Picture and Video Gallery


The families of children in the Early Intervention Program were invited to ring in the holiday season with special events in both Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. On Thursday, December 6th, Santa joined us for a Pizza Party in the Snyder Room in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and on December 11th, folks were treated to a Breakfast with Santa event at Shadowbrook Inn & Resort in Tunkhannock. All children in attendance received a story book or Holiday activity book, compliments of the LICC.

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Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services (MHDS) Advisory Board recognized staff for milestone years of service at their December Board meeting.  Department Managers/Directors presented the awards along with Advisory Board Chairman, Tom O’Neill; Wyoming County Commissioner Chairman Thomas Henry, Luzerne County Council Member Jane Walsh Waitkus and Luzerne County Office of Human Services Program Director John Alunni.  

2018 Staff recognition

Pictured are first row (left to right), Honorees:  Mary Boylan, Kingston, 10 years; Martha Elmir, Kingston, 10 years; and Kelly Kohl, Hanover Township, 10 years.  Second row, Advisory Board members: Linda Armstrong; Raelene Daring, Vice-Chair; Dave Wilson; Commissioner Henry; Dr. Carl Charnetski, Secretary; Tom O’Neill; Jane Walsh Waitkus; and John Alunni.  Also recognized but not pictured are:  Fran Stanishefski, Swoyersville, 20 years; Cheryl Farkaly, Scranton, 15 years; and Diane Lonzetta, Hazle Township, 5 years.  

On December 4, 2018, the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Employment Coalition met with Driscoll's Home Center in West Pittston to recognize them for their support in providing community work-based experience for individuals with developmental disabilities.  The mission of the Employment Coalition is to increase opportunities for individuals to obtain community employment.

Employment Coalition

Front row left to right:  Barbara Bonning, Step-By-Step; Frank Bartoli, NEPA Inclusive; Kristen Leary, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR); Dennis Driscoll, Store Owner; Liz Driscoll, Store Owner; Matthew Peck, OVR customer; Cheryl Farkaly, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/DS Employment Chair; and Katy Kranson, Autism for Lifelong Learning (ALL) Program

Back row left to right:  Kelly Vandenberg, Step-By-Step; Eric O'Neil, Office of Developmental Programs; Samantha Harry, Driscoll Home Care Staff; Scott Sharrow, Driscoll Home Care Staff; Maria Mondlak, NEPA Inclusive; Ashlynd McHale, NEPA Inclusive; and Joan Kleinman, ALL Program

On September 11, 2018 the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Early intervention Program participated in the “Moms2B Baby Shower” at the Hazleton YWCA. The event, hosted by AmeriHealth Caritas, was attended by the PA Department of Human Services Secretary, Teresa Miller and the PA Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine. The Moms2B Baby Shower provided an opportunity for expectant mothers to access resources in their community to assist them to be proactive in health-related decisions during and after pregnancy.

Moms 2B Baby Shower

Pictured from left to right are:   a Hazleton family, Maria Polanco and Socrates Pena with their son, Casstiel; Secretary Teresa Miller; Marilee McDonough, EI Service Coordination Unit Supervisor; and Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine. 

Certified Elder Law Attorney Brenda Colbert from Colbert & Grebas, P.C. addresses participants at the 8/17/18 training entitled, “Future Planning:  How to Be Prepared When Parents Can No Longer Care for Their Individual with Special Needs.”  The training also included presentations by George Gwilliam regarding a parent/day program perspective on how to be prepared as well as Sarah Wentz, Sandy Reina & Melonie Drumm on the new lifesharing initiative.

Future Planning Training 8 17 18

Early Intervention Providers’
Mandated Training for 2018/2019
Genetti’s Hotel & Conference Center
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Friday, July 27, 2018

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Judy Kresky, EI Program Specialist, addresses the audience at the annual EI Providers’ Mandated Training for 2018/2019.

Program Objectives

To cover all mandated training topics including:
•Universal Health Procedures and Precautions;
•Cultural Competency;
•Procedural Safeguards (including Mediation and Due Process);
•Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation;
•Mandated Reporting;
•Confidentiality including HIPAA and FERPA

Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q)
Annual Statewide Training 2018, Harrisburg, PA
July 17 & 18, 2018

IM4Q Statewide Training 2018

Left to Right:

Jim Hutchinson, Philadelphia County Vision for Equality;Elliot Glickman, Philadelphia County Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disABILITY Services; Tawnya Hamilton, Office of Developmental Programs Polk Center; Guy Caruso, Institute on Disabilities, Temple University; Gina Galli, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services

Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome 07/13/18

Diabetes Training 7-13-18

1st row left to right:
Alicia Brockett, Comfort Keepers; Chris Fazzi, Presenter, Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre YMCA; Dr. Sharon Falzone, Presenter, The Advocacy Alliance NEPA Health Care Quality Unit (HCQU); Gina Galli, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/DS; Sharon Fairburn, The Advocacy Alliance NEPA HCQU

2nd row left to right:
Linda Reilly, Presenter, Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre YMCA; Patti Goodenow, Presenter, Greater Scranton-Wilkes-Barre YMCA; Gerri Mikelski, Participant; Debbie McGlynn, Step By Step; Jarvis Wright, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/DS

Celebration of Abilities - Luzerne County 3/23/18

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Celebration of Abilities - Wyoming County 03/27/18

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Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Staff Recognized December 2017

MHDS Staff Recognition

Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services (MHDS) Advisory Board recognized staff for milestone years of service at the December 2017 Board meeting.    Supervisors/Managers presented the awards along with Advisory Board Chairman, David Wilson; Chairman of the Wyoming County Commissioners, Tom Henry; Luzerne County Manager, Dave Pedri; Luzerne County Council Chairman, Tim McGinley; Luzerne County Office of Human Services Division Head, Lynn Hill; and MHDS Administrator, Tara Vallet.  Pictured are first row (seated left to right), 15-year honorees:  Charmayne Floryan,  Cathy Zachar, Valerie Sanauskas.  10-year honorees: Rachel Ertz, Ranee Smith,  Marsha Hillard, Phil Buickus.   5-year honoree: Rebecca Apolinaro.   Second row (standing left to right):  Advisory Board Members:  Sandy Faux, Secretary; Dr. Carl Charnetski; Tom O’Neill; Raelene Daring, Vice Chair; David Wilson, Chairman; Tom Henry, Tim McGinley, Chairman, Dave Pedri, Lynn Hill, and 15-year honoree, Tara Vallet.   25-year honorees:  Judy Kresky, Marilee McDonough, Ann Marie Tryzenski, Suzanne Strittmatter, Grace Bradshaw.    Also recognized but not pictured are:  Sandy Tamanini, 30 years and Amy Groner, 5 years.