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Wyoming County Community Health

The Community Health Foundation identifies, selects and invests in programs and organizations that will improve the health and wellness of people in Wyoming County, PA and surrounding communities.

The foundation's vision is to be recognized as a collaborative and important funding source for programs that provide for enhanced health -- and the understanding of health and wellness -- in our communities.

Our Guiding Principles

The Community Health Fund's guiding principles are applied by the Board of Directors when making funding decisions. The Board assesses whether evidence about the applicant's commitment to these principles has been demonstrated through past practices or is incorporated into the framework of the proposed grant application. In its review of funding requests, the Foundation highly values inter-organizational partnerships, which will leverage core competencies and resources among community partners. The Foundation remains committed to considering grant requests to develop/deliver high quality, high impact programs/services that are responsive to community needs.

Our Values

Our Core Compentencies

Contact Us

The WCCHF welcomes the community's input, questions and participation. Please use our contact form to learn more about how you can help, or how your organization can be assisted.

Our History

The Wyoming County Community Health Foundation is built upon the efforts of earlier organizations also committed to improving the health and quality of life of the greater Wyoming County Community.

In December of 1987, the Tyler Health Foundation was created to support the work of Tyler Memorial Hospital.The hospital was founded in 1948 by a group of medical professionals and local citizens who recognized the urgent need for the emergency services, obstetrics, general medicine and surgical care that could only be provided by a local hospital.

Tyler was the lone acute care facility in Wyoming County and grew to serve a regional population base of approximately 30,000 that included all of Wyoming County and parts of both Susquehanna and Bradford Counties. Because the nearest full-service facilities were 30 miles and 45 minute drives away, the hospital was vital to the health, safety and quality of life of this growing community.

For 23 years, the Tyler Health Foundation, with the help of dozens of community volunteers, raised funds through annual campaigns, grants, fundraising events, bequests and memorials to supply much-needed equipment and to help expand the services of this small, rural hospital.

As the new century approached its second decade, the financial challenges of sustaining an independent hospital increased and to ensure the hospital's long-term survival, the decision was made by the Tyler Board of Directors to seek a partner. On January 1, 2010, Tyler Memorial Hospital was fully acquired by Mercy Hospital, a subsidiary of Catholic Health Partners (CHP), a non-profit hospital organization.

The Tyler Health Foundation reorganized and continued its mission of supporting the hospital, now renamed Mercy Tyler Hospital. During this period, the hospital embarked on an ambitious project to expand the capacity of its emergency and outpatient services departments.

On October 6, 2010, CHP announced its decision to sell all of its hospitals in Northeastern PA, including Tyler. On May 1, 2011, Mercy Tyler Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Scranton and Mercy Special Care Hospital, Nanticoke were sold to Community Health System (CHS), a for-profit, hospital system based in Tennessee. The Tyler Health Foundation was not included in this sale and was granted legal permission to retain the accumulated assets of the foundation.

Tyler's acquisition by a for-profit corporation presented new challenges for the Tyler Health Foundation. After much consultation, research and community input, the Tyler Health Foundation reinvented itself as the Tyler Health Partnership and on December 13, 2012, was recognized by IRS to as a 501(c)3, organization independent from Tyler Hospital.

In September of 2013, the Tyler Health Partnership, in order to reflect its expanded emphasis on supporting a wider variety of organizations and projects to enhance the health and quality of life of the community, the organization took steps to change its name to the Wyoming County Community Health Foundation.

Meet Our Board


Gary Tewksbury

Gary Tewksbury retired from Procter & Gamble after 38 years as a Project Engineer. He currently serves as the Chairman for the Zoning Hearing Board for Washington Township. Gary also serves as an Eucharistic Minister at the Nativity BVM in Tunkhannock and also is a historian interpreter on the Battle of Gettysburg for the Gettysburg Foundation. He has been married to his wife Ruth for 51 years and recently celebrated with a trip to France. Together they have 2 daughters, Kristin and Sara and 2 grandchildren, Elliott and Sierra. In his spare time, Gary enjoys cross country skiing, restoration of steamer trunks, fishing, researching the Battle of Gettysburg and Pickett's Charge Diorama.


Howard Heise
Vice Chairperson

Howard Heise retired as the Wyoming County Children and Youth Administrator after working in child welfare with the county since 1990. Prior to his employment with Children and Youth, he worked in social services for 10 years primarily working with the adult/child mental health and intellectually disabled population.

Howard currently serves as an advisory board member for the Children's Advocacy Center of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties. He work part-time at Endless Mountains Extended Care and helps with the parenting program for Fathers In Recovery. He is a lifelong resident of Wyoming County and currently resides in Tunkhannock with his wife Deborah. They are parents of three adult children.


Carol Ziomek

Dr. Carol Ziomek, a resident of Eaton Township, was born and raised in Plymouth, PA where she graduated from St. Vincent’s High School and earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Wilkes College. She pursued her Ph.D. in Biology at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. and spent two summers doing research at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Labs in MA before doing post-graduate research in the Dept of Anatomy at Cambridge University in England.  She then accepted a staff position at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in MA, where for 8 years she was recipient of several major competitive research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In 1990, she joined Genzyme Corporation’s transgenic animal program and in 1993 became a founding member of GTC Biotherapeutics and Vice President of Development. While at GTC, she was part of the team that achieved the first approval in the world of a human therapeutic protein produced in the milk of genetically engineered animals. After 20 years at GTC, Dr. Ziomek took early retirement and moved back to PA, where she was a part-time project-specific technical & regulatory consultant until 2015.

For the Tunkhannock Rotary Club, she was secretary for 9 years, Public Image Chair for 12 years and currently Webmaster and Historian. She received the 2018 President’s Award, 2021 Rotarian of the Year and the 2013 and 2024 “Service Above Self” Awards for her services to the Club.  

For Rotary District 7410, she was Registrar for 1 year and a Rotary Foundation Committee member for 6 years. She received the Governor’s Award in 2016.

In 2024, as Rotary’s Public Image Chair and a WCCFH Director, she became part of the Community Awareness Group which orchestrated and carried out the highly successful May 2024 free Narcan Distribution at Lazybrook Park.  The Community Awareness Group is an association of local community organizations (including Rotary and WCCHF) that have joined together to make a difference in Wyoming County.

Dr. Ziomek has been on the Board of Directors of the WCCHF since 2012 and Secretary since 2016.  She is a member of both the Program (Grants) Committee and the Personnel Committee and has helped develop the Constitution, By-laws and Grant Application Protocols for the Foundation.

In her free time, she enjoys crafting, traveling, attending plays and concerts, appreciates gemstones and jewelry, and is an accredited jewelry professional (AJP).


Vera Walline
Board Member

Vera Walline, MPH, MCHES is a public health education professional with 40 years of experience in areas as diverse as Scotland, Philadelphia, Israel, and Northeast Pennsylvania. A native of Dallas, PA, she was educated at Bryn Mawr College and Yale University School of Public Health. Returning to the region in 1990, she served as Education Director at Tyler Memorial Hospital and Executive Director of the NEPA Area Health Education Center. Since retiring in 2014, she is the representative of the Baha'i Community of NEPA on the Scranton Area Multifaith Ministerium and serves on the Graduate Nursing Advisory Board of the University of Scranton.  Ms. Walline lives in Lake Winola, with David, her husband of over 50 years, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.


Lee Piatt
Board Member

Lee Piatt’s varied practice areas include business formation, mergers, and acquisitions, secured lending, corporate governance, real estate, business divorce, succession planning, and estate administration. Awarded the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s W. Edward Sell Business Lawyer Award in 2019, Mr. Piatt is a continuing legal education speaker in business law matters and has been active with the PBA’s Business Law Section and its Title 15 Committee for more than twenty years. Mr. Piatt also represents, and often serves on boards of, a wide variety of non-profit organizations. On a regular basis, he assists entrepreneurs in starting and organizing business organizations, including helping them choose the proper legal entity, drafting functional internal bylaws and rules, and preparing appropriate owner agreements to assure smooth management and ultimately provide means for dissolution or transfer of ownership. His clients also include areas and civic nonprofit organizations which he helps create and amend bylaws, avoid conflicts of interest and other legal liabilities, obtain charitable status for Federal Income Tax purposes, and generally protect members, directors, and officers against personal liability. In addition, he regularly assists family businesses with their succession planning and individual and corporate borrowers in lending transactions, including the issuance of opinions as principal borrower’s counsel and as Pennsylvania counsel for transactions in other states. Mr. Piatt is a Past Chair of the Business Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and was a founding Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s former Shale Energy Law Committee. With the Business Law Section, he has been active in task forces charged with writing Pennsylvania Corporate Laws, providing standards for issuance of legal opinions, and proposing change to Pennsylvania Business Sales Tax Law. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate with highest honors of William and Mary, Mr. Piatt received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


Cathy Franko
Board Member

Cathy Franko is a lifelong resident of Tunkhannock, graduated from Tunkhannock Area High School in 1986, and continued her education on the Scranton campus of Lackawanna College receiving degrees in Business Science and Education. Cathy spent the majority of her professional career working in the field of education starting as the Tutoring Coordinator at Lackawanna College, Title I Reading Assistant at Tunkhannock Area School District, and HANDS of Wyoming County Parents as Teachers Educator and Kindergarten Transition Coordinator. HANDS of Wyoming County's Board of Directors selected Cathy Franko as the candidate to fill the position of Executive Director for the non-profit organization in 2015 where she is currently employed. Cathy actively serves on the Luzerne/Wyoming County Early Intervention Inclusion Committee, Wyoming County Children & Youth Advisory Board, Trehab Vision Team Advisory Board, Tunkhannock Business and Professional Women's Club, Luzerne/ Wyoming County Head Start Advisory Board, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts/HSSAP Advisory Committee, Lackawanna Trail Comprehensive Planning Committee and Tunkhannock Area School District Transition Team. Cathy and her husband, Jeffery, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in October. They are proud parents of twins, Colin and Gracie.


Richard Daniels
Board Member

Richard “Dick” Daniels is a life long resident of Wyoming County who was born in the old Tyler Hospital in May of 1948. Dick retired from the Tunkhannock Area School District after working there for thirty five years as a teacher, school counselor and school principal. Dick got his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Bloomsburg University, Masters degree in Elementary Education from Wilkes University, Elementary School Counseling certification from Marywood College and masters degree in School Administration from Scranton University. Dick is involved with the Wyoming County Historical Society, Sunnyside Cemetery Association, social member of the Triton Hose Company, Tiger Fund for Excellance and the Wyoming County Community Health Foundation. Dick is married to Lynn Carol Greenley since 1972 and they have a son and daughter. They also lost a son in a drowning accident in 1993. They currently have three grandchildren living in Round Rock, Texas.


Dr. Michael Kapottos
Board Member

Dr. Michael Kapottos, DO, is a primary care doctor who offers preventive care for adults. He has a special interest in sports medicine, geriatrics, cardiovascular disease and risk reduction, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes mellitus and disease prevention. Dr. Kapottos earned his bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy from Clarks Summit University. He earned his master of arts in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Liberty College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Kapottos completed his internal medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital. 


Kate Krispin
Board Member

Kate Finnerty Krispin is a school counselor at Tunkhannock Area School District and has established community resources and unique programs within the school district. Just recently she was selected to pilot a therapy dog program at the school district. Since doing so, she has trained and certified Sunny for the school district at their Therapy Dog for students. Kate’s student groups run and organize the Classroom Closet which provide students and the community with supplies for essential needs. She has also developed positive school wide initiatives through an incentive room. This innovative approach uses a school game room to motivate and reward students. She hold a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of Scranton. In her free time Kate enjoys time with her family and friends, camping, and volunteering with her therapy dog organization. Kate writes stories inspired by her own children. In 2022 she became an Amazon's best seller author of a children's book in the category of values.


Todd Zimmerman
Board Member

Todd Zimmerman has been in the insurance industry and with Knowles Insurance for over 25 years. Todd is Vice President, Sales at Knowles Insurance. Todd works across many industries including hospitality, construction, and real estate. Todd is extremely active in the community. He is a board member of the Abington Little League, and the Abington Area Joint Rec.

He is a past board chairman for Summit Christian Academy and a past Vice President of the Clarks Green Borough. He also serves on the Ethics Board of VNA Hospice.

Todd holds his Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designation. Todd is a graduate of Liberty University.


Michele Hirkey
Board Member

Michele Hirkey retired from Tyler Memorial Hospital in June of 2021 after 35 years of service. She is a registered Respiratory Therapist certified in Medical Records Billing and specialized in Pulmonary Function Testing. Since retiring she has enjoyed being the chairperson for the fundraising committee of the Wyoming County Community Health Foundation and co-leading the exercise program, Supportive Women. Michele is a member of the Russell Hill United Methodist Church, South Auburn Grange and Endless Mountains Garden club. She likes spending time gardening vegetables and flowers, traveling, baking, helping her husband on the family dairy farm and spending time with family and friends. Michele has been married to Francis Hirkey for 38 years and has two daughters, Amanda Hirkey, husband Matt Fritze, and Abbey Healey, husband Jensen and grandson Hudson. She firmly believes in health and wellness as well as support in the community.



Cammie Anderson
Board Member

Cammie Anderson is the BA Certified Prevention Specialist Drug and Alcohol (D/A) Prevention Education Coordinator at Children’s Service Center/Robinson Counseling Center. She provides classroom education services K-12 as well as one- to-one intervention services to students in the Tunkhannock Area School District. As a D/A Prevention Education Specialist, Cammie has been teaching students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol for more than 33 years. She has also done numerous parent programs as well as been a presenter to many community organizations. Part of her outreach also consists of conducting professional trainings in the field of Drug and Alcohol. She has conducted many faculty in services on emerging trends in drug and alcohol and serves as a Student Assistant Liaison for all SAP (Student Assistance Program) teams in the district. Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. SAP is designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success.

Mrs. Anderson has recently been approved as a State SAP Trainer allowing her to train new school district SAP team members throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In her spare time she volunteers at Blue Chip Animal Refuge. She is an avid lover of all animal especially dogs and has one rescue of her own. She resides in Duryea with her husband of 32 years, Michael. Together they have one son, Jacob.


Shealynn Shave
Executive Director

Shealynn Shave was born and raised in Susquehanna County and graduated from Keystone College with a Bachelor's of Arts in Communications. After years in the military with her husband, Shealynn relocated back to the area where she joined the Wyoming County Community Health Foundation in 2012. With over a decade of experience in various nonprofit organizations, Shealynn was promoted to Executive Director of the Foundation. She currently oversees all events and programs that the Foundation is involved in. In addition to working part-time at the Wyoming County Community Health Foundation, Shealynn also serves as Executive Director of the Northern Tier Industry and Education Consortium (NTIEC) in Tunkhannock. She and her husband Reed currently reside in Elk Lake with their daughter Presley, son Liam and 2 dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys trips to New York City, golfing and spending as much time with her family.


What is a foundation?

A foundation is a non-governmental entity that is established as a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust, with a principal purpose of making grants to unrelated organizations, institutions, or individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable purposes. This broad definition encompasses two foundation types: private foundations and grant-making public charities.

What is the criteria to receive a grant?

Must submit form 990 for approval.

How do I apply for a grant?

Download the .pdf application. Before completing the grant application, be sure to:

  • Read all instructions thoroughly before beginning.
  • Be thorough. Do not skip questions unless they in no way apply to your request.
  • Avoid repetition of ideas.
  • Be concise, yet informative in your proposal.
Writing a clean, understandable narrative is key. Grant Applications will be reviewed by Foundation at its regularly scheduled meetings or at least on a quarterly basis, with a funding decision approximately 1-2 weeks from the review meeting date, unless additional information is needed to evaluate the application. Funds will be made available within 4 months of the funding decision.

Due to the Foundation's desire to fund as many worthwhile programs as possible, requests for capital improvements will not be considered at this time.

Please send your completed Application to:

Wyoming County Community Health Foundation
5954 SR 6
Tunkhannock, PA
Phone 570-996-1645
Fax 570-836-4569


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