine and pediatrics with a clinical focus on caring for families and patients living with pediatric chronic disease throughout their life. He is currently in fellowship training in clinical informatics at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Dr. Puttagunta is leading several Institutional Review Board research projects with a focus on improving health care utilization for people managing chronic diseases, specifically those with intellectual disabilities, autism and adult congenital heart disease. He is also leading initiatives to improve provider efficiency within the electronic health record as part of the Geisinger Clinical Efficiency Program. Dr. Puttagunta has been recognized for his mentorship of trainees through medical school, internship and residency. 

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 nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. 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 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 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 follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.


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