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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

SCRANTON – Sanofi, the global healthcare company with a campus in Swiftwater, recently made a gift of $60,000 to bring Geisinger College of Health Science’s successful Regional Education Academy for Careers in Health-Higher Education Initiative (REACH-HEI) program to students in Monroe County.

REACH-HEI is an out-of-school program that provides academic enrichment opportunities, including mentoring by medical and graduate students, for low-income and/or first-generation-to-college students and enables them to succeed in science and health-related professions. Sanofi’s grant is being used to identify and admit students in the Stroudsburg Area, Pocono Mountain East and Wallenpaupack Area school districts with the goal of introducing students to biomedical research and the varied careers associated with the life sciences.

“As the second-largest employer in Monroe County, we are dedicated to elevating our communities and encouraging our promising young people to explore the rewarding careers available in pharmaceuticals, research and medicine,” said Philip St. James, Sanofi’s Corporate Social Responsibility & Community Relations Lead. “We know that REACH-HEI has a proven track record of keeping disadvantaged students on the path to college. More than 80 percent of REACH-HEI participants goes on to earn a degree – and many even achieve advanced degrees. This data is what persuaded us that Geisinger College of Health Sciences was the right partner when we wanted to launch a science enrichment program in Monroe County.”

The new program enrolled 44 students this fall. In addition to hands-on activities at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, the students will receive an introduction to biomedical science and embark on a year-long research project to gain experience in scientific observation, data collection, critical thinking and small-group and public presentation. They have also been paired with a mentor who will assist with college and career planning.

“Best of all,” Mr. St. James said, “To offer students further career guidance, staff at Sanofi has stepped up and volunteered to share their career journeys. The students have already had the opportunity to interact with Sanofi vaccine scientists and biochemists.” He added that shadowing opportunities with these professionals is also part of the program.

“We are grateful to Sanofi for recognizing the achievements of our REACH-HEI program and giving us the opportunity to work with these amazing Monroe County students,” said Maureen Murtha, Geisinger College’s Director of Pathway Programs. “They bring great energy and enthusiasm to every session. With the right guidance, we know they will be successful in whatever academic path they choose.”

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate 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, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit

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For education media inquiries

Elizabeth Zygmunt
Marketing and Communications Strategist for Education
Office: 570-504-9687
On call: 570-687-9703

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