“I am humbled to be in the company of such accomplished women. I am proud to be a daughter of Pennsylvania and of Scranton.”
HARRISBURG – Virginia McGregor, Geisinger board member and fierce champion of healthcare and higher education in the Scranton community, was recognized in Harrisburg on Wednesday as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
“This is an incredible honor,” McGregor said from the state capitol. “I am humbled to be in the company of such accomplished women. I am proud to be a daughter of Pennsylvania and of Scranton.”
“I applaud the Commonwealth for recognizing Virginia McGregor with the title ‘Distinguished Daughter,’” said Geisinger College of Health Sciences President Julie Byerley, MD, MPH. “It’s a richly deserved recognition, given her tremendous contributions to the well-being and opportunities for advanced education for the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. We are fortunate that she is our board chair, advocate and friend.”
Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania began in 1948 to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service. Nonprofit organizations nominate the women throughout Pennsylvania. Ten women statewide received the honor this year.
McGregor traces her passion for community engagement and service to her mother, Grace Doherty, whose focus was on faith, friends and family. Inspired by her emphasis on education and service, McGregor has pursued a lifetime of leadership dedicated to improving the well-being of her beloved hometown, Scranton.
Perhaps the greatest testament to McGregor’s work on behalf of her community has been Geisinger’s expansion of healthcare and education in the Scranton area.
She was board chair of Community Medical Center at the time it transitioned to Geisinger — a visionary move that encouraged Geisinger’s expansion into northeastern Pennsylvania. The health care system, with its emphasis on precision medicine and value-based care, is uniquely dedicated to preserving the health of entire communities and populations. And because it is backed by a robust research institute, the people in these communities benefit from receiving cutting-edge care. Geisinger’s mission is to make better care easier, and McGregor has been instrumental in ensuring that this mission improves the lives of her neighbors today.
McGregor continues to serve as a member of the Geisinger Health Board of Directors, chair of the Geisinger Family Committee and a member of the Patient Experience, Academic Affairs and Quality committee of the board.
However, education is where her leadership has been felt most keenly. Not only is she an advocate for the city of Scranton, but she is also a passionate supporter for the medical school she calls its “crown jewel.” She was an early and ardent supporter of establishing a medical school in Scranton and used her significant visibility and role in the community to back the project at a time when many others believed it couldn’t be done.
After the school was successfully established, she helped to integrate it into Geisinger, a move that guaranteed the school’s fiscal stability in perpetuity.
As chair of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Board of Directors, she oversaw an ambitious plan to replenish the physician workforce in her communities. As local doctors — especially in primary care — aged and began to retire, the region was at risk of leaving many of its neighborhoods underserved. Moreover, a pandemic-induced spike in the need for mental health care exacerbated the region’s already dire shortage of psychiatrists. As board chair of the local medical school, McGregor championed the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program, where medical students receive tuition remission and a stipend in exchange for agreeing to work at Geisinger in primary care or psychiatry after residency.
Today, as the school closes in on graduating more than 1,000 doctors, ever-greater numbers of them will return to serve the neighbors who taught them. This has been McGregor’s life’s work, and it has enhanced her community beyond measure.
About Geisinger College of Health Sciences
Geisinger College of Health Sciences is the research and education arm of the Geisinger family. Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, and the College. The College houses a Research Institute, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Geisinger School of Nursing and the School of Graduate Education, in addition to Geisinger graduate medical education programs and its Academy of Educators. The College is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit geisinger.edu/education.
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